SYMPTOMS OF SYSTEMIC HEALTH CONDITIONS THAT SHOW IN THE FEET
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.