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Can Vitamin B12 Deficiency Cause Burning Feet (Grierson-Gopalan Syndrome)?

Vitamin B-12 plays a big role in nerve cell health but when serum levels are lower than recommended, complications as Grierson-Gopalan Syndrome can result.

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By Babafemi Adebajo
Joel Taylor
Edited by Joel Taylor

Published December 29, 2021.

Vitamin B12 plays a significant role in nerve cell health. As such, any incidence of deficiency must be promptly treated to avoid neurological complications. Interestingly, deficiency of this vitamin is one of the most common. An average intake of 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 is recommended daily as lowered serum levels can lead to complications such as Grierson-Gopalan Syndrome.

What Is Grierson-Gopalan Syndrome?

Grierson-Gopalan Syndrome, otherwise known as the burning feet syndrome, is a medical condition associated with severe aching and burning sensations in the feet. The sensation is usually worse at night and causes discomfort in your foot. However, it can also spread to the top of the feet, the ankles, and the lower leg. Occasionally, it can also spread to the eyes leading to amblyopia (lazy eye) and scotoma (blind spots). In more severe cases, it can also lead to confusion, memory issues, and even dementia.

Any number of reasons could cause Grierson-Gopalan Syndrome. Some of the most common are:

  • Metabolic disorders (hypothyroidism, diabetes)
  • Infections (athlete’s foot)
  • Stress
  • Improper footwear
  • Deficiency of Vitamin B12

How Important Is Vitamin B12?

The water-soluble vitamin is essential. It is key to the proper functioning of the nervous system. It stimulates the production of myelin, ensuring proper nerve conduction. Vitamin deficiencies can cause tingling in the hands and feet by inducing nerve conduction problems. If untreated, the deficiency can worsen, and the burning or numbness can spread to other parts of your body.

How Vitamin B12 Helps Symptoms of Burning Feet Syndrome

Taking Vitamin B-12 prevents further nerve damage and promotes functional recovery of nerves. In so doing, it can solve the problem of neuropathy and, by extension, can relieve the burning sensations in your toes and feet.

Sources of Vitamin B12

Thankfully, Vitamin B12 can be easily added to your diet with supplements or by consuming the following foods:

  • Fish
  • Beef
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Fortified cereals like raisin bran