Have you noticed any changes to your feet lately? Perhaps they are cold, are experiencing pain, or the coloring in your toenails has changed? Because feet are the furthest body parts from our heart and spine, they are often the first parts of the body to be affected by nerve issues, as well as other issues, and are therefore great little indicators of the overall state of our health.
Are your feet showing any of the following signs? They may be trying to tell you something.
Poor blood flow, linked to smoking, high blood pressure, or heart disease, is one cause of cold toes. Nerve damage from uncontrolled diabetes can also lead to cold toes, as can hypothyroidism and anemia. If it’s the middle of summer or your feet are all rugged up and your toes still feel cold, it could be something worth checking out.
9. Dry skin
Dry or flaky skin around your heel can be a warning sign of thyroid problems. On its own, dry skin may just be a result of the weather, but when combined with other symptoms like weight gain or trouble seeing, you may have something more serious. Brittle toenails can also be a sign of thyroid problems.
8. Bald toes
If the fuzz or hair on your toes is suddenly gone, it might be a sign of the poor blood circulation that results from peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Other symptoms of PAD include purplish toes and thin or shiny skin. Doctors can do a quick check for PAD just by checking for a healthy pulse.
7. Clubbed toes
When the shape of your toes changes and your toenails are more rounded on top and curve downwards at the sides, you most likely have lung disease. Clubbed toes, however, can also be caused by heart disease, digestive disorders, or infections. Sometimes, the cause may just be genetics, with no underlying disease.
6. Black spots under toenails
signs of a hidden melanoma. Such discoloration may also be caused by a fungal infection, but because of the seriousness of melanomas, it could be worth checking out anyway.
5. Ulcers don’t heal
Feet are almost always the first place to be overtly affected by diabetes, and wounds don’t heal as fast when blood circulation is poor. Other signs of diabetes include tingling or numbness in the feet.
4. Swollen feet
Feet that swell after a long flight, as a result of hot weather, or during pregnancy, are nothing to worry about. But when feet stay swollen, it can be a sign of something more serious, including poor circulation, a problem with the lymphatic system, a blood clot, a kidney disorder, or an underactive thyroid.
3. Tiny red lines under toenails
These tiny red lines may be broken blood vessels or splinter hemorrhages that result from a heart infection. If this condition is left untreated it can result in heart failure.
2. Yellow toenails
The most common cause of thickened yellow toenails is a fungal infection. However, this symptom can also be a sign of lymphedema, lung problems, psoriasis, or rheumatoid arthritis.