Your toes can tell so much about the state of your health. So on your next medical appointment, make sure your nurse checks your feet. Any changes on your feet – nails, skin, or how they feel – can be a sign of a problem. It might not just be foot problems, but a more serious one.
Since your feet are far from the heart and spine, they are the first ones to show signs whenever there is a nerve problem. Also, any threat on the body will affect your feet. In fact, they are easily compromised since they are the last to receive blood.
We discuss what could be behind your foot problems. If any of these is familiar to you, you have to speak with your doctor or podiatrist immediately.
Hairless toes and feet
If your toes suddenly get bald, your feet might not be getting sufficient blood flow for hair to grow. The pulse on your feet will be checked by the doctor to determine if your heart is not pumping enough blood towards your feet.
Sudden enlargement of the big toe
If your big toe suddenly becomes red and swollen and comes with big toe pain, you will need to see a doctor immediately. It could be gout, infection, or big toe arthritis.
Bunions, medically called hallux valgus, is not only caused by stilettos and other restrictive shoes. It can also be due to a faulty foot structure that is often inherited. Then again, it does not mean that you should continue using restrictive footwear as they can aggravate bunion pain and cause more discomfort. Bunions are not just unsightly, but also painful. Bunion relief can be achieved with the use of big toe brace, bunion guard, bunion spacer, or bunion splint. In some cases, bunion treatment would include surgery.
Frequent foot cramps
Random cramps are just as normal as foot problems. Everyone gets it. But if it happens too frequently, then it could be something else. It can be a circulation problem, nerve issue, or nutritional deficiency. It can also be due to dehydration, which is why you should drink lots of water when exercising. Increasing your intake of calcium and potassium (with your doctor’s guidance) may also help make cramps less common. For relief of foot pain and heel pain, you can soak your feet in warm water and stretch your toes to the direction of your nose. If you still have cramps frequently, see your doctor to determine if you have any nerve or circulation issues.
The pain you feel on the heel of your foot as soon as you get out of bed is caused by the inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a connective tissue that supports the arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis causes heel pain and can be relieved with the use of heel protectors, heel pads, heel cushion, and plantar fasciitis shoes. It also helps to have a stretching routine and to change your footwear.
A sore that doesn’t heal can mean that you have diabetes. High blood sugar levels can cause nerve damage, making it hard for you to feel any cuts, scrapes, or sores. If the sore gets infected, you might end up with an amputation.
The next time you have a foot problem, make sure that you know what it really is. It might be a simple case of nutritional deficiency or a severe nerve problem. Whatever it is, know when to see a doctor and have your feet checked thoroughly.