April is Foot Health Awareness Month
Believe it or not, your feet can reveal a lot about your overall health. April is National FootHealth Awareness Month and St. Luke’s Medical Center is sharing some of the top red flags when it comes to feet.
“Just by examining feet, you may be able to detect health issues ranging from diabetes to circulation and kidney problems,” said Susan Erredge, D.P.M., a podiatrist on the medical staff at St. Luke’s Medical Center and Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital.
Here are some things to look out for:
Red Flag: Cracked heels
Cracked heels can develop as a result of wearing flip-flops or sandals too often or standing for prolonged periods of time. They can also be the symptom of thyroid and skin disorders or diabetes.
Red Flag: Hairless feet or toes
Surprise! Hairy toes are healthy. That’s because poor circulation, usually caused by vascular disease, can make hair on the feet vanish.
Red Flag: Sores that will not heal
These can be a major indicator of diabetes. Elevated blood glucose levels lead to nerve damage that will cause sores to go unnoticed. Eventually these sores may lead to infections, or even amputation.
Red Flag: Swollen feet
Swollen ankles and feet are common and usually are not a cause for concern, especially after walking or standing for long periods of time. However, feet and ankles that stay swollen can be a sign of something more serious ranging from cardiovascular disease to infection.
Red Flag: Numb feet
Being unable to feel your feet or having a heavy pins-and-needles sensation is a hallmark sign of damage to the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system sends information from the brain and spinal cord to every part of the body. The top causes of this condition are alcohol abuse and diabetes.
We’re not talking about the nervous pit in your stomach. People often complain of cold feet, especially women, and it may be nothing or it may be a symptom of an under functioning thyroid. Another possible cause is poor circulation. “Don’t ignore these warning signs,” says Dr. Erredge. “Early detection can help identify and potentially prevent or lessen more serious health problems.” If you experience any of these foot issues, a trip to the podiatrist’s office should be your next step.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please visit our website at www.azfeet.com or call 480-834-8804.