Thursday, 27 June 2013

What Your Feet Say About Your Health

Your head and your feet are at the two extreme ends of your body. Because of that, the head, where the mind sits, often overlooks the feet or takes them for granted. After all what do feet have to do except carry around the rest of the body? The fact of the matter is that the feet are a highly undervalued part of the body – foot problems can result in walking difficulty which in turn leads to lack of mobility which can have a major impact on the quality of life. Besides this, the feet offer us a very accurate indication of the condition of the rest of the body, if only we take the trouble to examine our feet carefully. Reflexology, the use of massage and pressure points on the feet to cure problems in other parts of the body, is now a proven and popular treatment option. This is a two way street and we can use the feet to tell us a lot about what is going on in the rest of our bodies.

What Your Foot Tells You
The feet can, in varying degrees, tell us a lot about our general health. There are many theories about what the feet can tell, some proven and some that are almost outlandish in nature, but are still possible. Here are a few of the most common and accepted foot conditions that reveal health issues in the rest of the body.
  • Having no hair on your feet or toes can give your feet a clean and smooth look. But it also indicates the possibility of poor blood circulation, often the result of vascular problems. The lack of adequate blood flow can cause the hair on the feet to fall off.
  • An inability to lift the heel of one or both feet up off the ground is not simply a case of a muscle problem at the heel. It can be caused by nerve or muscle damage originating at a distant point of the body like the neck, shoulders or upper back.
  • If your toes change color in cold weather you need to go in for a checkup. Toes that change color in a cyclical manner starting from white to blue to red before returning to the natural color and then beginning the cycle all over again is a sign of the possibility of Raynaud’s Disease which is not a serious matter in itself. However it can also be a sign that the person experiencing this has an autoimmune disease.
  • Pitted toenails with lots of small indentations or holes in them are a common phenomenon and are often ignored as they are sometimes difficult to see and do not cause any pain or discomfort. However, this can be an indication of the existence of psoriasis or even psoriatic arthritis.
  • A sore on the sole of the foot that will not heal should never be taken for granted. It could be a sign of diabetes. The high glucose levels in the blood cause nerve damage in the feet and this can lead to minor scrapes, irritations and other small injuries not healing within a reasonable period of time.
  • Having the tips of the toes swell to the point where they appear to be inclined upwards at the tip is often put down to the effects of wearing the wrong type of shoes. While this could be a cause, “digital clubbing” can also be a sign of respiratory disease, coronary problems and some gastrointestinal diseases like Crohn’s disease.
  • If your toenails have sunken almost spoon shaped depressions on them it could be a sign of anemia, usually a moderate to severe case.

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