When you get a burning or a tingling sensation in your feet it's important not to ignore it. While it may be nothing (so don't get too worried just yet) there are a number of things that can cause this symptom that could potentially be serious. Here we will look at a few of the possible causes of tingling feet, how to tell whether these explain your problems, and what to do about it.
Diabetes is a condition that causes our body to become less efficient in its use of glucose. This is either because we aren't producing enough insulin, or because the insulin that we are producing isn't doing its job. In either case this can cause something called 'diabetic neuropathy' which basically means that the excess sugar in your blood stream is damaging your nerves. Usually this would be felt in both feet, but it's possible that you might notice it in others first. If you are suffering from diabetes then it's important to get this managed with insulin injections and lifestyle alterations so you should consult a doctor immediately. Other symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, excessive thirst, blurred vision, and low energy levels.
A burning in the feet can be the result of your blood pooling and collecting in your feet as a result of gravity. If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and/or are overweight, and if you work a job where you spend much of your time on your feet, then this is more likely. At the same time a warning sign might be varicose veins – which are prominent bulging veins in your legs.
Injury to your foot can of course cause pain and discomfort and particularly if it resulted in nerve damage. Furthermore this can lead to swelling which may cause pressure on the nerves resulting in excitation of the nerve. Note that various other things can also cause swelling in your feet and toes which can similarly have the same effect – including for instance infection or air travel.
Vitamin B12 is important for the health of our nerves and if you aren't getting enough then you might notice tingling in your extremities. It's possible to suffer a B12 deficiency due to a genetic tendency, but likewise it can also occur if you aren't getting enough in your diet. The latter is a common problem for vegetarians as meat is the only natural source of B12. If you do have a deficiency then you can use prescribed or over-the-counter B12 supplementation to get your levels back to normal.
Nerve Disorders and Disease
Part of the reason that it's so important to visit the doctor if you have tingling in your limbs is that it could be a sign of one of several nerve-related diseases including Fabry's disease, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy and others.