This issue is mildly embarassing, but I know that if any readers have the problem I had, this post could be very valuable. As a little background info, I had been eating very cleanly for a couple of years up until last summer, when I started falling off the wagon more often than not (eating fewer raw foods, too many carbohydrates, and more conventionally-raised meats than I would like to admit). Then in December I started having extremely itchy skin much of the time and all over my body. I couldn't sit cross-legged because it would make my legs itch. I would lose half a night of sleep sometimes because I would stay awake scratching.
I tried numerous remedies. Coconut oil, lavender essential oil, and some salve I found at the natural foods store worked temporarily, but the symptom was always back within an hour. I thought I noticed it worsening when I drank coffee, so I avoided that for a while and it helped just a little. I knew one factor might be that I was lacking fat in my diet - good fat, like raw milk and butter and avocados. I halfheartedly added more healthful fatty foods to my diet, but aside from the days when I would have large servings of raw ice cream, it wasn't enough. But keep in mind I was still eating junk food fairly often; I work in a sushi restaurant and almost every day I would end up eating rice, deep-fried sushi roll pieces, teriyaki, or some kind of sweet that a coworker brings in.
Then in May I was at a barbecue with a friend who is also very interested in health, and I mentioned the itchiness that had been affecting me for six months. So easily, I then learned the solution; she said I'm eating too many carbohydrates. I probably should have realized it sooner, given that I've spent many hours reading about natural health. Anyway, I was more than willing to cut out the junky carbs to see if I would improve. And I did. By eating mainly meat (organic and grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, organic chicken, and antibiotic- and hormone-free pork once in a while), healthy fats, vegetables, and fresh juices, I felt better and my itching disappeared within a few days. Now I could sleep. Now I could hang out with friends without feeling embarassed that I had to keep scratching every so often.
When I do have any of the offending foods, like when I go out to eat with friends, the itching returns, though just mildly, since my diet is clean for the most part. I don't have to cut out carbs entirely, either. If I need a treat, I can make chocolate with raw honey and other organic ingredients, have some nuts, make sweet green tea with honey, or find something else that doesn't include any grains or refined sugars. I could probably narrow down the worst offenders, but I find that I do just fine with avoiding all grains and refined foods as much as possible. It's not restrictive by any means, as long as you know your healthy alternatives (you can find a nourishing, grain-free version of almost any recipe online). But if you have to eat those ingredients, just be sure they're at least organic and GMO-free. There is plenty of evidence out there that pesticides and GMOs will do you far more harm than good.