Your feet and ankles are often one of the first places that exhibit signs of other health issues, and your podiatrist can learn a lot about your overall health problems during a comprehensive exam. Heart and circulatory problems like artery disease and diabetes will often show signs first in your extremities.
Other foot anomalies that may reveal overall health problems include the following:
- Loss of feeling—Numbness and a pins-and-needles sensation are an indication of nerve damage that is usually due to diabetes.
- Foot and ankle swelling—Edema, or fluid retention in the ankles and feet may indicate a kidney problem.
- Foot and leg cramps—These cramps can indicate mineral deficiencies. Your muscles need minerals like calcium and potassium to function properly.
- Wounds and cuts that are healing slowly—Cuts and scrapes on your feet that are not healing properly may indicate nerve issues, circulation problems, or immune system troubles, including diabetes and peripheral artery disease.
- Dry skin—The skin in your extremities can become dehydrated when circulation problems like PAD (peripheral artery disease) are evident, which is ironic since you can also retain fluid in your ankles and feet due to the same issue. Dry skin can cause more frequent occurrence of corns and calluses.
If you notice any problems in your feet and ankles, make an appointment with your foot doctor to help catch a wide variety of health problems before they get worse. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience, to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.