While itchy skin is never a pleasant experience, there’s one area that can feel particularly uncomfortable.
If you are struck with a bottom that you just can’t stop scratching, a doctor has urged you to open up and not ignore this sign.
Talking about this private area might feel uncomfortable, but your GP will have undoubtedly “heard it all before”.
GP Dr Sarah Garsed told The Sun: “While many people don’t talk openly about this symptom – usually for fear of embarrassment – experiencing itching of the bum is very common and can be a sign of something as simple as what you ate the night before, or as complicated as infection.”
Worryingly, an itchy bum could also be a warning sign of a serious condition.
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The doctor explained that diabetes, especially when paired with the poor circulation that often comes hand in hand with the condition, can trigger the unpleasant itchiness around the bottom area.
Sometimes dubbed the “silent killer”, diabetes doesn’t always spur on red flag signs that make you feel ill, leaving many unaware of the disease.
What’s worse, the blood sugar condition can hike your risk of complications, ranging from strokes to kidney disease.
Dr Sarah explained there are two main types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2.
Type 1 means that your pancreas is unable to make a hormone called insulin necessary for blood sugar control usually from birth, while type 2 which usually develops later in life can leave your cells unable to respond properly to insulin, causing blood sugar spikes.
Apart from an itchy bum, the NHS recommends looking out for the following symptoms:
- Feeling very thirsty
- Peeing more frequently than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling very tired
- Weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
- Itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
- Blurred vision.
The health service recommends seeing your GP “as soon as possible” if you experience any of these key diabetes symptoms.
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While itchiness in your bottom could be pointing to the blood sugar condition, Dr Sarah added that the cause could be as simple as your diet.
What you eat can irritate your bottom and even exacerbate any existing itch.
Spicy foods, citrus fruits, and dairy products can all be triggers for scratching.
Furthermore, drinks that lead to dehydration and gut issues such as coffee, alcohol, and fizzy beverages could also be to blame.
If you are guilty of consuming a lot of these foods, Dr Sarah suggested removing one item from your food regimen every few days, to help determine the root cause of your itch.
However, if you are suffering from an anal itch for more than a few days, you should speak to your GP, especially if the discomfort is accompanied by bleeding and severe pain, or if it’s having a notable impact on your daily life.
Stress and anxiety
The last issues that could be behind an itchy bottom are stress and anxiety, according to the doctor.
Fortunately, methods including exercise, sleep, meditation and coping techniques could help.
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