They may be an extremity, but your feet can tell you a surprising amount about your health. Most of us are probably guilty of not checking our feet for issues often enough. And really, unless you often get foot massages or visit a podiatrist regularly, how long would it take you to notice anything unusual?
There are many health issues that show symptoms in the feet. Here are just some of them:
Gout And Other Forms Of Arthritis
Gout usually starts with sudden, severe pain in the big toe (though it can also be in other joints). Other types of arthritis can also cause swelling and pain in the feet and ankles. Although the cause of the swelling may be something as inauspicious as ill-fitting shoes, you should visit your podiatrist or doctor if you are at all concerned.
It’s perfectly natural to get pins and needles in your feet every now and then. However, regular numbness and tingling in the feet can be a sign of nerve damage such as peripheral neuropathy. Other symptoms may include loss of balance and an injury (perhaps a cut or ulcer) on your foot that takes a long time to heal.
Sharp pain in the bottom of your feet when you first get up in the morning and when standing or walking for long periods might be due to plantar fasciitis. This occurs when your plantar fascia (a ligament connecting your heel bone to your toes becomes inflamed.
The link between diabetes and your feet is well-known. Raised blood sugar can damage the sensation in your feet, so you may not notice if your feet are injured. It is recommended that you check your feet regularly, and visit your doctor or podiatrist if you notice any injuries that are not healing.
Discolouration under your toenails may be down to a fungal infection. Athlete’s foot is a common fungal skin infection that affects the feet, and as well as discolouration it can have symptoms such as blisters, itching, burning and peeling skin. If it’s left without treatment, the condition can be very uncomfortable. Discolouration under the toenails can also be down to melanoma in some cases, so it is vital to get this checked out.
How To Use Your Feet To Stay In The Best Health
The key to spotting many conditions and getting them treated quickly is checking your feet often. Don’t just wait until you experience pain – take the time to thoroughly examine your feet and check for anything unusual. We advise visiting your podiatrist once every six months (as you would your dentist). With their professional expertise, they will be able to notice and treat any issues before they get more serious. If a symptom on your foot is linked to another condition, your podiatrist will be able to refer you to another medical professional, making sure that you get the best treatment.
At Northwich Foot Clinic, our experienced podiatrists are proficient at providing feet health checks. You can book your appointment through our online booking form here.