Signs of Disease Your Feet May Be Telling You

Often, we don’t give our feet enough credit! They can be a great indicator of potential health issues. Keep a close eye on your feet and be sure to consult with a medical professional if you observe any of the following changes:

Bald toes: If you notice that you suddenly lose all the hair on your toes, this could be an indication of poor circulation caused by arterial disease. It’s possible you could be suffering from a buildup of plaque in the leg arteries, which happens to approximately 8 million Americans, according to Dr. Suzanne Fuchs of North Shore University Hospital in New York.

Foot ulcers: If you notice you are developing foot ulcers that have difficulty healing, this could be a sign of diabetes. Uncontrolled glucose levels can damage nerves and cause poor circulation, making it difficult for blood to reach the feet. As a result, skin has a hard time healing properly. Foot ulcers are often a first indicator of diabetes, so be sure to get your blood sugar checked if you are experiencing foot ulcers.

Red streaks under toenails: You could have broken blood vessels known as splinter hemorrhages which happen when small blood clots damage the tiny capillaries under the nails. They can be a sign of endocarditis, which is an infection of the heart’s inner lining. This infection can result in heart failure if left untreated, so please seek medical treatment if you notice red streaks or lines under your toenails.

Dry or cracked skin: Dry, cracked or flaky skin can be a sign of a thyroid condition. If moisturizer doesn’t work to heal your dry skin, it could be a result of the thyroid not producing proper thyroid hormones, which control metabolic rate, blood pressure, tissue growth, and skeletal and nervous system development.

If you are experiencing any of these foot health issues, be sure to seek medical attention to ensure your symptoms are not indicative of a more serious disease.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Diabetes and Feet: Minor Wounds, Major Problems

For most people, small foot injuries like calluses or blisters are a minor aggravation. They may feel sore, and they certainly don’t make your feet look any better. But these small wounds can grow into devastating problems for people with diabetes.

“The average person will unconsciously change the way they walk to minimize that callus forming, because for many people it hurts,” explains Marc House, DPM, a podiatrist at the Podiatry Associates of Indiana, Foot & Ankle Institute in Indianapolis. “With diabetes, you don’t feel it, so you continue to walk on the area.”

Here’s why:

  • Diabetes can damage nerves in the feet, so many people with diabetes don’t have normal sensation in their feet.

Diabetes can lead to narrowed arteries in the legs, causing poor blood flow to the feet.

  • Minor wounds may heal poorly and become infected as a result of the reduced blood flow. If you can’t feel your feet very well, you may not even realize that a problem is developing. Diabetes experts make it a priority to teach people to protect their feet for good reason. Doctors perform thousands of lower-limb amputations, including foot removal surgeries, in people with diabetes each year because of these nerve and circulation issues.

Diabetes and Feet: Keeping Them Healthy

According to the National Institutes of Health, smart tips for people with diabetes include:

  • Inspect your feet daily. Stay on the lookout for signs of possible trouble such as red spots, blisters, and cuts. If you can’t see the bottoms of your feet, lay a mirror on the floor and use it to inspect your soles. Let your doctor know if you notice any sores or cuts on your feet that don’t heal within a day or two.
  • Never walk barefoot. That goes for inside and outside. Always feel inside your shoes with your fingers before you put them on to make sure a sharp object isn’t hiding inside.
  • Keep them warm. If your feet get cold, put on warm socks. Avoid using heating pads on your feet — they may burn you.
  • Get a check-up. Ask a health care provider to check your feet at every visit.
  • Use a pumice stone. If your doctor says it’s okay, use a pumice stone to treat calluses. Never use a sharp blade on your feet.

Wear the right shoes and socks. Buy shoes that have plenty of support, but are not too tight. Also be sure to wear clean, lightly cushioned socks at all times to prevent blisters.

  • Control your blood sugar. As with most diabetes complications, you’re less likely to have foot problems if you aggressively manage your blood sugar. Work closely with your doctor to keep your blood sugar under control.
  • Don’t smoke. You probably already know that smoking is bad for your heart and lungs, but you may not know that it also decreases blood flow to your feet — increasing the risk of sores and infection.

Reference source:
https://www.everydayhealth.com/foot-health/foot-care-and-diabetes.aspx

Using Essential Oils for Neuropathy

Proper foot care is essential for those with Diabetes.  Of the 16 million Americans with diabetes, 25% develop foot problems related to the disease. This is primarily due to a condition called neuropathy. Diabetic Neuropathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the nerves. The most common type of diabetic neuropathy is called peripheral neuropathy and affects the peripheral nerves. Peripheral nerves are the nerves that go out from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles, skin, internal organs, and glands. Peripheral neuropathy impairs proper functioning of these sensory and motor nerves. The most common symptoms of neuropathy include numbness and loss of feeling, usually in the feet and hands.

Diabetic Neuropathy can cause insensitivity or a loss of ability to feel pain, heat, and cold. Diabetics suffering from neuropathy can develop minor cuts, scrapes, blisters, or pressure sores that they may not be aware of due to the insensitivity. If these minor injuries are left untreated, complications may result and lead to ulceration and possibly even amputation. Neuropathy can also cause deformities such as Bunions, Hammer Toes, and Charcot Feet. It is very important for diabetics to take the necessary precautions to prevent all foot-related injuries. Due to the consequences of neuropathy, daily observation of the feet is critical. When a diabetic patient takes the necessary preventative footcare measures, he or she reduces the risk of developing serious foot conditions.

If you suffer from neuropathy, there are some great natural ways you can support your foot health, including essential oils. Always be sure to properly dilute your oils to ensure that you aren’t doing more harm than good.

  • Peppermint oil: Peppermint is known to reduce pain and relax muscles.
  • Lavender: A natural pain reliever that promotes relaxation and sleep.
  • Roman chamomile: Helps to soothe muscles that are in pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Tea tree oil: Disinfects and has powerful antiseptic properties. It can be placed directly on cuts and scrapes to clean, disinfect, and reduce pain. Tea tree oil can be used for fungal infections, rashes, blisters, athlete’s foot, burns, infected wounds, cold sores, insect bites, and warts.

DISCLAIMER:  THE INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THIS SITE IS NOT PROVIDED BY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS AND IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.  THE INFORMATION ON THIS SITE IS NOT MEANT TO SUBSTITUTE CONSULTING WITH YOUR PODIATRIST, DOCTOR OR OTHER HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL. THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON OR THROUGH THIS SITE IS IN NO WAY INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, INFLUENCE TREATMENT OR CURE ANY FOOT OR OTHER HEALTH PROBLEMS NOR IS IT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE SERVICES OR ADVICE OF A PODIATRIST, PHYSICIAN, OR HEALTH PROFESSIONAL.  YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT A PHYSICIAN LICENSED IN YOUR STATE IN ALL MATTERS RELATING TO YOUR HEALTH.

How Sugar is Harming Our Children

I see so many children eating high sugar foods, especially during the busy winter months when it feels like there are parties and holidays every other week. I’ve put together a post that explains in simple terms why white sugar is not a healthy option. This is a great way to discuss this issue with your kids and help to show them that there are other options that will help their bodies feel healthier and stronger. Please feel free to share the below post with your kiddos!

Most young people eat too much sugar. They eat sweet cereal for breakfast in addition to sweetened juice. For lunch they have a fruit rollup or candy with a sandwich, and with dinner they often drink lots of soda or other sugary drinks. Dessert might be ice cream or cookies.

Sugar gives us a lot of energy at first, and then it makes us really tired and cranky, and always wanting more sugar. Some people get headaches or feel sick from eating sugar.

Our bodies do not need white sugar, and there are many easy ways to eat less of it.

You will feel better and be much healthier without it!

Sugar alternatives:

  • Eat fruit to get a naturally sweet taste.
  • Eat sweet vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, carrots and squash.
  • Drink seltzer or water with a little juice instead of soda.
  • Bake your own desserts and treats using natural sweeteners.
  • Eat more grains, chewing well to release their natural sweetness.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.