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Toes and feet

Toes and feet are something I like catching people out by. Almost every patient, I find never takes their socks off before they hop onto the bed, but I so kindly do that for them once they are laying down. And you really don’t want to be caught by your toes.

Feet are always overlooked and are actually big indictators of our overall health.

Let us take a brief look why:

Shape: a foot shape that drastically changes can be a strong sign of diabetes. For example, nerve damage from diabetes can lead to changes in the shape of the feet, such as in charcot’s foot, where the foot may start swelling with redness. After that, bones in the feet and toes can shift or even break, which may cause the feet to have an odd shape, such as a rocker bottom.

Swelling: many diseases can cause swollen feet, such as heart disease and kidney or liver failure. These problems can result in excess fluid build up of oedema that is often concentrated in the legs and feet, causing swelling. Some swelling of the feet and ankles is normal during pregnancy. If pregnant women, towards the end of their pregnancy after 20th week, have sudden or excessive swelling, however, it may be because of a serious condition called pre-eclampsia, and you should call your doctor immediately.

Colour: feet that suddenly turn purple or blue can indicate that an individual has underlying medical conditions. Examples of illnesses that can change the foot-color to such a degree are: peripheral arterial disease, Raynaud’s disease, and diabetes. The reason that feet become discolored is due to the fact that not enough oxygen is reaching the area. Either way, feet that have such discoloration should be examined by a medical professional to provide the appropriate treatment for the underlying cause.

Inflammation: people may find that they occasionally have red or inflamed feet because of foot-rashes as a result of an allergic reaction. However, feet that have these characteristics on a consistent basis are caused by a more serious issue, and it’s a result of having the autoimmune disorder called systemic lupus erythematosus, or lupus. Lupus is an "autoimmune" condition that causes the immune system to attack the blood vessels and other parts of the body. As a result, people who have it may easily end up having red, inflamed feet.

Chronically cold: Plenty of health conditions can cause a person’s feet to become cold, such as having an underactive thyroid, diabetes, or anemia. All of these conditions cause poor blood circulation which will cause the feet to become cold. Anyone who consistently has feet that are cold needs to see their doctor to do some testing to find out the cause.

Toenails: occasionally, toenails turning black can be due to something as simple as an injury such as toe stubbing. However, other serious causes for toenail discoloration often come into play. For instance, black toenails can be due to a serious form of skin cancer called malignant melanoma. Black and yellow toenails can also be a result of a fungal infection, while green toenails can be a result of a serious infection. The point is that any kind of serious discoloration of toenails should be taken seriously.

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