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Causes of Itching all Over the Body

by
author image Nicki Wolf
Nicki Wolf has been writing health and human interest articles since 1986. Her work has been published at various cooking and nutrition websites. Wolf has an extensive background in medical/nutrition writing and online content development in the nonprofit arena. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Temple University.
Causes of Itching all Over the Body
All-over-body itching can be caused by a variety of conditions. Photo Credit skin image by Robert Kelly from Fotolia.com

Itching, also called pruritus, commonly occurs due to skin disorders, and may affect sleep or quality of life if the condition is severe. Rooted in the nerve endings, itching all over the body is called generalized pruritus. This condition may serve as a clue to the presence of an underlying systemic disease, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Hyperparathyroidism

Hyperparathyroidism occurs when an excess of parathyroid hormone in the blood impacts the levels of calcium in the body. Primary hyperparathyroidism causes high levels of calcium, whereas secondary hyperparathyroidism causes low levels of calcium. MedlinePlus reveals that in both cases, the condition may cause itchy skin, as well as back pain, blurred vision, bone pain, depression, fatigue, bone fractures, loss of appetite, nausea and pain in the upper abdomen. If calcium levels don't impact health, treatment may be unnecessary; however, in some cases surgery to remove the parathyroid gland may be indicated.

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Cholestasis

Cholestasis refers to any condition in which blockage of bile from the liver occurs. MedlinePlus indicates causes both inside and outside the liver, including bile duct or pancreatic tumors, cysts, pancreatitis, bile duct stones, alcoholic liver disease, lymphoma, pregnancy, tuberculosis or viral hepatits. Skin itching happens as a result of cholestasis, as well as unusually colored stools or urine, nausea and vomiting, yellow skin or eyes, inability to digest some foods and upper abdomen pain. Treatment of underlying conditions is necessary to manage cholestasis.

Hodgkin's Disease

Hodgkin's disease, a type of cancer called lymphoma, may cause body itching, as well as night sweats, fever, tiredness, weakness, coughing and shortness of breath, swollen lymph nodes and weight loss. This cancer of the lymphatic system impacts the immune system's ability to filter out bacteria and viruses. Chemotherapy and radiation are generally successfully at treating Hodgkin's disease, according to KidsHealth. Bone marrow or stem cell transplants may also prove effective.

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