What Your Feet Can Tell You About Your Overall Health

Do you enjoy detective movies and television shows? These sleuths work hard to gather evidence and facts to solve a crime.

Foot doctors are detectives too! Every day here at the Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A. we diagnose and treat all kinds of foot and ankle injuries and other problems. But we use our detective noses and often use what we've learned about your feet to reveal signs of other potentially dangerous health issues too.

You may not know this but your feet sometimes are the first parts of your body to display symptoms of certain illnesses. For example, your feet are furthest from your heart so if your heart isn't doing its job, your feet may signal that there is a problem. In fact, a thorough foot exam might even save your life!

Symptoms in Your Feet that May Signal Other Health Issues

  • Cold feet may be a symptom of hypothyroidism, where the thyroid doesn't produce certain important hormones. Other signs of this disease are depression and fatigue.
  • Cramping in your feet can be a sign that you have a deficiency in important minerals like calcium or potassium, especially if it occurs at night. A foot cramp can also be a symptom of dehydration. Eat a banana each day for extra potassium and stay hydrated with lots of water.
  • Dry or cracked skin in your feet may signal an allergic reaction somewhere else. Neuropathy, or nerve damage, can also cause dry skin.
  • Numbness or tingling in the feet may be a sign of diabetes.
  • Sores that never heal may also indicate diabetes. For those with diabetes, an open sore on the foot can quickly turn into a serious ulcer.
  • Swollen ankles mean fluid buildup that can be caused by a problem with your kidneys.
  • Swollen toes may indicate that you have gout, where an excess of uric acid creates crystals in the joints and can be very painful. Gout is a form of arthritis.
  • Toe appearance can be an indicator of several problems. Rounded or clubbed toes can point to some serious diseases like lung cancer, pulmonary disease and cystic fibrosis. Even missing hair on the toes may signal poor blood circulation.

For foot health - and sometimes overall health too - the best thing you can do is check your feet regularly and give us a call when you notice or feel anything unusual. Pay attention to changes and remember - foot pain is not normal.

Listen to What Your Feet Are Trying To Tell You!

Dr. James M. McKee, DPM, board certified podiatrist at the Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A. has the right experience to diagnose and treat any type of foot and ankle pain or problem. Please call us at 410-224-4448 to make an appointment at our office in Annapolis, MD. You can also request an appointment at the website. Don't wait any longer - give us a call today!