Give Your Feet a Glance!

A lot of people can’t stand feet, and avoid looking at them as much as possible! They may not be the most attractive part of the body, but they do deserve more credit than they get, as they could actually alert you to a serious underlying medical condition! Here are a few examples.

Dry, flaky skin, brittle nails, cold feet and a lack of coordination in your hands and feet could be a sign that you have a thyroid condition called hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid). This means your thyroid gland isn’t producing the right amount of the hormone thyroxine. If you have these symptoms, see your GP as soon as possible for a blood test!

If you experience cramping in your legs, numbness or weakness, cold feet, loss of hair on legs and feet, or sores that won’t heal, this could signal a disease called PAD (Peripheral Arterial Disease). It is caused by plaque build-up on the arteries which restricts blood flow to your legs and feet. If left unchecked it can lead to a stroke or a heart attack, so if you’re suffering from any of the above symptoms, it’s definitely worth getting it checked out!

If your big toe is suddenly painful and swollen, this could indicate gout. It is caused when the body has raised levels of uric acid, a waste product which is usually filtered through the kidneys and excreted through urine. Eating foods high in the chemical called purine- such as red meat and certain alcohol- produces more uric acid which in some people causes gout. Other symptoms include redness and hotness of the big toe joint. If left it is likely to affect other joints in the body, so if you have gout, go to your GP for treatment and advice.

So as gross as we may find them, our feet are actually useful for more than just walking!