Burning in feet at night, after eating, and after walking. Only 23, and don't know what to do?


I'm a 23 year old male. I'm not as fit as I could be, but I participate in various sports totalling about 4 hours of vigorous exercise a week. I eat a fairly healthy diet, somewhere between ultra healthy and 24/7 Mcdonalds. I'm at the lower end of a healthy weight, but have a decent quantity of muscle on me.

About a year ago, I suddenly developed extreme burning pain in my feet at night. It kept me awake, and after a while, I went to the doctors, and have been cycling a series of medications since. I was referred to a neurologist, who has taken blood tests, but I am unlikely to see him again for a few months.

My Gp has taken tens of blood tests, including the obvious b vitamins, blood sugar, thyroid, and likely a host of other things. All were apparently as perfect as they can be.

It's really damaging my life. If I walk more than a mile, try to sleep, or eat a meal, I spend several hours with intense burning in my feet, and when it really gets bad, in my hands and lower legs. All the medications I've tried floor me. I'm naturally fairly low energy, and anything with depressant properties slows me to a crawl. It seems everything for neuropathy has said properties.

I have other problems that may be related, but at the moment I'm purely curious as to whether anyone has experienced similar problems(especially the burning after eating, since that seems to be unusual), and what they were eventually diagnosed with, or medications that may have helped them?

I'm only just 23, and this is affecting my career and social life. I have the choice between being sedated on medication, or sedated from lack of sleep and poor sleep due to the burning. What's Happening!

The burning occurs after almost any larger meal; the ingredients seem to be irrelevant.

12 Replies

  • Hi SillyRabbit:

    I just have a few questions.

    1. What meal sets you off and is it your largest meal of the day?

    2. When you have this meal that sets you off, just before the pain starts, do you become very lethargic?

    3. Have you every had an EMG (electromyogram ) or nerve conduction test? This is a test where they place little wires on your legs, feet, hands and forearms. Then they deliver electrical current through the wires to your body to measure the amount of damage done to the nerves. It sound painful, but it is not.

    4. What is your A1C numbers.

    The numbers should be as follows:

    - Normal - 6 or less

    - Your goal should be less than 7

    - Take Action7 or more or if it is below 4 also take immediate action.

    5. Have you asked for advice from a Naturopathic Doctor?

    Answeres to these questions may help others in responding to your questions.



  • You didn't think that an EMG was painful? Wow, I was close to tears. I dread it every 3 months. lol.. Not that I want to scare anyone but I have to put my experience in here keeping it real too.

  • Hi,

    My PN started in October. I'm working out how much gabapentin i can live with verses the burning. 900mg a day left me feeling like I was in 2nd gear. .. i went down to 300mgs a day and am building it up. The main issue for me is not my feet at the moment but the pain in the joints of my hands that has started.. no one can say whether it is a side effect or something else entirely. All my blood test results came back clear too.. and im waiting to have the nerve conduction tests... i also wonder what the future will be... as this is getting slightly worse month by month! I have no idea why I have peripheral neuropathy!

    Hope you too get some help and answers. .. keep fighting your corner :0)

  • You need to see a rheumatologist. No question about it. I hope by now someone referred you to a good one. I believe that you may have heard about RA, there are so many different kinds of RA that none of us could begin to even guess what kind or if in fact you do have it. You are describing major symptoms. You may get your energy back yet. There is hope. Talk with your doctor. Psoriasroc arthritis is exactly what it sounds like.

  • snowbunny hi I have peripheral neuropathy too. Mine is from alcohol. can't drink a oz.

    If I do my feet turn to fire for a week. I find there is a cycle to this horrible illness. I had it for three years and I find that some times I don't my meds which is gabapentin 1200

    mg. 3x daily, but I find it effects my legs when walking. They are weak and I find myself winded going up small grades. Other times I need them daily. Winter seems worse cas

    my body doesn't regulate heat to cold to heat well. If you find a cure /help, let everyone know

  • Hi, I know your post was a long time ago but i have the same symptoms. No one can tell me what is wrong had so many tests nothing shows up. Have you managed to get a diagnosis as like you this is really getting me down

  • i have recently (february 2016) developed similar neuropathy symptoms: mostly toes and feet, some ankles, some hands and wrist when i wake up in morning. my feet and toes turn beet red and burn during first pee in morning while i am standing trying to wake up. later in the day seems more normal (less burn and less red). i thought it might be diabetes but blood tests for diabetes were negative (no diabetes). a few days before blood tests i tried to reduce or eliminate sugars and refined carbs (no cereal or juice for breakfast, etc) and i noticed a significant (not complete) improvement (reduced burning and redness). vegetables and beans seems to be the best diet but can get boring after a few days. occasionally, i lose control and have a piece of cake, cookie, bagel, bread, etc and burning / redness comes back to feet. brief exercise (3 x 30 deep knee bends) seems to reduce burning feet if i am not wearing shoes or on a hard surface. standing in shoes on hard surface is the worst. feet start burning and feels like i am going to pass out. walking or sitting seems to help reduce burning feet until i can take my shoes off. i am also wondering if use of marijuana could cause this neuropathy or help to relieve it? wine or beer seems to be a temporary relief but burning feet comes back stronger a few hours later. i was in shock when i first (feb 2016) noticed my burning feet and told the nurse that i thought i was going to die (i could barely walk). she told me not to worry because everyone is going to die. i did not die and just getting used to it, or it seems to be slowly improving if i dont eat sugars or carbs. i am supposed to make appointment with neurologist and will post if i get any useful information.

  • I completely understand what you're going through and I really hope this helps you. I finally found a cure after three very difficult years living with this. I had exact same symptoms described by many here - burning/achy feet (especially at night), burning moved to hands with sensation of feeling "full" or numb. I went to every type of doctor and had every type of test imaginable. Nobody could find anything wrong. Then as a last resort I went to a Naturopath. She told me to stop eating sugar and gluten as well as any artificial sweeteners found in diet pop products, some yogurts, etc. It took about 5 or 6 weeks but soon all my symptoms started disappearing. (I had already stopped alcohol on my own because when I drank I got SO sick - headache and bad burning). It's been 7 years and if I keep my diet in check - my symptoms are fine. I can actually eat a small amount of gluten and sugar from time to time (VERY occasionally) and I'm ok. Every once in a while my feet will burn at night even if I eat well but I've learned that I probably will never know why but that it's very manageable if it's this infrequent. I am 95% pain free (and it was so bad at one point I considered suicide). I hope that this helps anyone reading this because I know how terrible it is.

    I also found that smoking makes the symptoms come back pretty badly so I'd stay away from that too.

  • Ty so much. I'm wondering if my smoking is contributing to my fire feet. Imma try no sugars and no smoking and see. Glad u r better

  • Hi,

    This symptom is called peripheral neuropathy. Meaning your peripheral nerves in feet are damaged. The symptom aggravates when you have carbohydrate rich/sugary food items.

    Even though there is no quick remedy for this issue but there are control measures to improve health condition. They are

    1. Plan and prefer eating low carbohydrate foods

    2. Avoid Sugary food items

    3. Keep watch of total calories intake per/day. Lesser the calories, better the health.

    4. Have sound sleep

    5. Drink plenty of water

    All the best


  • Had similar symptoms. Worse when I drank alcohol and any unknown foods always triggered it. Went to several doctors but all didn't help until I went for a Thai massage. Was advised to put my toes against the wall at 45 degrees and push upper body towards the wall. She explained the cause but can't clearly remember. stretching the muscles/tendons greatly helped. I just do that everytime the feet start burning and it helps.

  • I to suffer to the point I stay crying with pain. Sometimes even the bed sheet hurts. I've tried pills creams and nothing helps. Please let me know if u find anything helpful