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Look down: This simple ten-second check could reveal the true state of your health

by , 29 October 2013

Want to know how healthy you are? Take a sneak peak at your feet, suggests podiatrist Jane Andersen, the spokeswoman for the American Podiatric Medical Association. They can help you detect everything from diabetes to nutritional deficiencies. Here's how…

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that the shape, texture and colour of your feet can also provide tell-tale signs of your health.

After all, people have been having reflexology on their feet for year to treat a whole host of health complaints.

Today, we reveal some surprising health problems your feet reveal.

Five hidden health messages your feet are trying to tell you…

#1: Sunken, spoon-shaped toenails
When your toenails are concave or spoonlike, it could be a sign of an iron deficiency. This is caused by “not having enough haemoglobin, an iron-rich protein in the blood cells that transports oxygen,” explains caring.com.

#2: Foot sores or ulcers that won’t heal
If you have sores or ulcers on your feet that just won’t go away, get your blood sugar checked immediately, warns healthcentral.com. It could be a sign you have diabetes.

“Ulcers that refuse to heal often indicate the first signs of diabetes. This is because people with diabetes often have sluggish blood – due to high glucose levels in the blood. Blood weighed down by glucose means not enough oxygen is reaching the nerve tissue in the feet – needed to heal the ulcers or sores,” adds the Daily Mail.

If this is accompanied by regular pins and needles in your feet, diabetes is almost certain.

#3: Cold feet
Poor circulation – especially in your feet – is one of the first signs of thyroid problems. If you have cold feet and notice your eyebrows are thinning, get your thyroid levels checked right away.

#4: A swollen big toe
75% of the time, a swollen big toe is the first presentation of gout, Andersen told MSN.

“Gout is a form of arthritis (also called "gouty arthritis") that's usually caused by too much uric acid, a natural substance. The built-up uric acid forms needlelike crystals, especially at low body temperatures. And the coolest part of the body, farthest from the heart, happens to be the big toe,” she explains.

#5: Sore toe joints
If your joints are sore, it could indicate rheumatoid arthritis. As we explain here, people with this degenerative joint disease often feel it first in smaller joints, such as the toes and the knuckles of the hands, before it progresses.

The warmer weather is an ideal time to pay attention to your feet! After all, when you wear open-toe shoes you’re more likely to see what’s going on with your feet. So look down and pay attention – doing so could help you avoid some pretty serious health complications.

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