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What Your Feet Can Divulge about Your Overall Health

Did you know that your feet can show clues that give hints about your overall health?

Every day in our office Dr. Alexopoulos examines patients with all kinds of foot problems. At the same time we sometimes notice signs that can point to general health problems ranging from dehydration to impaired circulation and even lung disease.

The reason for this detective work is that often the first indications of serious health issues make your feet feel or look different! Catching these as part of a foot exam might even be life-saving. Your feet are the part of your body that is furthest away from your heart, so symptoms of circulation-related problems frequently appear here first.

Foot Irregularities Can Signal a More Serious Problem

Cold feet. One reason for feet that feel consistently cold is a condition where the thyroid doesn’t produce enough of certain important hormones. Hypothyroidism can also cause depression, fatigue and hair loss.

Cramps. Painful foot cramps can result from a lack of important minerals like calcium or of dehydration. Eating a banana a day and drinking plenty of water can rebalance your body’s hydration.

Flaky, dry skin. Excessively dry skin can indicate an allergic reaction elsewhere in the body. Diabetic neuropathy and nerve damage can also cause dry skin.

Hairless toes. Toes losing hair may demonstrate a blood circulation problem.

Numbness or tingling. Recurring pins and needles in your feet or numbness can result from diabetes.

Rounded toes. Pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis and lung cancer can cause toenails to become rounded and clubbed.

Sores that don’t heal. Unhealed sores may be caused by diabetes.

Swollen ankles. Kidney problems can cause fluid to build up in the body especially in the ankles.

Toe that is swollen or red. Gout is a type of arthritis and often manifests in a tender and swollen big toe. Gout results when uric acid builds up in the body.

A Foot Exam May Catch Other Health Issues

Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM, board certified podiatrist often uncovers other health problems when examining a patient for foot pain. Call us today for an evaluation appointment in our Chicago office at 773-561-8100 or reach us via the website. We can resolve your foot pain and discuss with you any other health concerns that we observe.