Burning Feet Syndrome : Causes & Treatment

Medically Reviewed By : Dr Sravya, MBBS, MS 


Burning feet syndrome is a disorder that causes the feet to feel warm or burning sensation. The feeling might be consistent or sporadic and can range from moderate to severe. Other symptoms like tingling, numbness, or heightened sensitivity in the foot are frequently present in addition to it. In certain situations, the illness may progress to the ankles and lower legs and may affect one or both feet.

In this blog, we will discuss about burning feet reasons, deficiency and treatment. So that, our readers would have better understanding.

Keywords:- Burning feet syndrome, Hot, burning sensation, Tingling feet, Painful feet, Nerve problem , Numbness in feet, Foot discomfort, Nerve damage, Sensation changes, Nerve disorder, Foot burning, Foot pain, Nerve sensitivity, Foot sensations, Neuropathic symptoms, Nerve tingling, Foot nerve issues, Nerve health etc.

Burning feet syndrome

Reasons for burning feet

1. Peripheral neuropathy:

One of the most typical causes of burning feet is peripheral neuropathy. Damage or malfunction of the peripheral nerves, which link the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body, is referred to as peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy can be brought on by diabetes, vitamin deficits (B vitamins), alcoholism, certain drugs, and other medical disorders.

2. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome:

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the tibial nerve or one of its branches is compressed as it travels through the tarsal tunnel, a small opening on the inside of the ankle, similar to carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist. Burning foot discomfort may result from this compression

3. Athlete's Foot:

This fungal infection causes itching, burning, and redness on the surface of the feet, especially between the toes

4. Hypothyroidism:

Nerve-related problems that might result in burning feet can be caused by an underactive thyroid gland.

5. Specific drugs:

Peripheral neuropathy is a possible adverse effect of several drugs.

6. Heavy alcohol consumption:

Peripheral neuropathy can result from excessive alcohol use.

7. Fabry disease:

A rare genetic illness that, among other symptoms, can result in scorching discomfort in the limbs.

In order to cure burning feet, it is important to discover the underlying disease that is producing the symptoms. This can only be done by speaking with a healthcare practitioner. Self-diagnosis and self-treatment are not advised because some reasons might have detrimental effects on one’s health if ignored.

Burning Feet Syndrome and the Deficit in Vitamin B12:

It is characterised by a stabbing, tingling, or burning pain in the feet. The quality of life and mobility of a person can be substantially impacted by this unpleasant disorder. The hands may occasionally also experience the sensations. A lack of vitamin B12 is a typical and substantial contributing factor to Burning Feet Syndrome, while the actual reason might vary.

How to Understand Vitamin B12

The water-soluble vitamin B12, commonly referred to as cobalamin, is vital for many physiological functions in the body. It is essential for the production of red blood cells, DNA synthesis, and healthy nervous system operation. Vitamin B12 cannot be produced by humans; it can only be consumed through animal-based foods or supplements.

The normal operation of various organs, including the stomach, pancreas, and small intestine, is necessary for the absorption of vitamin B12 from meals. The body’s capacity to do these crucial tasks is hampered by a deficit, which can result in a number of health problems.

Vitamin B12 deficiency causes include:

A lack of vitamin B12 can be caused by a variety of things. Knowing how B12 deficiency and  are related requires an understanding of these factors.

1. Insufficient Dietary Intake:

The most typical cause of vitamin B12 insufficiency is a diet deficient in animal products (meat, fish, dairy, and eggs). Vegetarians and vegans who avoid fortified meals or B12 supplementation are especially vulnerable.

2. Gastrointestinal Conditions:

The absorption of vitamin B12 might be hampered by some gastrointestinal conditions. Pernicious anaemia is one such illness. This autoimmune sickness causes the body to target the stomach lining cells that produce the protein intrinsic factor, which facilitates B12 absorption.

3. "Malabsorption Syndromes":

Diseases including celiac, Crohn’s, and tropical sprue can harm the lining of the small intestine, making it difficult to absorb nutrients like vitamin B12.

4. Gastrectomy:

Surgically removing all or a portion of the stomach can drastically diminish the production of stomach acid and intrinsic factor, which might result in inadequate absorption of vitamin B12.

5. Medications:

 Some drugs, including metformin and proton pump inhibitors, can impair the absorption of vitamin B12.

6. Age:

People’s capacity to absorb vitamin B12 from diet declines with age. As a result, older persons are more likely to experience a deficit

7. Parasitic diseases:

Certain parasites can harm the intestines and impair vitamin B12 absorption.

How Vitamin B12 Affects Nerve Activity

Clinical Symptomatology and Diagnosis

Several defining signs of burning feet syndrome include:

1. Burning Sensation:

The main symptom is a constant feeling of heat or burning in the feet, which can occasionally migrate to the ankles and hands.

2. Numbness and Tingling:

Patients frequently describe tingling or prickling feelings in addition to partial numbness in the afflicted regions.

3. Stabbing Pain:

This type of pain can come in intermittent bursts and is quite uncomfortable.

4. Increased Sensitivity:

The skin may become excessively sensitive to pressure, temperature fluctuations, and touch.

A complete medical history, physical examination, and certain testing are required for the diagnosis of it. A vital part of the diagnostic process is a blood test to check the levels of vitamin B12. Clinical signs and low blood B12 levels point to vitamin B12 insufficiency as a potential contributing cause.

In order to rule out underlying disorders and find further probable causes of neuropathy, additional testing may be performed. The diagnosis and the degree of nerve injury can be determined with the aid of nerve conduction investigations and skin biopsies to examine the density and shape of tiny nerve fibres.

Management and Treatment:

1. Supplemental B12 intake:

B12 supplements, either orally or intramuscularly, are recommended for those who are B12 deficient in order to treat their condition and encourage the mending of their nerves. The degree of the deficit and the patient’s reaction to supplementing determine the dosage and length of the course of treatment.

2. Dietary Modifications:

Future shortages must be avoided by promoting a diet high in vitamin B12 sources. For people who must adhere to tight dietary guidelines (such vegetarians), fortified foods or B12 supplements are advised.

3. Addressing the Fundamental Issues

If gastrointestinal issues or parasite infections are the causes, these illnesses must be treated well to increase B12 absorption and general health.

4. Symptomatic Relief:

Patients may benefit from a variety of strategies to ease pain, including using comfortable shoes, minimising exposure to extreme temperatures, and elevating the legs to lessen swelling.

5. Pain Management:

To control pain and enhance quality of life, one may take over-the-counter painkillers or prescription drugs.

6. Changes to Your Lifestyle

To maintain nerve health, patients are recommended to live a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, stress management, avoiding smoking, and moderate to no alcohol intake.


In conclusion, burning feet syndrome is a disorder that causes the feet to feel hot, tingly, or painfully stabby, frequently spreading to the hands. Although the particular origin of this disease might vary, a vitamin B12 deficiency is a serious and treatable factor.