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An Anti-Itch Diet

by
author image Jill Corleone, RDN, LD
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.
An Anti-Itch Diet
Milk is a common food allergy that may cause itchiness. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images

There are multiple reasons you might feel that irritating tingle on your skin that causes you to scratch: a bug bite, dryness, an allergic reaction. While there's no specific anti-itch diet, you might need to make changes to your diet if it's a food allergy that's causing you to feel itchy. Consult your doctor to determine the cause of your itchy skin.

Common Allergens

Ninety percent of food allergies are caused by eight common foods, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology: wheat, soy, milk, peanuts, nuts, eggs, fish and shellfish. If you're allergic to one of these foods, a rash could accompany your itchy skin. Other signs of a food allergy include stomach upset, wheezing, coughing, swelling of the tongue and, in a worst-case scenario, a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. Only your doctor can accurately diagnose a food allergy.

Determining Other Food Causes

While there are specific foods that cause most of the food allergies, any food can cause an allergic reaction, says the college, even one you've eaten your entire life. If you're certain it's a food causing your itchy skin, keep a food diary to help you track your food intake and reactions. While you may only be experiencing itchiness right now, symptoms and reactions can worsen. That can be dangerous, so it's important to determine the cause.

Tips for Altering Your Diet

To improve your symptoms and stop the itching, eliminate all sources of the offending food from your diet. For example, if it's wheat causing you to itch, you need to eliminate all wheat products from your diet, including bread, pasta, most cereals, crackers and snack foods. Carefully read food labels and ingredient lists to help you sort out potential sources. Consult a dietitian to help you design a meal plan that's healthy without the problematic food.

Hydration for Dryness

If dry skin is the cause of your itchiness, you may not be drinking enough fluids. When trying to stay hydrated, water is the best choice, but how much you need depends on your diet, activity, weather and health. It's generally suggested that adults aim for 8 to 12 cups of water a day. To make sure you're getting what you need, drink enough so that you're not thirsty and your urine is almost colorless.

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