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Warm Feeling in My Foot ---Causes and Cures
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May 12, 2013, last updated June 8, 2016

By Alison Turner, Featured Columnist







If your feet feel warm and it’s not because you’re lying in the sun
or sitting in a hot tub, you may be experiencing a condition called
"paresthesia".

According to the National Institutes of Health, most people have
encountered paresthesia somewhere on the body, though you
may know it better by its nicknames "pins and needles", crawling
skin, burning, or numbness.   

Sometimes our feet get warm and tingly because we've been
sitting on them, but this feeling quickly goes away.  Because this
sensation is so common, and because paresthesia or other
reasons for warm feelings in the feet are usually symptoms from
another condition, there are no incidence statistics available.  

However, if your feelings of paresthesia in the feet are not
temporary  you could have chronic paresthesia, which could be a
warning sign for serious medical conditions.

Warm Feet: When is Enough Enough?  

Paresthesia in the feet, which some refer to more descriptively as
burning feet, could occur from every day reasons such as overuse
of the feet (have you recently run a marathon?) or Athlete’s
Foot.  However, if this burning sensation does not go away,
something more serious could be going on.  

Chronic paresthesia in the feet could be a symptom of a
neurological disease, traumatic nerve damage, or central nervous
system disorders such as stroke or multiple sclerosis.   

Burning feet could also be due to conditions as varied as
diabetes,
alcohol abuse, severe stress,
shingles and malnutrition.   

Check out the list of ten studies below that offer a possible
explanation for the burning in your feet.

1.
Diabetes --- A Warm Pain in the Feet




























The American Diabetics Association estimates that 8.3% of the
American population has either Type I or Type 2 diabetes.

With Type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin to
convert sugar and other food into energy.  In
Type 2 diabetes,
which is by far the most common, either the body does not
produce enough insulin or the cells ignore that insulin.  

Diabetic symptoms arise when insulin does not take sugar out of
the blood and glucose builds up instead of being used by cells.  
Some of these symptoms include
frequent urination, extreme
hunger, weight loss, fatigue, tingling or numbness in the hands
and feet,  and, according to research from Japan, paresthesia in
the feet.  

As many as 50% of all diabetics experience nerve pain or a warm
or burning feeling in limbs, studies have found.

In 2011, a large team of experts in Japan led by Hideyuki Sasaki
with the First Department of Medicine at Wakayama Medical
University  evaluated the neurological functions that exist most
frequently in 593 diabetic patients.  

Results showed that bilateral numbness in toe and sole,
paresthesia in toe and sole, and "pain in foot" were “significantly
associated with diabetes duration, and “more frequent in diabetic
than non-diabetic subjects.”  

In many cases, diabetes cannot be avoided – Type 1 diabetes, for
example, often occurs in children.  However, we can lower our
risks for Type 2 diabetes by maintaining a
healthy weight, not
smoking, and getting plenty of exercise. In particular, research
has found that having a larger than ideal waist size puts you at a
significantly higher risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. (Read
more about why
waist size matters.)

2.
Are Your Feet Warm?  It Could Be About Gout.

If you remember your British history (or if you watch The
Tudors) you’ll recall King Henry VIII’s health problems, many of
which we can now attribute to gout.  
Gout is a complex form of
arthritis that is characterized by sudden attacks of pain,
tenderness in joints, and swelling or hotness in these joints,
including, according to the Mayo Clinic, the “sensation that your
big toe is on fire.”   Researchers in New Zealand have recently
found further evidence that gout is a big, hot pain in the foot.

In 2012, Keith Rome with the Division of Rehabilitation and
Occupation Studies at AUT University in Auckland, New Zealand,
along with other specialists in the same area,  evaluated how gout
affects pain, impairment, and disability in the feet of 20 patients
with “acute gout flares.”  Data showed that gout affected feet in
85% of patients, who reported “high levels of foot pain,
impairment, and disability.”  The authors suggest that gout
requires “improved management” of its symptoms in order to
“prevent the consequences of poorly controlled disease.”

Gout occurs because of high levels of uric acid in the body, which
then accumulates into crystals that build around the joints.  While
this could be hereditary, there are also lifestyle choices we can
make to prevent our risk for gout.  Excessive alcohol, for
example, has been shown to increase the risk  – just ask King
Henry VIII.

3.
Alcohol and Burning Feet

It turns out we don’t need to wait for high levels of alcohol to
give us gout (see above) to get burning in the feet.  Researchers
in the UK find that an extreme fondness for a pint could warm us
from heel to toe.

In 2013, Dr. Edward Jude with the Department of Diabetes at
Tameside Hospital in Ashton under Lyne, UK, along with a team of
colleagues,  reported on two patients referred to their foot clinic
because of pain in the feet as well as “swollen and warm”
feelings.  Neither patients had ever had diabetes, but both had “a
history of chronic alcohol abuse.”

There are many reasons to stop drinking excessively, and warm
feet may not be at the top of your list.  However, if your feet have
been warmer than usual lately, try to keep an eye on how often
you’re hitting the bottle.

4.
Hypothyroidism Could Make Your Feet Warm

Hypothyroidism is a thyroid condition also called "underactive
thyroid".

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland, which is located
in the front of the neck, does not release enough of the hormones
that control metabolism.  This condition is more common in
women and people over the age of 50, and can be caused by an
attack on the thyroid gland from the immune system, pregnancy,
and even the common cold.  Symptoms include increased
sensitivity to cold, joint or muscle pain, weakness, depression,  
and, according to research from Italy, burning feet.

In 2009, P. Penza with the Neuromuscular Disease Unit at
National Neurological Institute in Milan, along with other
specialists,  treated a 60 year old woman complaining of “severe
burning feet for 3 months.”  

Testing revealed absent Achilles tendon reflexes, mild sensory
neuropathy, loss of nerve fibers, and hypothyroidism.  The team
started the patient on hormone replacement therapy for the
hypothyroidism, and in the following months “thyroid function
recovered and the patient experienced a progressive decrease of
neuropathic pain intensity,” which continued to be improved at 6
and 12 month follow-up.  

The report concludes that “hypothyroidism is a possible cause of
sensory neuropathy and hormone replacement therapy can
prompt nerve regeneration.”

Indeed, hormone replacement therapy is a popular choice of
treatment for people with
hypothyroidism.  Usually patients are
started on the lowest dose possible of hormones, and have their
hormone levels checked regularly. (Read more about
natural
remedies for an under-active thyroid.)

5.
Fabry Disease and Warm Feet

Fabry disease occurs when the body lacks an enzyme needed to
metabolize lipids, such as oils and fatty acids.  When lipids are not
broken down as they should be they build up to levels that can
harm the eyes, kidneys, cardiovascular system, and autonomic
nervous system. Symptoms of Fabry disease usually begin during
adolescence and include reddish-purple spots on the skin,
cloudiness of the cornea, increased risk of heart attack or stroke,
and burning sensations in the hands,  and, though less common,
burning in the feet.

In 2010, A. Tanaka, K. Fukai, and others with the Department of
Pediatrics at Osaka City University in Japan,  encountered a 17
year old boy with Fabry disease who “complained for several
years of peripheral pain during the summer months and when
exercising.  During testing and after infusions, the patient
“complained of a high temperature in his hands and feet.”
Currently, the most popular treatment for Fabry disease is
enzyme replacement therapy, which has been approved by the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and reduced lipid storage to
ease pain.  Some patients may have to undertake dialysis or
kidney transplantation.

6.
Vitamin D Deficiency, Diabetes, and Paresthesia of the Foot

Continue reading  page 1 page 2



























































































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Got Gout?-Here's a Diet That Can Help

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Having a warm feeling in your foot can
be caused by several medical
conditions, including undiagnosed
diabetes and gout.