An itchy and tingly feeling in the feet may be the result of inactivity, but it may also be a symptom that the body is experiencing a serious disease, including digestive, blood and circulation problems. If the condition is treated early, the feelings will disappear with few permanent consequences. If the tingling and itching is ignored, the disease could result in permanent damage to the body.
Type 2 Diabetes
Itchy skin, known medically as pruritus, is a sign of many diseases. Itching, combined with tingling, in the feet assists the medical professional in narrowing the list of possible conditions. The most common condition with these two symptoms is type 2 diabetes, which is caused by the body's inability to properly use and store insulin. It is treated by restricting the diet to low-fat, low-sugar foods, increased exercise, and prescription drug treatment combined with blood glucose testing. Itchy skin symptoms are treated with cool baths, medicated dressings and prescription medications.
Lack of exercise and poor dietary habits can also lead to circulatory problems. Failure to properly moisturize the skin, especially in cold, dry weather, leads to dry skin and a need to scratch it. Exercising a minimum of 20 minutes each day and use of a light moisturizer in the summer and a heavy moisturizer in the winter will lessen the tingling and itchy feelings.
Celiac disease is caused by an immune reaction to the consumption of protein gluten, according to the Mayo Clinic, and may have symptoms of tingling feet and dry skin. The digestive system in people with celiac is unable to absorb categories of nutrients found in rye, wheat or barley. Diets relying on large amounts of bread, pizza, pasta and cookies are more susceptible to this small intestine disorder. There is no cure for the disease, and scientists are not able to isolate people more susceptible to the disease prior to the first symptoms. Treatment includes restriction to a gluten-free diet and prescription vitamins for individuals with severe cases of the disorder.
A lack of vitamins, especially vitamin B, may create tingling (also known as peripheral neuropathy) in the feet. Vitamins are also important in keeping the skin supple and flexible. A lack of vitamins leaves the skin dry and creates an itchy feeling. Taking daily supplemental vitamins and improving the diet will usually relieve these symptoms.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes may also create itchy, tingly feet, but the disease is very different from type 2 diabetes. Type 1 is caused by the inability of the pancreas to produce the proper amount of insulin to regulate the levels of blood sugar in the body. It is most often seen in children, but adults may also have the condition. Dry skin, along with dryness of the mouth and throat, and tingling in the feet are common early signs of the disease. Insulin injections are required for people with this condition, in addition to a balanced, healthy diet and regular daily exercise, according to the National Institutes of Health.