Burning feet: causes and treatment

By Matthias Samuel

A burning sensation in your feet is called feet burning or neuropathy. The most common cause of a burning feeling in your feet is nerve damage, often related to diabetes. There are other possible causes though, too. The pain from burning feet can be intermittent or constant and range from mild to severe. Your feet may feel hot, tingling, prickling, or numb. The pain is often worse at night.

Causes of burning feet

The sensation of burning feet can be because of different conditions. In some cases, the cause is unknown.

Following are some causes of feet burning:

  • Diabetic neuropathy, Years of uncontrolled high blood sugar can damage your blood vessels. Which reduces the transmission of signals, causing sensation.
  • Small fiber sensory neuropathy, it occurs when the small fibers of the peripheral nervous system are damaged.
  • Heavy alcohol use, Heavy alcohol use can lead to another type of nerve damage called alcoholic neuropathy.
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), CMT is the most common inherited nerve disease. It affects the nerves that control muscles.
  • Nutritional deficiencies, Burning feet caused by the deficiency of, vitamin B-12, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-9.
  • Kidney disease, when your kidneys stop functioning properly, toxins build up in your blood. This can lead to swelling and itching of feet.

Treatment of burning feet

The treatment for hot feet varies and depends on the different cause of the symptoms.

Following are the treatments of feet burning:

  • Lifestyle changes, sometimes improper shoes, sweaty feet, or recurrent athlete’s foot are causing hot feet. Wear different shoes every other day to allow each pair to air out between wears. Change socks regularly.
  • Vitamin deficiency. Taking additional vitamin B12 orally or by injection can replace low levels of this nutrient.
  • Stopping excessive drinking prevents ongoing nerve damage and allows nerves to heal.
  • Dialysis may be necessary to eliminate toxins causing neuropathy and burning feet symptoms, in case of chronic kidney disease.
  • Treatments are very specialized and include plasma exchange (plasma apheresis) or immune globulin therapy (IVIG). GBS and CIDP.
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Matthias Samuel is a student of history in Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Islamabad, and occasionally writes blogs and articles.