Official Blog of Dr. Peter F. Gregory and his Foot Health Team
Posts for: January, 2020
Listen to Your Feet! Symptoms of Heart Disease and Other Health Conditions
If you have foot pain or other unusual sensations such as numbness in your feet or toes, or if you notice changes in the appearance of your feet, you may not be experiencing a foot-related disease or injury. Why? Because your feet are often the first place where symptoms of other health conditions can appear.
Can Feet Show Symptoms of Heart Disease?
Now is the perfect time to consider atypical symptoms that may signal heart disease.
Some of these signs of heart disease appear in the feet first!
• Hair loss on your toes may signal peripheral arterial disease, also known as PAD. This condition restricts blood in the leg’s arteries which can result in heart disease. • Cold feet can also be a sign of PAD as well as thyroid dysfunction. If poor circulation has you suffering cold hands and feet, talk to your doctor.
Signs of Other Conditions that Appear in the Feet
• A persistent wound or open sore on your foot that isn’t healing may be a sign of diabetes. An untreated ulcer on the bottom of your foot may lead to an amputation. • Peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage beginning in the feet, is another sign of diabetes that causes numbness or a feeling of “pins and needles.” Please come see us promptly if you have any numbness in your feet. • If you notice that a toenail has begun to change color, thicken or separate from the skin, you may have a fungal infection. Those with autoimmune diseases or individuals taking medications such as corticosteroids are at a higher risk of fungal nail infections. • Gout is a type of arthritis and the first symptom may be a painful, enlarged big toe. This arthritis causes excess uric acid to build up, forming a painful crystal in the joint. • Psoriasis, a common skin condition, or psoriatic arthritis can cause your toenails to look pitted or to develop horizontal lines, or to appear discolored, crumbling or thickening. • Chronic iron deficiency or anemia can cause your toenails to look sunken or have spoon-like indentations. • Raynaud’s disease is a disorder of the blood vessels that cause toes and fingers to become numb and turn blue / purple when exposed to colder temperatures.
You can see that many of these diseases and conditions are serious health issues. If you experience any of these symptoms in your feet or toes, be sure to give the Foot Health Team of Dr. Peter F. Gregory, D.P.M. a call at 734-522-7676.
If you notice a bump on the side of your big toe, you may have what is referred to as a bunion. It may cause pain and discomfort, and it may be difficult to wear shoes that are typically worn on a weekly basis. Some of the symptoms that are generally associated with this condition can include calluses that form on top of the bunion, pain and swelling surrounding the affected area, and the skin may feel sore. Bunions have been known to be caused by wearing shoes that do not have ample room for the toes to move freely in. Additionally, there may be existing medical conditions such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis that can contribute to this condition. If you have developed a bunion, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can offer you proper treatment options.
If you are suffering from bunions, contact the Foot Health Team of Dr. Peter F. Gregory D.P.M. at 734-522-7676. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
What Is a Bunion?
A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.
Why Do Bunions Form?
Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary
Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions
How Are Bunions Diagnosed?
Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.
How Are Bunions Treated?
- Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
- Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
- Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
- Orthotics or foot inserts
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Foot Health Team of Dr. Peter F. Gregory, D.P.M. at 734-522-7676. We offer care for all of your foot care needs