May 6


What Causes Burning Feet?

By Gabriela

May 6, 2022

Burning feet, to be a more precise burning sensation in the feet might be due to nerve damage in our legs, also known as neuropathy.

Many medical conditions can lead to burning feet. However, the most common condition is diabetes.

When it comes to treatments for burning feet, most of them try to reduce pain and stop further nerve damage.

What Leads to Burning Feet?

By far the most common causes of neuropathy are alcohol abuse and diabetes. However, other conditions might lead to a burning sensation or neuropathy in the feet. Those conditions are:

  • CIDP, e., chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • Uremia, e., chronic kidney disease
  • GBS, e., Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Small fiber neuropathy
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Vitamin deficiency (vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folate)
  • Vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels)
  • Hypothyroidism, e., low thyroid hormone levels
  • AIDS and HIV
  • Heavy metal poisoning (arsenic, lead, and mercury)
  • Lyme disease
  • Amyloid polyneuropathy
  • Drug side effects (vitamin B6 overdose, metformin, HIV drugs, and chemotherapy drugs)
  • Erythromelalgia

Moreover, inflammation and infections of the feet might lead to a burning sensation. The most common infection is athlete’s foot. This is a skin infection due to fungus.

PAD(Peripheral artery disease) also leads to burning feet. The poor blood circulation to the feet might lead to tingling, burning feet, and pain, particularly while walking. Months or weeks after gastric bypass surgery, some individuals have burning feet sensation.

The Link Between Burning Feet and Blood Sugar Levels

According to estimations around 60 to 70 % of individuals with diabetes have neuropathy, which makes it a common complication of this chronic illness. The symptoms of DPN, i.e., diabetic peripheral neuropathy, are usually felt in the hands, toes, and feet.

Common Descriptions of the Sensations Are:

  • Searing pain
  • Burning
  • Shooting pain
  • Numbness
  • Electrical vibrations
  • Tingling
  • Stinging

Individuals experience DPN nerve damage in different ways. For instance, one individual might experience pain without numbness, have no pain, and lose feeling without pain. The key to diagnosis is the most common symptoms such as numbness and burning.

How to Prevent Neuropathy Pain

Prevention is the key. Individuals that have diabetic neuropathy, need to keep their blood glucose levels within a normal range. Usually, this requires insulin injections, dietary changes, and oral drugs.

They should consult a doctor and talk about their pain. They need to be honest, cause their doctor needs to know what he/she is dealing with.

Physical activity regularly can aid them to get in better shape, which might slow the progression of the pain by reduction of inflammation in the body.

In case they feel small symptoms of neuropathy, they should keep moving. They can go with workouts of low intensity like cycling and swimming. It’s best to consult a doctor to find out which exercises are pain-free and most suitable.


  • Gabriela

    Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Health Page, Fitness trainer and instructor has dedicated her career to educating and informing people for over 10 years. As one of the most passionate diabetes advocates, Gabi has worked tirelessly to ensure that those people receive the education and support they need to properly manage their diabetes and achieve their health, fitness and weight loss goals.

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