Are Feet a Clue to Your Overall Health?
Our feet are capable of many things, and one of those things is alerting you when something may be amiss somewhere else in your body. There are a variety of different health issues that can present themselves in our feet before anywhere else. Therefore, paying attention to your feet and acting quickly when a problem arises is very important.
One of the biggest things you can detect with your feet is diabetes. This will always cause problems with the feet. You may not notice any problem other than perhaps a small spot or blemish. If this spot develops into an ulcer, this is a typical sign that you may be suffering from diabetes. Ulcers can go unnoticed, so it’s a good idea to check your feet for them regularly. Another very typical sign of diabetes can be numbness in your feet.
You can also identify problems with circulation in your feet. If your feet have a slight blue tinge to them, or they are constantly feeling cold, these could be signs of poor circulation. Women more commonly suffer from cold feet, and while it is not common, cold feet can also indicate an under-functioning thyroid.
Another indicator of thyroid problems could be dry, flaky feet. Of course, skin does sometimes simply get dry. If your feet are dry and flaking, apply a good-quality moisturizer for a few days. If the problem doesn’t clear up, it is recommended that you see a doctor to make sure your thyroid isn’t experiencing problems. Very brittle toenails can be another sign of thyroid issues, so keep an eye out for that as well.
Another thing to consider is the colour of your toenails. Any sort of discoloration can indicate many possible diseases and problems, such as lung, heart, kidney, and liver conditions, as well as anemia and diabetes. When your nails are healthy they will be smooth, and have a consistent color. If you notice your nails developing ridges or changing colour at all, contact your doctor. Changes in colour can also point towards a possible fungal or bacterial infection. These are easily treated if caught early on.
If you notice black or brown lines under your toenails specifically, it is a good idea to contact your doctor immediately. Of course, stubbing your toe hard or dropping something heavy on it can cause bruising, but if you don’t know what caused the colors, dark and vertical lines underneath the nails can be pointing to a hidden melanoma. Hidden melanoma’s often get overlooked and go untreated. The world is getting better at fighting cancer all the time, but the earlier you catch it is still better.
Another thing to watch for is a pattern of foot pain in the morning. If you experience a burning or shooting pain as you take your first steps of the day, it could be pointing to many things. The biggest thing you want to watch out for is rheumatoid arthritis, which causes inflammation in your joints, which causes pain. Experiencing foot pain in the morning could mean you just have a simple cramp, which some stretching should get rid of. If you notice a pattern, however, it should be looked at by your doctor.
The feet are so good at telling us what may be going on within the rest of our body. An issue with your foot should never be underestimated, and you can never be too careful. Everyone would be smart to pay attention to your feet and check them regularly, in case they might be trying to tell you something.