There are, perhaps, no body parts humans rely on more than their hands and their feet. The hands, with their opposable thumbs, capable of fine dexterity, set people apart from most of the animal world. The two feet are required to support their entire weight and for locomotion.
That's why it's so important to properly take of the feet, and if they become injured or diseased, life can be quite difficult. An ingrown toenail is uncomfortable, but when the soles of the feet constantly feel like they are burning, the pain can be intense. Here is a look at four reasons your feet could feel like they are on fire.
Many people with diabetes suffer from burning feet. This is because diabetes can lead to nerve damage, called neuropathy. The damaged nerves become easily stimulated, and this leads to them "misfiring." The nerves send pain signals to the brain, which usually registers as a burning sensation. There may also be periodic feelings of numbness, which sounds better than feeling like they are on fire, but numbness can lead to falls and accidents.
Chronic, heavy drinking can also cause neuropathy. This nerve damage is similar to that of diabetics, but the nutritional deficiencies that are common in alcoholics may exacerbate the condition. Many alcoholics are deficient in thiamine, riboflavin, and the other B vitamins. These are the vitamins that support both structural and functional nervous system health. In addition to a burning sensation, they may suffer from "Charlie" horses, or muscle spasms, in the feet and calves.
Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare condition that physicians aren't entirely sure of the cause. It may be the body's overactive immune system response to a recent cold or flu virus as many people are diagnosed shortly thereafter.
The symptoms often begin with a burning sensation in the feet. This quickly spreads up the calves and legs to the rest of the body, causing paralyzation as it goes. If it reaches the respiratory system, prompt emergency care is required.
Drug Side Effects
While pharmaceutical companies should be commended for the hundreds, if not thousands, of life-saving drugs the manufacture and distribute, it's difficult to know what side effects every drug might produce. People are individuals, and they all respond differently to different medications. Sometimes those side effects can adversely affect the nervous system, leading to odd burning sensations in the feet or the legs.
If you are suffering from the sensation of burning feet, it's important to make an appointment with a podiatrist, such as at Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. They can assess your overall health, review your medications, and diagnose the cause of your symptoms.