Sweaty Feet? It Could Be a Vitamin Deficiency

If you suffer from excessively sweaty or smelly feet, the cause could be a simple vitamin deficiency. Sweaty and smelly feet are often shrugged off as just part of life. But this uncomfortable condition, known medically as bromhidrosis, can have some surprising nutritional causes. Read on to learn how correcting a vitamin deficiency could help you say goodbye to sweaty feet for good.

What Causes Sweaty Feet?

Sweaty feet are primarily caused by overactive sweat glands in the feet. This excess sweating, known as hyperhidrosis, leads to constant dampness that allows odor-causing bacteria to thrive. While hormones, genetics, obesity and some medical conditions can cause foot sweat, many cases can be traced back to vitamin deficiencies.

Two vitamins in particular play a crucial role in reducing foot perspiration – vitamins B6 and B12. Let’s take a closer look at how these deficiencies impact your feet.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 helps regulate sweat glands and oil glands throughout the body. Without enough B6 in your diet, these glands can become overactive. This leads to excess sweat and oil production, especially on the feet, hands, armpits and groin. Vitamin B6 deficiency has specifically been linked to a higher risk of foot odor and athlete’s foot infections.

Getting enough vitamin B6 can help normalize sweat gland function. This vitamin also helps the body produce antibodies to fight off fungi and bacteria that contribute to foot odor. Common signs of vitamin B6 deficiency include frequent foot sweat, oily skin, dandruff, anxiety, and hair loss.

Vitamin B12

Like vitamin B6, vitamin B12 is intricately tied to perspiration. B12 plays an essential role in nervous system health. When you are deficient in B12, it can manifest as neuropathy – nerve damage that causes tingling and numbness in the hands and feet. This nerve damage interferes with sweat gland function, leading to excess sweat production.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is common in vegetarians, vegans and the elderly. Symptoms include fatigue, pins and needles in the feet, memory problems, and foot odor. Without adequate B12, the nervous system essentially goes haywire, causing the sweat glands in the feet to overproduce.

Correcting a Deficiency

Before loading up on B6 and B12 supplements, it’s wise to get a blood test to confirm you have a deficiency. If your levels are low, adding high-vitamin foods or supplements can get your sweat glands back to normal functioning. Excellent food sources of B6 include pistachios, tuna, chicken, potatoes, and bananas. For B12, look to beef, eggs, fish, poultry and dairy products. Taking a high quality B-complex vitamin supplement can also help correct shortfalls in these essential nutrients.

For most people, making sure your diet contains adequate B6 and B12 will go a long way towards reducing foot sweat and odor. Combine a vitamin-rich diet with good foot hygiene, breathable footwear and moisture-wicking socks. With the right nutritional support, you can kiss embarrassing sweaty feet goodbye.