Burning Feet (Erythromelalgia)

Burning feet syndrome or erythromelalgia as it is medically known brings about a sudden burning and reddening sensation in the feet of individual sufferers. The burning sensation can be a very intense and painful experience for the individual in some cases of the condition. Though in other individuals, the burning sensation may only be a mild irritation that does not seriously impair their quality of life.

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The patient may feel relief from the symptoms of the condition by walking on a cold floor, though this action will bring only temporary relief at the most. The feet often appear swollen and feel quite hot to the touch during the severest manifestations of the condition in the patient.

Raising the legs, taking long periods of rest and relaxation, and the application of cooling lotions, can bring some relief to the patient. The typical symptom of a burning sensation in the feet occurs at night in the majority of patients.

The presence of circulatory and nervous system related problems in the patient is the cause for most cases of burning feet syndrome in the majority of patients. Therefore the chances of contracting this disorder is high among people with diabetes, susceptibility is also high in those with polyneuropathy of the nerves, equally vulnerable are the individuals suffering from liver problems, from high blood pressure, and blood-sugar related instability or a deficiency of the B-vitamin within the body.

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In some cases the presence of burning feet syndrome in a patient is an underlying symptom of a deficiency in thiamine (vitamin B1) within the body. The supply of thiamine must be maintained through the daily diet as this particular vitamin is not stored by the body unlike other vitamins. Foods that are rich in this vitamin include whole grains, foods like nutritional yeast and brown rice, peanuts and raw wheat germ, many types of green and yellow vegetables and dairy products including milk and butter.

A sudden and radical change in the dietary regimen can improve the health of the patients by boosting the circulatory system, thus diets must include a lot of whole foods consisting of natural and fiber-rich products, in addition a lot of unrefined living foods must also be included-this means the patient must consume plenty of raw fruits and vegetables in the daily diet, along with lots of whole grains, and all kinds of nuts and seeds which are nutrient rich and filling at the same time.

Many useful enzymes are extracted by the body from raw food sources, these are great immune system boosters helping the body to absorb all the vitamins and minerals needed for the essential functioning of the body.

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Supplements and herbs

A problem in the nerves or underlying circulatory problems often cause the painful, burning feet syndrome in many people who suffer the condition. It is known that burning feet can also result if the body is deficient in nutrients like pantothenic acid or vitamin B6. To prevent the recurrence and continued manifestation of the disorder, supplements of the vitamin B complex must contain the entire suite of B vitamins for maximum effectiveness. Only such a supplemental measure will address the imbalances within the body while giving relief to the patient.

Burning feet syndrome can also arise due to the presence of disorders such as arteriosclerosis or diabetes in the patient, to rectify such problems, supplements of the vitamin E is suggested as this will improve the blood's oxygen supply and fine tune the circulatory system-which is another probable cause of the condition. The use of the vitamin C in supplemental form is also recommended for all patients, this strengthens the immune system and helps eliminate accumulated toxic substances within the body, all of which may potentially contribute to the intensity of the syndrome.

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Instabilities in the blood sugar level within the body which might be responsible for the condition can be rectified by supplements of the essential mineral chromium in regular doses. Several weeks may pass from the date of the first dose for these vitamins and minerals to start having a positive effect on the body of the patient. Even after the problem is resolved it is best to persist with the supplementation for a few more months to prevent recurrences. Also important is a change in diet to ensure that these vitamins are ingested in adequate levels at all times during the supplemental regimen so as to benefit the patient at the optimum level.

The use of the following herbal remedies will bring relief from burning feet syndrome and along with a proper diet will help in stimulating circulation for the benefit of the patient.

Direct topical treatment can include daily bathing the feet in an herbal infusion containing mallow or sanicle herbs  -where the cause of the burning feet is already known. Circulation within the body can also be aided by the regular use of the hawthorn herb, which dilates blood vessels within the body.

Dosage of this herb can be a single tbsp. of herbal juice taken daily or about 20-25 drops of herbal tincture mixed in water and taken once before breakfast and once before sleeping at night. The herbal supplement of the hawthorn is not known to cause side effects in patients and it is a very effective long-term herbal supplement. It must be used mostly as a topical application for three months or more in patients suffering from recurring burning feet syndrome.

Additional things you may do

As a rule burning feet is known to be caused by conditions like lead poisoning, other conditions like polycythemia, and many types of fungal or candida infections along with syringomyelia, therefore a careful hair mineral analysis must first be conducted to rule out the possibility of any form of chemical poisoning and clinical diagnosis must also rule out fungal infection and other pathogenic causes before treatment is started using the various homeopathic or herbal supplements-a failure to do this would seriously hinder the chances of recovery and compromise the patients health at the same time.

Strictured blood vessels present in the legs is the most likely cause of the burning-feet syndrome experienced by many older people particularly at night. This type of problem can be relieved by alternating hot and cold foot baths with infusions of thyme in the water. Carry out this exercise on a daily basis carefully placing your feet in a hot bath for about three minutes and then immersing them in cold for another three seconds immediately afterwards.

This must be repeated for twenty minutes every day as a topical treatment for burning feet syndrome. A burning sensation in the feet can also be felt during times of stress, though this is often caused because of fatigue in the feet after physical exertion. Take time out and involve yourself in long period of rest and relaxation, walk barefoot on lawns and sandy beaches or on natural fiber mats as often as you can as a direct topical relief measure which also exercise the feet.

Avoid walking barefoot on hard surfaces such as concrete or synthetic carpets as these surfaces may not massage the feet as broken surfaces will do. Raise the legs slightly for relief and apply cool compresses on the feet to beat the burning sensation whenever it arises.

Usual dosage

Vitamin B complex, 50 mg.

Vitamin C, with bioflavonoids, 1,000 mg thrice a day.

Vitamin E, 400 IU two times a day.

Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate or vitamin B6, 50 mg.

Other beneficial herbs


From Mark Stafford - Dec-24-2012
It's important to not to take too much B6 because it can actually cause burning of the feet at toxic levels. Unlike B12 and some of the other B vitamins it can be toxic if the dosages in this article are exceeded. Some drugs cause burning as well - like Lodine or Etodolac. I developed a bad case of erythromelalgia after taking Lodine for three weeks.
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