The feet are amazing diagnostic tools that one can use in order to find clues that potentially could point to various health problems. It’s important to know which warning signs to look out for when it comes to your feet and when to know that it could be something more serious. Many health issues disguise themselves as feet problems and the feet could be called the “window to the body”. Podiatrists, or feet doctors, are medical professionals who are devoted to the treatment of disorders relating to the feet.
The practice of podiatry has been around as far back as the 1700s and it is the study of feet relating to health problems.
Tracy Byrne, podiatrist
Tracy Byrne spoke with Daily Express and said: “I have been a podiatrist for over 15 years and treat a wide variety of feet and lower extremity conditions.
“The practice of podiatry has been around as far back as the 1700s and it is the study of feet relating to health problems.
“Your feet holds many indicators about your health and can highlight any issues relating to gout, muscular-skeletal abnormalities, infections, diabetes and much more.”
When a person has dry, cracked and flaky skin on their feet it may be a warning sign of a thyroid condition.
Thinning toe hairs could be a sign of poor blood flow, which could lead to a stroke or heart attack if left untreated.
Numbness in the feet could relate to symptoms of peripheral neuropathy which is related to type 2 diabetes.
Black spots or lines found underneath the toenails might be a sign of a hidden melanoma. Having pain in the feet in the morning could be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis. Yellow toe nails could mean an infection and clubbing of the toes could mean a problem with your lungs and respiratory system.
When it comes to taking care of one’s feet Byrne advises: “Keep moving. You need to keep your feet supple with specific foot stretches.
Keep your feet clean and dry them properly and make sure you wear the best shoes you can afford.
Other signs on your feet that could indicate something more serious include:
Ongoing pins and needles
This might be signalling a sign of neuropathy or nerve damage. If you regularly notice tingling that lasts longer that a few minutes you should speak with your GP
A sore foot that won’t heal
This sign could relate to high blood sugar levels or damage to the blood vessels. It’s advised to have your blood checked if you notice this.
Swollen ankles could mean heart failure, kidney disease or a blood clot. If the swelling is painful, you should seek medical advise immediately.
A sudden intense pain or swelling of the big toe
This could indicate gout which is inflammation caused by a build up of uric acid that forms crystals in the joints. Gout is treatable with medication.
“Danger signs to look out for in your feet and when you should see your GP include new moles, having a lack of sensation in your feet, very cracked skin and offensive smells,” added Byrne
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