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Tuesday's Health Report: What your feet can say about your health

2 months 5 days 17 hours ago Tuesday, May 14 2024 May 14, 2024 May 14, 2024 5:42 PM May 14, 2024 in Health
Source: CNN

BATON ROUGE — Your feet can actually tell you about your well being. There are several signs you can watch out for.

"We can definitely see evidence of different disease processes in the feet, whether it's on the skin or in the toenails, or just in general. Say a patient presents with swelling of the skin or the feet, sometimes it's related to heart disease or kidney disease or lymphedema or vascular disease. We can also see evidence of dermatological problems like psoriasis," podiatrist Dr. Joy Rowland said.

You can often tell if someone has poor circulation or even diabetes based on the appearance of their feet. People who may have thought their pain was isolated to their feet can discover its actually due to another medical condition. For example, someone experiencing numbness or tingling could have a back injury. 

In those kinds of situations, doctors can order any needed tests to confirm the suspected diagnosis.

Your toenails can also indicate something is wrong.

"If you happen to come into a podiatrist's office with thickened toenails, they're crumbly, they're brittle, a podiatrist can evaluate you, take a culture, and determine if you have psoriasis, if you have a fungal nail infection in your toenails, or also something called nail dystrophy. Nail dystrophy is different from the others as it's related to repetitive injury to the toenail. So even if you have a thickened yellow crumbly type toenail, it's not always nail fungus," Rowland said.

Sometimes people will endure foot pain or discomfort for years before finally getting it checked out. Doctors urge you not to delay because it could impact the type of treatments available.

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