What Can Your Feet Tell You?
10 Things Your Feet Say About Your Health.
A general change in the feet—whether on the skin, nails, or perhaps the way you feel—can be the primary warning of a very likely major health issue that when detected early, could save life. “Our feet are the first parts to be affected from nerve problems as they are farthest from our hearts and spine,” according to Carolyn McAloon, DPM, a Bay Area podiatrist and president of the California Podiatric Medication Association.
All the more reason one needs to always take note of one’s feet: They’re undoubtedly jeopardised whenever the body is endangered, given that blood is transmitted to the internal organs as well as the brain before the external parts.
Let’s look at what could be lurking behind your most common foot concerns. Should you observe anything usual on the list, then it’s advisable to visit a doctor or even a podiatrist for examination.
1. Hairless feet and toes
What it could mean: Critical blood circulation disorders
Having hairs on ones toes is a good factor, even if it’s annoying while using sandal. However, unexpected hair loss might be indicative of the feet not receiving adequate circulation to support hair growth. It is better for your physician to check your feet pulse, which is a sign that your heart is probably not pumping sufficient blood to your feet, claims Dr. McAloon.
2. Constant foot cramps
What it could mean: Dehydration and nutritional deficiencies
Cramps arising frequently are common foot problem. Often times, they are due to severe blood circulation and nerve issues, or as harmless as a nutritional shortage. It’s advisable to drink lots of water while exercising, because dehydration usually causes muscle cramps.
Therefore, increase one’s daily allowance of magnesium, potassium and also calcium (only upon the doctor’s recommendation), since deficiencies of these elements can also cause cramps. “To get pain relief, simply immerse your feet in a warm foot bath then stretch out the feet toward your nose, but not pointing down,” advises Dr. McAloon. If the cramps persist, you should visit your physician for examination to eliminate blood circulation concerns and nerve problems.
3. A wound that won’t heal
What it could mean: Diabetes mellitus or skin cancer
Critical sores are signs of diabetes. Nerve impairment in the feet can be due to unchecked glucose level in the blood, hence any cut or sore or even scrape may come and go without you actually having the feeling. When it becomes inflamed, severe conditions might require amputation. A severe wound may possibly be a symptom of skin cancer too, says Dr. McAloon. Cancerous tumours can possibly appear anywhere on one’s body—even anywhere between the toes— hence, it’s important you do regularly check your feet when going for skin examinations.
4. Persistent cold feet
What it could mean: Hypothyroidism
Thyroid problems are the most common cause for cold feet. When one is above 40, it’s likely one may be suffering from inactive thyroid issue and not know it. However, cold feet are the very least of your concerns—hypothyroidism may well result in loss of hair, tiredness, unexplained weight gain and depressive disorders. Go to the doctor for a basic blood test.
5. Unexpectedly swollen big toe
What it could mean: Gout or other inflammatory disorders
“The surprising appearance of a reddish, enlarged or hot distressing joint should require speedy healthcare check-up,” declares Dr. McAloon. Common triggers are gout, infections, inflammatory joint disease and perhaps trauma.
What it could mean: Peripheral neuropathy or just a pinched nerve
Having numbness in both feet is regarded as peripheral neuropathy which is often brought about by diabetes, persistent alcohol addiction and perhaps chemotherapy complications. If you’re experiencing neuroma, or numbness in one foot, it could be due to a pinched nerve in the foot, ankle or back. This could be due to many years of using tight footwear – if you’re a stiletto fanatic.
What it could mean: Genetically defective foot shape
Should you assume your bunions were solely due to your beautiful (yet restrictive and often painful) footwear, then you are the cause and not the boutiques. Bunions are practically a symptom of a faulty feet form that’s usually hereditary which could be made worse by unsuitable shoes. “The first foot bone drives toward the middle of the body, and you see the bump,” says Dr. McAloon. It can be painful and unsightly, but the only way to really correct it is with surgery.
8. Heel ache
What it really means: Plantar fasciitis
It cannot be confused with – that distinctive pain in the base of the heel when one gets off the bed, or when one stands from a chair. It’s a strain of the ligament that supports you arch. Besides, either it occurs by having too tight footwear or simply walking in flip-flops or even having outdated exercise shoes. The longer you let it go, the longer it takes to heal. A podiatrist can advise whether you should reduce your work out, change shoes as well as engage in an effective stretching routine.
9. Flaky, scratchy, and peeling skin
What it could mean: Fungal infections
Even if you’re never donned an athletic jersey in your life, you could still be walking around with athlete’s foot—the euphemistic term for a fungal infection. However, it can be treated by using antifungal solution while maintaining a cool and dry feet throughout the day. In case one is fungus free, then it is possible one is plagued with eczema or maybe psoriasis – both can be decided by the podiatrist by carrying out skin test.
10. Yellowish toenails
What does it mean: Fungus infection or pedicure overload
Do you notice yellow colour as soon as you look down? Don’t worry much – assuming that you have long been putting on toenail polish without breaking for months. “Yellowness can naturally occur with age,” says Dr. McAloon. However, when it’s followed by flaking and brittleness, it’s undoubtedly a result of a fungal infection such as athletic foot.