What is Burning Feet Syndrome?

Alex Tree

Also known as Grierson-Gopalan syndrome, burning feet syndrome is a condition that causes burning sensations and aches in the feet. Other foot-related symptoms are extreme sensitivity to touch and excessive sweating. Sometimes the syndrome also affects the eyes by severely hindering vision or causing amblyopia, also known as lazy eye. Most people with this syndrome do not experience tenderness or redness of the feet, but these symptoms occasionally occur. This condition is linked to several diseases and health problems, including diabetes and a deficiency of thyroid hormone.

Smokers who are diagnosed with burning feet syndrome should kick the habit.
Smokers who are diagnosed with burning feet syndrome should kick the habit.

The diagnosis of burning feet syndrome is best performed by a health professional. He or she will note the symptoms of the patient and possibly require an x-ray, magnetic resonance imaging, and nerve conduction velocity testing. Gender may also be taken into account because women are more likely to be diagnosed with burning feet syndrome than men. In addition, certain age groups tend to be more susceptible.

Women are more likely to suffer with burning feet syndrome than men.
Women are more likely to suffer with burning feet syndrome than men.

In some cases, burning feet syndrome can be completely cured by treating the cause. Successfully treating a vitamin deficiency, neurological disorder, or alcoholism, which are some known causes of this syndrome, can get rid of the condition altogether. Sometimes the syndrome is inherited, and due to the extreme rarity of this, an effective treatment is unknown. If a fast cure is not available, which is often the case, some relief can be sought by lifestyle changes or the application of a cream.

Diagnosing burning feet syndrome may require an X-ray.
Diagnosing burning feet syndrome may require an X-ray.

Treatment of this condition varies depending on the cause. A doctor may suggest that the patient stop smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages. If the patient does not ordinarily smoke or drink, he or she might try using a cream designed to improve the blood flow of the feet. Comfortable shoes and socks with good ventilation and cold water can also provide some relief. Herbal supplements are also a popular treatment, though usually not scientifically proven to be effective or widely recommended by doctors.

Alcohol abuse can lead to burning feet syndrome.
Alcohol abuse can lead to burning feet syndrome.

Some steps can be taken to prevent burning feet syndrome from ever happening or reoccurring. Wearing natural leather shoes instead of synthetic rubber or plastic shoes can minimize the risk of coming into contact with chemicals that may cause an allergic reaction. Socks and hose should be washed before being worn and made from a breathable fabric, such as cotton or wool. As usual, regular checkups with a doctor can catch diseases and disorders early, before this syndrome presents itself as a symptom. In addition, bad habits, such as smoking, excessive drinking of alcohol, and eating an unbalanced diet, should be corrected.

Individuals suffering from diabetes may experience burning feet syndrome.
Individuals suffering from diabetes may experience burning feet syndrome.
Applying a cream can provide some relief from burning feet syndrome.
Applying a cream can provide some relief from burning feet syndrome.
Burning feet may indicate poor circulation, and could necessitate amputation.
Burning feet may indicate poor circulation, and could necessitate amputation.

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