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Five things your feet reveal about your health

by , 21 November 2013

If you think your skin is the only clue to how healthy you are, you're wrong. The appearance of your feet also tells a lot about your overall well-being. Here are five things your feet say about your health.

You feet can provide important clues to the state of your health.

But do you know how to spot the important signs?

Discover what your feet are trying to tell you about your health

WebMD outlines five things your feet say about your health:

#1: Cold feet

If your toes are always cold, one reason could be poor blood flow, a circulatory problem sometimes linked to smoking, high blood pressure, or heart disease.

The nerve damage of uncontrolled diabetes can also make your feet feel cold to you. Other possible causes include hypothyroidism and anemia.

Be sure to see your doctor about this so he can look for any underlying problems or make sure you simply have cold feet.

#2: Foot pain

When your feet ache after a long day, you might just curse your shoes. After all, eight out of ten women say their shoes hurt. But pain that’s not due to sky-high heels may come from a stress fracture, a small crack in a bone.

One possible cause: Exercise that was too intense, particularly high-impact sports like basketball and distance running. The weakened bones of osteoporosis increase your risk.

#3: Dragging your feet

Sometimes the first sign of a problem is a change in the way you walk - a wider gait or slight foot dragging. The cause may be the slow loss of normal sensation in your feet, brought on by peripheral nerve damage.

#4: White nails

Injury to the nail or illness anywhere in the body can cause white areas in the nails. If part or all of a nail separates from the nail bed, it can appear white and may be due to an injury or nail infection.

If the nail is intact and most of it is white, it can sometimes be a sign of a more serious condition including liver disease, congestive heart failure, or diabetes. Talk with your doctor about this so he can help you treat the problem.

#5: Pain in the big toe

Gout is a notorious cause of sudden pain in the big toe joint, along with redness and swelling. Osteoarthritis is another culprit that causes pain and swelling.

If the joint is rigid, it may be hallux rigidus, a complication of arthritis where a bone spur develops.

Remember, your foot health can be a clue to your overall health. So pay attention to them and speak to your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms. This way he will help you treat the underlying cause.

To keep your feet healthy, Medline Plus recommends you do the following:
  • Examine your feet regularly
  • Wear comfortable shoes that fit
  • Wash your feet daily with soap and lukewarm water
  • Trim your toenails straight across and not too short


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