All About Burning Feet Syndrome

Do you ever get a tingling feeling in your feet at night? Is it accompanied by a burning sensation? If the answer is yes, you may have burning feet syndrome.
All about burning feet syndrome

Burning feet syndrome, also known as Grierson-Gopalan Syndrome, is a nighttime torture for those who suffer from it. Pain that shoots to the ankles, tingling and a burning sensation that makes it feel like you are walking on hot coals. This condition can make life difficult for those who deal with it every night.

This problem may remind you somewhat of another condition that affects people at night and can affect their quality of life. We are, of course, talking about restless leg syndrome. While it is true that both problems are of neuropathic origin, they have their differences.

For example, we know that burning feet syndrome is more common in women and people with diabetes. Cyclists are also more affected than the general population. Some details make this a very unique syndrome. Let’s learn more about it, are you ready?

What is Burning Feet Syndrome

Burning Feet Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Burning feet syndrome can come and go. Sometimes the symptoms are more severe, while at other times they may disappear completely. The symptoms are variable because there are a wide variety of possible causes.

It is important to note that this condition is rarely seen on its own. It generally occurs with other problems, such as thyroid problems, joint pain, and general weakness, among others. However, people usually seek help for it because of its bothersome symptoms and negative effect on sleep.


Not surprisingly, the most common symptom is a burning sensation that travels from the soles of the feet to the calves. Many people have to dip their feet and calves in cold water for relief.

What Causes Burning Feet Syndrome?

Studies, such as those conducted by the Department of Neurology at the University Hospital in M√ľnster, offer some interesting insights into this condition. Research shows that burning feet syndrome is an autosomal trait. In other words, it is inherited. If someone in your family has it, you are more likely to have it.

  • In most cases, the origin of the syndrome is neuropathic or a change in small nerve fibers. As a result of that change, the nervous system sends pain signals to the feet. This is a condition that comes and goes and, as we mentioned above, affects more women than men.
  • Another triggering factor is a vitamin B12 deficiency. Not getting enough vitamin B12 can cause problems with your nervous system. The first signs are a tingling sensation and burning sensation in your arms and legs.
  • Metatarsalgia or compression of the metatarsal bones is another common cause. This is a problem you often see with cyclists.
  • Thyroid problems. Burning feet syndrome is also a common symptom in people with hypothyroidism.
  • Malabsorption. If a person has bowel problems or is an alcoholic, they can get burning feet syndrome.
  • Diabetes mellitus. Type 1 and 2 diabetes can affect the peripheral nerves of the body, especially those of the feet and legs. This is due to an increased level of glucose in the blood, which changes the transmission of signals between nerves and the resistance of the blood vessels.

How is the diagnosis made?

As you can see, several problems can potentially cause burning feet syndrome. So how do doctors make a correct diagnosis? How do they find out what causes this condition? Here are some of the most common diagnostic tests:

  • Physical examination. The doctor will examine the affected area looking for swelling, joint problems, allergic reactions, and so on.
  • blood tests. The doctor will measure your glucose levels and see if there is a vitamin B12 deficiency or thyroid problems.
  • They may also want to do tests to see how your nervous system is functioning (ie, an electromyogram). It measures the electrical activity of your muscles.
What are the symptoms of this syndrome


Medical interventions for burning feet syndrome vary depending on the cause. In most cases, however, some basic recommendations can help.

In short, the best thing to do, even if you think you know what is causing your condition, is to see your doctor for a proper diagnosis. Always consult a doctor before trying any home remedies.

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