really weird question but has anyone had problems with their feet?

For the last five years whenever I walk for a distance I get blisters. I wear good shoes - have tried insoles, I don't wear high heels for leisure. Every pair of shoes I own give me grief. The Scholl shoe shop advised me to use surgical spirit to harden up my feet but I still get blisters. This has happened over the last five years. When I was in my 30s and early 40s I used to run 10 miles every other day and would get an occasional blister. I never got blisters from walking. I just wondered if there is a connection or if I am on the wrong track here. Today I went for a 3 mile walk in very comfortable shoes and returned with mega blisters.

20 Replies

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  • I have ME and Fibromylagia and gluten and wheat intolerance and for the last 10-12 years ( basically since developing ME and Fibro) I have got the most horrendous trouble with my feet everything causes blisters on my feet everythhing hurts my feet and I struggle to wear shoes for any length of time, shoes that were once comfy become unbearable. I am unsure if there is any link but it sure is a pain in the err feet

  • It's maybe your socks rather than the shoes? I have to wear men's non-elastic pure wool or cotton socks. Women's socks give me blisters and I can only surmise it's the elastane.

  • loads of problems with my feet- very severe pronation and one podiatrist said they thought there was a link with coeliac/gluten intolerance due to problems with absorbing calcium when feet developing...but not found any studies confirming this. Ask you GP for an appointment with a podiatrist, it may take a while but is possible. You should not have to have blisters all the time.

  • Hi Yes I am having issues with my feet. I don't get blisters though. I am normally sat at a desk but if I am on my feet walking around a lot and then rest them they are very painful when I start to walk again. I used to have a large dog which I walked for miles every day and didn't have any issues, its like my feet are very sensitive as well if I bang them, I have tried various types of shoes etc and it hasn't made any difference. I am also having pains in my hips and arms and legs as well now, have had a bone scan which came back clear. Hope you manage to sort out your issues as blisters are very painful.

  • On the issue of your feet hurting after you've been resting them and then resume walking, is the pain in your heels? I have this and my Chiropodist said it's Plantar fasciitis. My doc confirmed it and did give me some pain relief gel but the best thing has been the heel arch supports that I've got in all my shoes/boots and the night splints. I got it through walking a couple of miles each day in my wellies with my dog and then walking barefoot at home.

  • Hi Thank you for your response, yes I spoke to my GP about the pain I was having and he mentioned it sounded like Plantar Fasciitis, I had already looked it up on the net, my pain is more in the arch of my foot. I also wore wellies everyday when taking the dog for a walk, but the dog has been gone for over 10 years now so I don't think this will be the reason for my feet hurting. I also had a bad incident when Christmas shopping after walking around the Metro centre all day, my feet were very swollen, sore and red and I wonder whether this was related. At the time I wasn't diagnosed with either CD or DH and blamed my washing powder as it was inflamed and itchy as well. It does make you wonder whether there is a link with the painful feet and CD/DH

  • It might be worth trying the night splints and heel/arch supports. I think had I gone from wellies to proper shoes I may not have suffered but I was always barefoot or in flat mules so no support around the heel of my foot at all. Apparently as we age (!) our feet sag and lose tone like the rest of us! I have had my problem with my feet for the last 5 years but it has only been in the last year that I have really made an effort and I rarely go barefoot or wear flat mules and I am seeing an improvement. My doc did say that it takes ages to heal because everytime we walk we stretch the ligament again. The exercises in bed before first getting up also help.

  • I was having a lot of excruciating foot pain and blisters before becoming GF. I put it down to the increased inflammation and water retention gluten was causing. It lead me to discover professional walking/hiking socks which have reinforced soles/toes. They allow your feet to breathe and don't rub. Although expensive they last ages and are really comfortable. For long walks I wear a pair of light Coolmax with a thicker pair on top.

    Another thing I found helped enormously was footbaths or bathing with transdermal magnesium salts. BetterYou are a particularly good brand.

  • not a reason for the blisters but have you tried the thousand mile socks hikers wear? they are made of 2 separate layers, the inner layer stays with your foot and the outer layer moves with the shoe so there is no friction to your skin, and they do last absolutely ages and ages.

    This is the same method Rustic Rita has indicated using her light socks with another pair on top

  • Thank you for your helpful advice. I think I might have some structural problem with my feet and have done all my life. But this does not explain the blisters in the last five+ years because I never got them before. I was not wearing socks. I am not a great walker and my walks are mostly sightseeing, a gentle urban ramble, or getting from A to B when I wear sensible flat shoes. During these walks I nearly always get blisters. For the autumn/winter walks I will bear in mind different socks as that makes good sense.

  • It might also be worth seeing a chiropodist, who specialises in orthotics. It could be something as simple as that - just specialised inner soles which raise and drop the feet as your gait alters and muscles in your feet slacken as you get a little older. Good luck and hope you get your feet sorted.

  • Thanks Fisher - I have had orthotics made for me as I saw a foot doctor several years ago - before I got sick and before I got blisters. Orthotics made no difference to me. My foot problems relate to structural defects I have had all my life. I used to run a lot as I said and had consultations at the sports injury clinic. Twenty five years ago I even had my shoes built up as I have one leg longer than the other. This was an unsuccessful venture. I have coped with this for many decades and the blisters have only been a problem for the last few years. I am maybe clutching at straws and looking for an answer I may not find!

  • Hi. I am coeliac but also have FMS. As a result of the fibro I have had a lot of problems with blisters / skin erosion on my feet with a much slower healing process, as well as structural pain. When I was first diagnosed, I struggled to walk for several months as my feet were so (structurally) painful and sensitive to friction as the skin broke easily.

    I now run and walk a fair amount (25+ miles per wk) which helps me manage my symptoms. I only wear zero-drop, soft soled,'barefoot' style shoes which has led me to change my style of walking and running using a shorter and more frequent stride. With the exception of one pair of shoes which are simply slightly ill-fitting and require some additional padding prior to use, I have fewer problems with my feet, and have been able to return to running on a regular basis. As my feet have strengthened I have no need for orthotics or other structural support. This isn't to say that I don't get pain in my feet, but this simply echoes the pain in the rest of my body rather than being something different. I look at this as working with my body, we evolved without high heels and rigid soles, removing those barriers seemed sensible to let my feet work more naturally.

    Good luck, Kate

  • Thank you Kate. It is interesting that you mention FMS as I have had that too, although gradual onset probably synchronizes with the blisters appearing too - about 5 years ago. When I stopped eating gluten (last November) the FMS disappeared very quickly. Maybe the blisters are still a fall out from this? I still ache in my body from time to time especially after walking (don't forget I do gentle urban walks not treks!) But I do not feel incapacitated like I used to.

    As the summer is now coming to a close I am going to take the advice of others and invest in good socks when I go for a walk. Trying to walk at least a mile a day!

  • I think some symptoms linger longer than others. I lost loads of hair (not sure whether that was coeliac-induced malnutrition or fms, or both) and it took several years to stabilise, then grown back. But my skin is still a lot more fragile than it used to be. A tiny nick, graze or blister can take a couple of weeks to heal, often getting infected before it does. It's very odd, I used to be so robust.

  • Kate I think you could be right on symptoms lingering longer. The problem is, as you say, it is often hard to know exactly what the cause is. And sometimes of course there is no explanation.

  • Hi urbangirl, I hope you get this message as its a couple of months since we posted about our feet. I have just found out that I have a vit d and zinc deficiency, I think this could be the cause of the painful feet in my case. Just wanted to let you know as you might want to have your vitamins checked to go to the doctors. What I would also advise is asking them for a print out of the results. I have been complaining to my immunologist since I went GF that I still don't feel well and from what I understand the vit d was low last year but no one picked up on it. Just to advise I have had a bone scan and it came back as normal. I am beginning to wonder why they give us all of these tests and don't pay attention to the results, I have come to the conclusion I have to follow up any tests I have and check the results. Hope this helps you

  • Thanks Tmoxon. Dreadful that your results were not checked you assume that they are. I guess that having an answer was really helpful for you. I am going to see GP next week but weirdly in the last half an hour I have got the most strange sensation in my left hand and wrist like it is burning. Did a quick search and it seems that could be linked to some vitamin deficiency. So your post is well timed. Thank you.

  • Hi glad to have let you know before your appointment, I would also ask to have your Vit b and copper checked, apparently people with Cd can have a copper deficiency. Despite me asking several times in my appointment at the hospital back in October they haven't sent me the results of the tests that they consider normal only the vit d and zinc which were low. I am having to pester them for the results and feel a bit of a nuisance having to ask a few times. Good luck with your GP hope they are helpful

  • :) thank you for the advice

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