Weirdest Problem Ever

Updated on October 02, 2010
T.C. asks from Bowie, MD
17 answers

My 13 yr old daughter complains that when she is stressed out (like, say, about the first day of high school) she is up all night with itchy feet. I would give her Benadryl, but that would make her sleepy the next day at school, and I also don't think this is an allergy thing. Anybody else ever seen anything like this, and what did you do about it?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers


answers from Modesto on

I bet stress causes her muscles to tighten and cuts off circulation to her feet and they get tingly from blood coming and going while she stresses. I'd say giving her a leg and foot massage while you sit at the end of the bed and talk about what's goin on in her life will eliminate the problem. You know how relaxing foot massages are ;)
I'm suggesting this just because I know I get tight in my neck and in my back when I feel under stress and hubby massaging it away is always awesome.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I would also help her de-stress if you can like the other mom said. Exercise is a great stress reducer as is yoga, or learning some deep breathing techniques. If it continues I would mention it to her Pediatrician. Good luck to her getting thru this.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Atlanta on

It's an anxiety/histamine reaction. Some people actually break out into hives (my mother used to do this). I don't suffer anxiety very often, but I am arachnophobic (and I know this is laughable, but seriously -it goes beyond just a dislike for spiders) -when I'm faced with a spider, I have a small anxiety attack and it makes my underarms and feet itch and tingle. Once in awhile if I'm in another anxiety producing situation, I'll notice the same thing. It's just a reaction to the adrenaline and histamine your body produces when the "fear" feelings start to surge.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

maybe is just anxiety try to give her something natural to help her relax and sleep,like a shower with lavander shampoo,chamomille tea,or valerian natural pill,

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I don't think it sounds serious enough to give her anti-anxiety meds or take her to a psychiatrist. With your help, I think she can learn the skills to help her relax without medication.

I would try to help her relax in the evening with soft music (maybe Enya?), maybe some stretching and yoga, and deep breathing. I agree foot & calf massages could be helpful.

Guided imagery may be helpful (can probably find some free scripts if you google it) It would be something you would read her to help her relax, and tell her to imagine that the blood is flowing down her legs to her feet, and her feet feel fine.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Have her soak her feet before bed in a warm bath, lather up some lotion and comfy socks. Bodies react in very unique ways to stress... I get lower backaches when I'm stressed. I use a heating pad and relax and it goes away! Acknowledging it as being real will help and then coming up with some related relaxation technique will help too~!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

I think like any other mommy said try to de-stress her. Entering HS is a huge and overwhelming transition. (sorry for any mispelling) So as her best friend try to talk to her and see what's stressing her out. Help her out with anything that you can. Also give her some chamomille tea after a warm bath/shower...hoped i helped...God bless

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Stress.... gets manifested differently for some people.... my Husband, gets itchy scalp when stressed. For example, and an upset stomach.

there is something called "Hyland's Calms Forte- for kids" which is homeopathic and helps stress and calms a person. It is homeopathic, so it is not habit forming... but it will either work or not, depending.
I take the adult form, for PMS. It helps me....
You can find it at Whole Foods or natural food stores.

Are you giving her the correct dosage for the Benadryl? Or, give her a less amount.... she should not still be affected by it, the next day... and still be drowsy....

all the best,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Erie on

I take a prescription anxiety med that is also an antihistamine. It doesn't make me drowsy, but does help me sleep if I take it at night. It's called Vistaril. Take her to the doctor, though, see what he/she recommends. She can learn to overcome it on her own, but medication might be the way to go until then.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Bloomington on

When I am stressed out, my allergies get worse. Benadryl also has a spray that you can use which doesn't seem to have the same effects as the pills have. It could also be that she is allergic to something, perhaps a food that is her comfort food. I have had allergies my entire life and a couple of years ago, my feet would begin itching for no apparent reason. No bumps, nothing. I went to my allergy doctor and discovered I was allergic to tuna. (My comfort food)



answers from Cincinnati on

My 7 year old gets "itchy" when he gets nervous and so does my brother. Relaxtion techniques have worked for both of them. Learn to concentrate on breathing deep breaths, tightening and relaxing all the muscles in her body from her feet up to her neck and deep breaths again. Sometimes music playing can relaxe the mind or help you think of something else.



answers from Seattle on

A lot of people get hives when they're stressed. I'm more curious about her atypical reaction to benedryl. It usually only lasts for 4-6 hours. I take it at night very/fairly often (I'm adhd and have the resultant insomnia) to recorrect my sleep patterns. As an antihistamine, it's as completely non-addictive as tylenol, ibuprofen, sunscreen, or vitamins. So it's not a concern about taking it regularly. Personally I wouldn't be concerned about "reaching for" the correct medicine for a problem. Do you suffer through a headache, or take tylenol? Do you just get sunburned, or use sunscreen. Taking medicine appropriately just isn't a "concern" in my book.



answers from Columbus on

One of my friends is like that. Any 'normal' otc drug she takes makes her pass out. She has to take low doses of things to get better and still function. I agree with the suggestion of lotion and socks. I would also look into breathing techniques and stress relief options off the internet. Learning to deal with stress is unfortunately something she (and all of us) need to learn to do constructively. Good luck!



answers from Washington DC on

Hi T.,

It's actually not that weird -

I have anxiety issues, and when I am stressed out about things I get a strange sensation in my feet too. I wouldn't really call it itching, but more of like a tingly sensation. If I am wearing shoes and/or socks, I have to take them off because my skin feels like it is crawling when I wear them. It is almost like restless leg syndrome where you cannot really explain the feeling, but you need to move them around. (got that too - didn't go away after pregnancy)

It sounds like it could be similar. I would just keep an eye on it, and if she has a lot of sugar in her diet, I would cut it out completely. I have cut sugar from my diet, and am almost ready to stop taking my anti-anxiety meds because it was actually the sugar causing my anxiety. Sugar, in any form, does terrible, terrible things to the body and in excess can really cause serious health issues. I cannot believe how much better I feel and how much weight I have lost since I gave up sugar.

Sorry for getting sidetracked, but there really could be a correlation.

Good luck and hope she feels better,


answers from Boston on

It does sound like a histamine reaction, but I agree the Benadryl is a problem. Teaching her to reach for a drug every time she's stressed might not be the route you want to go. I like the idea of a foot massage and some other relaxation activities that others have suggested. A cup of chamomile tea or anything else relaxing would be fine. Help her to think good thoughts, think about her many good qualities, and so on. See if she can get control of her emotions.

I think it's way too soon to worry about a psychiatrist and medications. DO NOT give her "natural" sleep aids like Valerian pills as suggested - anytime you give a single isolated ingredient, you run the risk of upsetting the natural balance in the body or in balanced supplements. My friend thought it was fine to take a "natural" sleep aid and she wound up in the hospital with huge problems (heart stopped, etc.). The cardiologist just about had a fit when she found out all the "natural" stuff my friend was taking - she took her off everything and she's now fine with no meds. Just because something is "natural" doesn't mean it's good for you - snake venom, toadstools, belladonna and head lice are all natural! LOL.

Good luck.



answers from Columbus on

It is not weird at all, you could take her to a psychaitrst, they deal with this kind of brain/body issue all the time. Just goes to show how the brain is flesh and blood, and it is very powrful! This is the doctor who can help her to get treatment, what ever that may be.




answers from Harrisburg on

It might be her nerves. Try massaging her feet, give her a drink of water and see if it helps

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions