A foot problem may be telling you more than you know. In fact, foot problems can be vital barometers for more serious health issues which require further attention. Understanding the implicit signals of foot issues, along with the symptoms of more serious diseases, might enable you to avoid and treat threatening health conditions.
Why Do Feet Provide Good Health Signals?
A quarter of all the bones in our bodies are in our feet—which is remarkable, given their relatively small size when compared against the rest of the human form. Anchored in 33 joints and held together with 100-plus tendons, ligaments and muscles, feet support the full weight and pressure of our bodies.
Also running through our feet are blood vessels and nerves that connect all the way to the brain. Consequently, with so many potential signals and pathways, many conditions initially manifest in the feet.
Although often a cause for jokes, especially for reluctant suitors, cold feet are a real condition which can indicate developing health issues. Cold feet may be the result of chronic changes to the body’s circulation, occurring independent of other conditions or along with them, such as diabetes.
Cold feet may also signal more serious, even severe changes to circulation, like the intravascular occlusion of a blood vessel (a blood clot is one example). Or that change may stem from the external compression of a blood vessel following injury.
If you experience the sudden development of cold feet, and especially if that condition comes with other symptoms like pain, tingling or swelling, your condition should be regarded as a medical emergency and requires immediate consultation.
Should your body circulation slow and become sluggish, your feet may accumulate fluids, causing them to swell. Such a condition may occur temporarily following extended stretches of immobility, like long periods of sitting or standing. But if swelling does not diminish, that may point to a more serious problem with your body’s circulation, such as a weakening heart or problems with the blood vessels themselves.
If you suffer from ongoing and extreme swelling of legs and/or feet prompt, you should consult a medical professional.
If your foot falls asleep regularly, that may be a sign of a neurological issue. The tingly sensation of “pins and needles” may come with other symptoms like pain or numbness. While often associated with diabetes, such pain or numbness may also be the result of other health conditions, such as autoimmune disorders. If you regularly experience tingly feet, it is probably time for a medical check-up.
Your Lansdale podiatrist is always ready to help you understand what your feet are telling you. If you experience any of these foot issues, please contact my office for an appointment.
American Foot and Leg Specialist