Not many people know that the feet can tell a lot about what is happening in the rest of the body. It is possible to detect a lot of health conditions, from nutritional deficiencies to diabetes simply by taking a look at your feet. This almost insignificant part of the body provides a lot of data that can help analyze the overall state of our health.
Take a minute to check if your feet are showing any of the following signs, there are likely trying to tell you something.
Cold feet – Cold feet is one of the symptoms or indicators associated with PAD also known as poor circulation. Cold feet or toes are also linked to other health complications such as high blood pressure, heart disease and side effects of smoking. It has also been associated with nerve damage as a result of complicated diabetes. If you realize that you have cold feet or toes constantly, you need to talk to a doctor about it.
Baldness or loss of hair on the feet – While the presence of hair on the feet is more visible with men, women also have fine hairs on their toes and feet. if you notice that the hair on your toes or feet is no longer there, it may be a sign of PAD, Peripheral Arterial Disease. This most likely happens as a result of the loss of flow of blood in the arteries of the foot and may be indicative of a more widespread situation which can result into heart disease.
Funny looking toenails – There are people known to have funny looking or discoloured toenails right from birth, but if you don’t fall into that category but suddenly notice that your toenails are beginning to look weird, it could be a sign of something else. For instance, thick and discoloured toenails could be a sign of fungal infection. It could also be a sign of hidden melanoma. The exact cause can only be determined after a proper medical examination.
Ulcers that take long or refuse to heal – Ulcers and sores that refuse to heal on the bottom of the feet are one of the first signs of diabetes. Too much blood sugar in the body leads to damage of nerves in the feet. When this happens, minor cuts, scrapes and bruises that is not quickly treated turns into sores that either takes too long to heal or refuses to heal completely. Ulcers that are not treated can get infected which may lead to amputation.
Dry feet – In some cases, dry skin around the feet can simply be caused by the weather, but it can also be caused by problems with your thyroid. It can also be a sign of fungal infection or athlete’s foot. You can try treating mild cases by bathing your feet and drying them carefully. Using foot powder in socks and shoes will also help to keep your feet dry. However, if you don’t see any improvements, you may need to visit a doctor.
Siri Berge, Co founder of biomechanical therapy website Move-On.no suggests the following tips to help keep your feet healthy.
- Washing your feet daily, if possible with antibacterial soup and drying thoroughly.
- Wearing comfortable shoes made with good material to avoid irritation, sore feet and sweating.
- Also ensure that the insides of your shoes are clean before wearing.
- Always wear clean socks to help prevent abrasion and to help with sweating on the feet.
- Use foot powder to combat excessive sweating and odours.
- Try to wear a different shoe at least twice in a week to allow each one enough time to breathe between wearing.
If you notice any of the above mentioned problems with your foot, ensure that you see a doctor as soon as possible, even if for nothing, at least for your peace of mind.