Your Feet Can Reveal Underlying Disease

By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
January 25, 2018
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Diabetes   Gout   Ulcers   arch   purine   conditions  

Our feet are amazing, not only because they get us from place to place, but also because they can alert us to underlying health conditions we may never knew we had. Some of the simplest signs can lead to a much more involved diagnosis. Read more to see what your feet are trying to tell you.

Dry Flaky Feet

Dry flaky feet can be a sign of a thyroid problem, especially if moisturizer doesn’t help. When the thyroid gland stops working properly, it doesn’t produce the right amount of thyroid hormones. This means that metabolic rate, blood pressure, tissue growth, and skeletal and nervous system development can all get out of whack.

Bald toes

Bald toes can be a sign of arterial disease. If the fuzz on your toes suddenly disappears, it could signal poor blood circulation caused by peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

Ulcers that don’t heal

Ulcers on the feet that don’t heal are a sign of diabetes. Uncontrolled sugar levels can damage nerves and cause poor circulation which is a recipe for foot ulcers.

Enlarged, painful big toe

Swollen and painful big toes can be a sign of gout. Think back to what you have eaten recently. Foods high in uric acids such as alcohol and steak can lead to gout if too much is consumed. Gout is a type of arthritis that usually affects the joint of the big toe. Foods high in purine, a chemical compound found in red meats, fish, and certain alcohol, can trigger an attack by raising levels of uric acid in the body. Uric acid is normally excreted in urine but is either overproduced or under-excreted in some people.

A suddenly high arch

Is your arch very high all of a sudden? It could be a sign of nerve damage. Most high-arched feet are associated with some form of underlying neuromuscular condition.

If you have any symptom listed above on your feet, it is important to see a podiatrist right away. Many of these underlying conditions can be severe if not treated properly. Call Dr. Andrew H. Cohen of Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center, located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. Call 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. The health of your feet can tell you about the health of your body overall.