Whenever you get itching on your scalp, what do you do immediately ?
First of all, you scratch it.
What do you do if it starts bothering you frequently ?
Then you scratch your scalp again and again and you also might get some hair falling out whenever you scratch your scalp often.
You think that itching caused hair loss so if the scalp itching doesn’t go away, you tend to do one/few of the following things
- Applying Oils/Topicals
- Applying natural substances to relieve the itch
In fact, I did the same thing, when I started having the itching problem. In 2015, I went on a whimsical/idiotic diet of restricting carbs.
Why ? You would ask.
Because I was facing a lot of health issues, including migraine like pains, indigestion, fatigue, severe itching on my skin, multiple bowel movements. I firmly believed that it was Candida infection.
What’s poplar advice when it comes to treating candida ?
Starve yourself of carbs, so I did. I stopped eating grains, starchy vegetables, fruits. I also stopped eating non veg.
Instead of that, I started eating fermented foods like Dosa, Idli etc etc.
I didn’t know when you eat such fermented foods outside, they don’t use urad dal while preparing these delicacies.Instead they use shortcut. What’s that ? YEAST.
That is worse thing to add in a food. But I didn’t know that so I blindly started eating so called fermented foods. In first few days, I felt good, then after a week, I started feeling ridiculously weak, emaciated, fatigued, jaded, and all adjectives you can think of. But instead of listening to my body, I decided to continue with the insanity. I started eating more of so called fermented foods. I was determined to find answers to my health woes.
At that time, my symptoms started to become worse. I believed it as a healing reaction and continued on this self-experimentation for 4 more months. Imagine what would have convinced me to do this despite my condition getting continuously worse over the time. Even when I visited my friend in Bangalore, I only ate Dosa, Idli etc etc. it got him worried. Sukrut how can you survive on this ? I gave him some BS explanation considering I wasn’t sane back then.
A couple of weeks into the diet, I developed severe itching on my scalp and started seeing hairs in my hands whenever I used to scratch my hair. I never ever in my life experienced itching, that was the first time in 2015 I experienced it and no matter what I did nothing seemed to work. I used topicals, oils, shampoos, I used aloe vera gel. I did everything to relieve the itching but nothing worked.
In September or October 2015, while I was looking at the mirror. I could see right through my scalp. I could see my crown area for the first time in 28 years.
Where did the f**k my hair go ? I was in Shock.
I thought it is some illusion so I first checked if I wasn’t dreaming and I wasn’t dreaming. It was real. So I thought of using comb in a different way to see if it’s that bad. After coming in different directions, I realized that it’s indeed very bad.
I shaved my head to get over itch.
Did it go away ? Temporarily YES.
This story is similar to most stories I hear around scalp itching. Those who experience a lot of itching has gone through the same cycle. Itching followed by hair loss, application of several things on scalp—shaves head finally and expect itching will go away but there is no permanent effect.
If I knew what I know now, I probably wouldn’t have gone through the similar insanity.
When you have scalp itching, in most cases, its internal problem. Not external. So don’t try to solve it from outside by applying 100 things on scalp or shaving your head because it’s pointless. Unless, it’s a fungal infection, it’s not going to go away. But with each application of topical,shampoo, it’s going to take your hair away.
When its internal problem, it’s a histamine issue. Itching is a histamine reaction .
What’s histamine ?
Histamine is a neurotransmitter essential for normal functioning of brain and central nervous system.
Histamine is required for digestion, gastric acid release and also essential component of immunological protection for external threats like Trauma/Allergic reactions.
It creates problems when
- It is released in excess
- Body can’t break down excess
Excess Histamine is controlled by 2 key enzymes
HNMT prevents histamine binding to its receptors and DAO degrades histamine into inactive metabolites and excrete through urine.
Histamine is stored in granules in mast cells of throughout the body. It’s released in response to triggers like Cold/Heat, Toxins, Trauma etc etc.
Histamine release occurs when allergens bind to mast-cell-bound IgE antibodies
These are some histamine responses (itching is one of them) If you have any of these reactions , you are probably going through the same histamine response.
This is how Histamine is degraded
Copper (Bioavailable Copper), Vitamin C Magnesium, Vitamin B6 are required for DAO to function properly
So the solution is not in doing treatment on scalp,it’s something different.
How you can significantly reduce or eliminate itching ?
- Avoiding Triggers
- Strengthening the Host (By balancing Minerals)
What triggers you can avoid/reduce
a. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, aspirin)
b. Antidepressants (Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Zoloft)
c. Immune modulators (Humira, Enbrel, Plaquenil)
d. Antiarrhythmics (propanolol, metaprolol, Cardizem, Norvasc)
e. Antihistamines (Allegra, Zyrtec, Benadryl)
f. Histamine (H2) blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac)
a. Alcoholic Beverages
c. Cured Meats
c. Fortified Foods like Wheat, Bread, Pasta, Cereals
d. Polyunsaturated FATS especially when they get oxidized and turn rancid
How you can strengthen the Host ?
- Getting more B6, Vitamin C, Magnesium especially from Foods
- Getting more Copper and making it more bio-available so body can use it (No Copper Supplements please, they will make the issue worse)
Which factors negatively affect bio-availability of Copper
- Iron Overload/Anemia of Chronic Inflammation, Iron Supplementation
- Magnesium Deficiency
- Calcium, Vitamin D, Multi-Vitamins
- Ascorbic Acid (not real food based Vitamin C)
- B Vitamin Deficiencies
So the best bet to avoiding itching is to avoid/reduce triggers by adjusting your Diet and avoid the triggers and increase your body’s capability to counteract the histamine response by supplying it with right nutrients