You need to give your feet a little more credit, because they do more than just carry you from one place to another. Your feet have the ability to alert you to serious issues like diabetes, thyroid disease, and heart disease before you even get to the doctor’s office.
Ulcers That Don’t Heal
It could be Diabetes. Uncontrolled glucose levels can damage nerves and cause poor circulation, so blood doesn’t reach the feet. When blood doesn’t get to a wound caused by, say, irritating shoes, the skin doesn’t heal properly.
A lot of people with diabetes are diagnosed first because of foot problems. Other signs of diabetes may include tingling or numbness of the feet. Ask your doctor about getting your blood sugar levels tested.
Enlarged, Painful Big Toe
The food you ate may cause this. Gorged on wine and steak? The painful aftermath could be gout, 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 through urine, but is overproduced or under-excreted in some people. In such people, it is deposited in the joint, most commonly the big toe or the ankle. The patient will wake up with a hard, red, swollen joint and it’s extremely painful.
A doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs for short-term relief and suggest a low-purine diet for long-term prevention.
Dry, Flaky Feet
It could be thyroid problems, especially if moisturizer doesn’t help. When the thyroid gland has issues, it doesn’t properly produce thyroid hormones, which control metabolic rate, blood pressure, tissue growth, and skeletal and nervous system development.
Thyroid problems cause severe dryness of the skin. Brittle toenails can also signal thyroid complications.
this could be an indication of arterial disease. If the fuzz on your toes suddenly disappears, it could signal poor blood circulation caused by peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
Signs of PAD can include decreased hair growth on the feet and ankles, purplish toes, and thin or shiny skin. Symptoms are subtle, but doctors can check for a healthy pulse in the foot or spot PAD on an X-ray.