Did you know that our feet are actually fantastic diagnostic tools for a range of other potential health problems? A doctor can look at your feet and glimpse a wider view of your general health and well-being. Certain ailments and changes in your feet can actually represent greater health concerns and it is important to look out for these signs. Whilst a doctor can assess the condition of your feet, there are signs you can look out for that can help you spot any potential danger before it becomes a serious issue. The following are four things that our feet can tell us about our health:
1. Numb feet can point towards poor blood flow and circulation
If your feet feel regularly numb and you struggle to move your toes then this could actually point towards poor blood flow in your feet/legs and even Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). We are not talking about numbness from sitting in a strange position or pins and needles – we mean regular numbness while you are active. In extreme cases, numb feet could even point towards Type 2 diabetes. Ensure that you exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet to improve blood flow to your feet.
2. Dark spots or lines under toenails could be a hidden melanoma
This is one of the most serious health threats and should be reported to a doctor immediately. If you notice discoloration under your toenails such as black lines or spots, this could actually be a sign of melanoma in your feet. Check your toes whenever you cut your nails for black marks – if you do not know where they came from, consider visiting a doctor.
3. Morning aches and pains could be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis
Have you ever woke up in the morning and your feet have felt stiff, painful and sore? If this is a regular occurrence, it could actually mean you have the early stages of RA. We all get aches and pains from time to time, but persistent foot pain in a morning should not be ignored. You can help ease morning foot pain by performing stretches and exercises before taking your first steps.
4. Flaky and dry skin around your feet could point towards a thyroid condition
Finally, we have persistent dry and flaky skin. If your feet regularly have flaky skin then it could mean you have a thyroid issue – your thyroid helps control your metabolism and tissue growth. Dry skin could also simply be a result of increasing heat or something such as athlete’s foot but it is always advisable to double check and make sure.
As you can see, your feet actually tell you a great deal about your health and well-being. Now that you understand the potential signs to look for, ensure that you check your feet regularly as doing so could prevent serious ailments or even save your life!