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Burning feet and neuropathy

In neuropathy and neuropathic pain patients can be suffering much from burning feet. Whatever the try, the burning and stinging sensations do not waver. The bruning sensations, the sensations of hot and painful feet  is due to damage to the nerves, in this case the long nerves from your spinal cord to your feet. In some cases, the burning feet may be so painful that you cannot sleep anymore.

Burning feet and diabetes 

Burning  feet is one of the most common symptom of peripheral neuropathy. Sometimes patients also complain of comparable sensations, such as  "pins and needles" numbness, tickling or tingling, sometimes in combinations. One of the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes mellitus, suger in your blood due to a malfunction of the pancreas. If you are experiencing burning feet and you did not yet see your doctor, you should do so! The earlier we treat your diabetes, the better, also for the neuropathy itself.

Burning feet and causes

There are many, many causes for burning feet besides diabetes, as there are many causes for neuropathy. Some of these causes are in an alphabetic order:

  1. Alcoholism
  2. Amyloidosis
  3. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
  4. Complex regional pain syndrome
  5. Gastric bypass surgery
  6. HIV/AIDS Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
  7. Kidney failure,
  8. Lead poisoning
  9. Liver failure
  10. Lymphoma
  11. Morton’s neuroma
  12. Multiple myeloma
  13. Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
  14. Peripheral neuropathy
  15. Polyarteritis nodosa
  16. Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  17. Thrombocytopaenia
  18. Vitamin deficiency

So it is not only neuropathy wich is the cause of burning feet. One especially striking form of neuropathy, the Small fiber neuropathy if refered to as ‘A burning problem’. [1]

Furthermore there are certain drugs which cause burning feet as these medications are used together with other drugs. Especially thalidomide and anti-tuberculose drugs are well known [2]. Thalidomide can also cause burning feet if used together with a drug often prescribed if treating painfull neuropathy: phenytoin.

Treatment of burning feet due to neuropathy

The drugs commonly used by specialist in treatment of neuropathic pain are also prescribed for the treatrment of burning feet. Putting ice on your feet is a bad idea. Some people are benefiting from special socks, only cotton socks, special shoes, the help of podologists and so for.

From the Centre for the study and treatment of neuropathic pain and neuropathy in Soest, the Nertherlands

This site helps patients and treating physicians, neurologists, anesthesiologists and other pain specialists to find the best and most up to date research findings related to neuropathy and neuropathic pain and the treatment thereof.

In our centre we are specialised in treating patients suffering from neuropathic pain and neuropathy following an Integrated Medicine concept. Part of our activities are within the field of consultation. We assist pharmaceutical companies in R&D strategies related to finding new drugs to treat neuropathic pain and neuropathy.

February 2010, Jan M. Keppel Hesselink, MD, PhD.



[1] Tavee J, Zhou L. | Small fiber neuropathy: A burning problem. | Cleve Clin J Med. | 2009 May;76(5):297-305.

[2] Chhetri AK, Saha A, Verma SC, Palaian S, Mishra P, Shankar PR. | Study of adverse drug reactions caused by first line anti-tubercular drugs used in directly observed treatment, short course (DOTS) therapy in Western Nepal, Pokhara. | J Pak Med Assoc. | 2008 Oct;58(10):531-6.