5 Best Remedies of Grierson-Gopalan Syndrome

Grierson-Gopalan Syndrome or burning feet syndrome is a condition in which a burning sensation is felt in the areas of the feet including the soles, tops of feet, ankles which may extend to the lower extremities of the leg.

What is Burning Feet Syndrome or Grierson-Gopalan Syndrome?

Burning feet syndrome which is also known as Grierson-Gopalan Syndrome is a disease or condition in which there will be tickling/pricking sensation, hotness, and burning feeling in the feet.

The burning sensation can be extreme at the time of night compared to that of the day. Pain could be limited to the soles or may extend up to the upper part of the feet knee and lower legs. The pain or burning sensation could be continuous or periodic and the symptoms also could be mild to severe.

Grierson-Gopalan syndrome
Fig1: Burning Sensation in Burning Feet Syndrome

Causes of Burning Feet Syndrome

There are many reasons for burning feet. The most common cause for burning sensation is due to nerve damage and this could be due to many reasons. Therefore for the determination of treatment of burning feet the exact cause should be determined. Here is some common cause of burning foot syndrome:

Nervous Damage or Enmeshment

Nervous damage may have resulted due to many causes which include different kinds of illness, back injuries slow degeneration of the spine, surgery, and other drugs.

  • Peripheral Neuropathy

It is one of the common causes of burning feet. When the peripheral sensory nerves which are responsible for the connection between the spinal cord and extremities are damaged then this is called peripheral neuropathy.

Patients with diabetic history for a long period with poor control on serum glucose levels are more prone to peripheral neuropathy.

Some other reasons cause peripheral neuropathy which include hereditary conditions, autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, alcoholism, etc. Some symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are:

  • numbness or tingling sensation of limbs
  • Tenderness in feet like the feeling of wearing tight socks
  • Pricking pains
  • Sweating
  • Weakness in limbs
Grierson Gopalan syndrome
Fig2: Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

A tarsal tunnel is defined as a narrow space that is present inside the ankle on the nearer side of ankle bones. Constriction of the posterior tibial nerve present inside the tarsal tunnel can lead to prickling and burning sensations in different parts of the feet.

  • Morton’s Neuroma

This neuroma is caused by the thickening of the nervous tissues that are present between the bones lying at the base of toes resulting in a painful sensation. Aberrant position or movement of the foot, sports injury, stress, or shoes that are very tight can also cause this type of neuroma

  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

It is a very painful nervous complication that is generally rare which may occur after an injury or surgery.

  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disorder

It is a hereditary disorder that causes negative effects on muscles and the nervous system of the lower limbs resulting in aberrant weakness leading to the lifting of the arches. The damage from this disorder worsens over time.

Charcoat Marie Tooth Syndrome
Fig 3: Charcoat Marie Tooth Syndrome

Metabolic and Hormonal Disorders

  • Diabetes Mellitus 

The most common cause of neuropathy is diabetes. Such neuropathy is called diabetic neuropathy. Many studies have shown that Type I or type II diabetes is responsible for affecting nerves of the feet and legs, especially sensory nerves.

Due to high blood glucose, the signal transmission of these nerves is affected leading to the weak blood vessels walls carrying oxygen and nutrients to the nerves. A nervous breakdown can occur in the whole body.

As per the data given by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and kidney disease about 60-70% of people have a long history of diabetes.

  • Hypothyroidism

People with Hypothyroidism can develop different symptoms like weight gain, dry skin, and fatigue along with a burning sensation in the feet.

Infections

Many infectious diseases can show the symptoms of tingling, prickling sensations, or pain in the feet. Some of the infectious diseases are:

  • Lyme disease
  • HIV
  • syphilis
  • shingles
  • Athlete’s Foot

An athlete’s foot is an infection caused by a fungus dermatophytes, mold-like fungi. It can grow in a warm and moist area of the skin. This is often seen in athletes. Damp shoes and moist environments support their existence. Commonly it is called tinea pedis and affects the area between the toes and hands. Burning tingling and itchy feeling characterize tenia pedis. Some even show blisters, cracking and peeling skin between toes and soles, etc.

Athlete's foot
Fig5: Athlete’s foot

Other Causes

  • Erythromelalgia

Erythromelalgia is a relatively rare condition that is characterized by erythema, with extreme pain and burning sensation in the feet. The complexity of this disorder varies with the individual. The pain in the feet can get worse after exposure to heat, walking, standing exercise, etc. Attacks could be periodic or continuous.

  • Alcohol Abuse

Heavy alcohol intake can result in a kind of nerve damage called alcoholic neuropathy. Along with burning feet, muscle weakness spasms urinary and bowel dysfunction dizziness, and impaired speech can be observed

  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

This syndrome appears in limbs after injury or surgery. This disorder involves nervous damage affecting signals from the brain and spine. Changes in skin color can also be observed in this disease. This condition can affect the immune system.

  • Nutritional Deficiencies

Deficiency of Vitamins in elderly patients causes nerve damage. Vitamin B-12, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin B-9 (folate) are responsible for burning sensation on feet and deranged muscle cooperation.

  • Kidney Disease                                                    

With kidney disease, toxins build up in our body leading to swelling and itching of the feet. Reduced urine output, nausea, confusion, fatigue can also be seen in this condition

  • Toxin exposure

Heavy metals exposure for a longer period can also lead to peripheral neuropathy. Heavy metals and other industrial chemicals if exposed over long periods can lead to peripheral neuropathy symptoms. Some medicines that are used in HIV or seizures can also produce nerve damage.

  • Chemotherapy

Some chemicals used to kill cancer cells have some complications of causing peripheral neuropathy. HIV medicines, amiodarone, isoniazid, metformin, are some of them.

  • Amyloid polyneuropathy
  • Vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels)
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS)
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)

Symptoms of Burning Feet Syndrome

  • Intense burning sensation at lower extremities, feet leg toes especially at night time.
  • Numbness
  • Pain like caused by pricking or stabbing
  • Heavy feet.
  • Feet pain
  • Rubor and erythema in feet

Diagnosis of Burning Feet Syndrome

Physical Examination

The clinician will perform a physical examination first which may include:

  • structural deformities in your feet or legs
  • fungal infection between toes
  • erythema
  • Nervous reflex
  • Lack of sensation
  • Medical History about drugs to rule out diabetic neuropathy

Blood Tests

Some blood tests could be really helpful in diagnosing the cause of burning foot syndrome. Some of them are:

  • Serum blood glucose
  • Vitamin B12
  • TFT
  • Serum and urine electrolytes(Sodium, K magnesium, chloride)
  • complete blood count
  • kidney function

Test for Nervous Function

 In case of suspicion of nerve cell damage tests using electromagnetic fields are recommended which are given below:

Electromyography

This test measures the response of muscles to nervous stimulation. For this, a fine needle is injected into the skin to the muscle. The activity of muscle during contraction and relaxation is recorded. It helps to determine the cause of pain numbness and tingling sensation.

 Nerve Conduction Velocity Test

This test helps to measure the speed of electrical impulses that move along a nerve. This test helps to diagnose true nerve injuries

Nerve Biopsy

Sometimes a piece of nervous tissue and observing under a microscope could also help in the diagnosis.

 Treatments for Burning Feet

Treatments of burning feet mainly focus on stopping any ongoing nerve damage. In most cases, the improvement in the underlying disease can give positive effects on neuropathy.

People suffering from diabetic neuropathy can be treated by managing the blood sugar level within the normal range which could be done either by a healthy diet, medications, or insulin injections.

Other forms of neuropathy depend upon the symptoms and cause of neuropathy. Some of the treatments according to the causes are given below:

  • Nutritional deficiency. : Administration of Vitamin B12 orally or by injecting and taking a balanced diet may prevent this.
  • Alcoholism: An increase intake of alcohol can boost nerve damage therefore alcohol intake should be done in a limited amount.
  • Kidney Disease: To prevent neuropathy by kidney disease dialysis is necessary which clears out the toxins causing burning feet syndrome.
  • Hypothyroidism: Taking oral medicine and maintaining healthy lifestyles help to treat burning feet syndrome.
  • Besides this some medications are prescribed by clinicians to prevent neuropathy.
  • Amitriptyline
  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • Desipramine (Norpramin)
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
  • Gabapentin (Neurontin)
  • Pregabalin (Lyrica)
  • Topiramate (Topamax)

Other pain-relieving drug includes:

  • Advil
  • Aleve
  • Motrin IB
  • Tylenol
  • Tramadol (Ultram)

For athletes’ foot antifungal drugs are prescribed like:

  • Miconazole (Micatin)
  • Terbinafine (Lamisil AT)
  • Fluconazole (Diflucan)
  • Itraconazole (Sporanox)
  • Naftifine (Naftin)

General Home Remedies for Burning Feet at Home

It is better to visit a clinician for this syndrome. But some home remedies can help temporarily.

  • Soaking feet or legs in an ice bath or cold water for a few minutes. But this solution is not recommended for patients with erythromelalgia as it damages the skin.
  • Keeping feet on Epsom salts or an apple cider solution. In the case of diabetes, it is better to consult with a clinician before applying this procedure.
  •  Studies have suggested using turmeric supplements. Turmeric supplements consist of curcumin which may provide relief in nerve pain. Curcumin is believed to have antimicrobial anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties. It is even thought to help in neurological symptoms also.
  • Application of a topical cream consisting of lidocaine

It is believed that a home-based ginger and turmeric solution could also help. A study has proved that lidocaine was very useful in relieving pain from erythromelalgia.

  • Foot Massage

Foot massage can also be done to improve blood circulation.

General FAQs

Can vitamin D deficiency cause burning feet?

Ans- Vitamin D deficiency may lead to the prickling, tingling sensation in hands, feet, and toes.

Which Vitamin deficiency may cause burning feet?

Ans- Vitamin B, Vitamin B12 deficiency could be a reason for burning feet

Can diabetic neuropathy be avoided?

Ans- Yes it is avoidable if the level of blood sugar could be maintained either by medications, insulin, or dietary changes.

Can hypertension cause burning feet?

Ans- It could be due to kidney failure. The toxins that need to be sent out of the body get accumulated due to poor kidney function and can cause uremic neuropathy leading to burning feet.

Could stress be one of the reasons for burning feet?

Ans- When the body is stressed out, more amount of blood is pumped to the vital organs.  This condition known as hyperventilation leaves very less amount blood to the feet or ankles leading to burning feet.

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