Here are 12 signs to watch for while checking if you have happy feet
- 1. You have cold feet
- 2. Chameleon toes
- 3. Those heels are killing you
- 4. You drag your feet as you walk
- 5. Your toes are clubbed
- 6. Your feet are swollen
- 7. That burning sensation
- 8. When those sores refuse to heal
- 9. Your big toe hurts….
- 10. …and so do your small toes
- 11. Itchy feet
- 12. Toenails that don’t look . . . normal
- Some quick foot care tips for happy feet
Foot health is something we all tend to take for granted. We assume we have happy feet. Considering they take the weight of our bodies and take us places, it is critical to ensure that they’re in good health. Our family doc always examines our nails and can tell when there is a respiratory problem or even a skin problem!
I recently went to the doc because I had a rash on my ankle that refused to heal. True, I am diabetic but my blood sugar is under control. So I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. It would look like it was healing, and then become active again. Turns out it was because of dry skin. And I also learned that dry skin/eczema can run in the family.
Did you know that our feet can indicate an underlying health issue? Watching out for anything out of the ordinary can help prevent unnecessary pain, stress, and oh yes – those medical bills – not to mention the inconvenience of waiting at the doctor’s clinic. Happy feet need not be the Holy Grail.
Feet include nails and there are signs you should look for, so you can take action.
Here are 12 signs to watch for while checking if you have happy feet
1. You have cold feet
Ah, not that sort of cold feet where you decide against doing something. In this instance, we’re talking about cold toes, often caused by poor blood circulation. Cold feet are common in smokers, those with high blood pressure or heart disease, or out-of-control diabetes that causes nerve damage. If your feet are cold and you don’t know why it is time to talk to your doctor.
If you wear high heels and have had a tiring day, I would be surprised if you did not have achy feet and fantasized about a nice foot massage. But like me, if you do not wear high heels yet experience constant pain, it could easily be because of a stress fracture. Maybe you went through an intense exercise session? Like long-distance running, a game of basketball? And if you have osteoporosis, it is trouble all the way. NOT happy feet!
2. Chameleon toes
I had never heard of these. Apparently, one’s feet can turn from blue to red and back to normal, just like a chameleon. It is called “Raynaud’s disease” where the arteries become narrow. This can also relate to rheumatoid arthritis or thyroid problems.
3. Those heels are killing you
Sometimes, the ligament connected to the heel bone can be swollen and cause sharp pain, especially as you wake up in the morning, get off the bed and your feet take your weight. This is commonly caused due to shoes that don’t fit well, too much exercise, or arthritis. Oh, a friend of mine had a spur in her heel that gave her hell. It could also be an infection, tumor, or fracture that is causing the pain.
4. You drag your feet as you walk
Conditions like diabetes or infection, vitamin deficiency, and alcoholism can result in gradual peripheral nerve damage in the feet, where you start to lose normal sensation and have to drag your feet when you walk or experience a change in your gait.
5. Your toes are clubbed
How Halloween-ish. Except it is not a costume prop. It is a painful reality where the shape of the toes changes and the nails turn rounded on top, curving downward. Common causes are lung disease, liver or digestive problems, or infections. It could also just be a genetic problem.
6. Your feet are swollen
Sitting or standing too long, or that long flight can cause this. Pregnant women often suffer from this. It helps to raise your feet and rest them on a pillow. My feet swell when I am on a long bus ride or when I sit for too long. As I said, putting those feet up on a pillow can relieve the swelling. But if those feet continue to stay swollen, it is a sign of bad blood circulation, lymphatic system issues, or blood clots. It can also point to a kidney or thyroid dysfunction.
I’d say it is time to see your doc and whatever he suggests, do some independent research of your own to learn more.
7. That burning sensation
Those with diabetes are familiar with that burning sensation in their feet due to slow nerve damage, but this can also be due to a vitamin deficiency, athlete’s foot, chronic kidney disease, poor circulation in the legs and feet, or hypothyroidism.
8. When those sores refuse to heal
Foot sores that do not heal could be a warning of impending diabetes. As those suffering from diabetes will attest, this silent killer prevents wounds from healing, causing blisters that could get infected. If you have diabetes, take extra care to keep your feet dry and clean. Who wants fungus? Definitely not happy feet!
9. Your big toe hurts….
Gout can cause the big toe to pain and swell, but so can osteoarthritis. Sportspeople who play on hard surfaces tend to develop a hurtful big toe and injuries around the toe joint. Ouch!
10. …and so do your small toes
Pain in the small toes usually begins at the ball of your foot, spreading to the toes. This could mean an injury or pressure on those toes. There is a thickening of tissue around the nerve between the third and fourth toes and this is more common in women than in men. Yes, life is unfair.
11. Itchy feet
Another common complaint caused by fungal infections is called athlete’s foot, especially in men. But itchy feet can also be due to an allergic reaction to cosmetics. If the skin is thick, it could be psoriasis, which is an immune system problem and is usually treated with a topical cream to relieve the itch.
12. Toenails that don’t look . . . normal
Toenail color and shape are pretty good indicators of your overall health – you have probably noticed your doctor examining your nails. Look for these:
- Yellow toenails: fungal infections, inflammation in the lymphatic system, lung problems, or rheumatoid arthritis.
- Spoon-shaped toes: an iron deficiency.
- Whitish nail: an injury or illness.
- Sometimes the nail may separate from the nail bed when there is an injury or infection.
- If your nails are intact but white, the underlying cause could be liver disease, congestive heart failure, or diabetes.
- Depressed toenails or toenails that are pitted indicate psoriasis.
Hmm. Who would have thought feet and nails could play such a significant role in our health?
Good foot care, particularly if you have a predisposition for diabetes, is a must if you want happy feet. If you see something unusual and persistent, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor. Why suffer?
Some quick foot care tips for happy feet
- Keep those feet clean. Wash with soap and then, dry well, especially between the toes.
- Trim your nails regularly
- Keep your feet moisturized
- Wear shoes that fit comfortably
- Don’t wear wet shoes
- Attend to cracked heels
- Pamper your feet