Foot Health: Four Warnings Your Feet May Be Giving You

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Foot Health WarningYour feet aren’t an appealing thing to think about. They aren’t particularly attractive and get dirty or even stinky pretty easily, so it’s no surprise they’re an afterthought. But the reality is that your feet can tell you a lot about your health.

Let me give you some crucial examples of how your feet are telling you that something is up with your body.

Foot Health Warning #1: Cold Feet

As the temperatures drop, cold feet are increasingly common. But it doesn’t make a lot of sense, say, if your entire body is warm, you’re wearing socks, and your feet are still freezing. That’s because it could be more than a cold foot—it might indicate something more severe; it could be a sign of hypothyroidism.

Cold feet are a symptom of hypothyroidism, a condition when your body isn’t producing enough thyroid hormone resulting in a slowing metabolism. If your feet are chronically cold and constantly feel weak and fatigued, you might have this condition and should see a doctor.

Foot Health Warning #2: Yellow Toenails

But that’s not the only thing your feet can tell you about your health. Something I have always noticed on people during the summer—when they’re wearing open-toed shoes—are yellowish toenails. Now, it could be a minor, easily treatable fungal condition…or it could be “yellow nail syndrome,” which is far more severe. In rare cases, yellow toenails may signify lymphedema, a condition that causes swelling in the arms and legs. It can also be attributed to undiagnosed respiratory problems, so if you have yellow toenails, it’s recommended you see a doctor.

Foot Health Warning #3: Foot Cramps

As a runner, I experience foot cramps from time to time. They hurt like crazy, and can be difficult to get rid of. It’s usually a sign of dehydration or a nutrient deficiency, so the best way to treat it is to sip water throughout the day and eat a balanced, nutritious diet. Drinking a low-calorie sports drink with electrolytes, like “Gatorade G2” can also help.

Foot Health Warning #4: Swollen, Painful Big Toe

Sometimes your big toe can grow inexplicably and become painful. And if you didn’t stub it or drop something on it, it’s quite confusing. Unfortunately, an enlarged, painful big toe can be a sign of gout, a condition when uric acid collects in the joints to form sharp, painful crystals. You can try to reduce your chances of gout—or prevent flare-ups—by limiting your consumption of alcohol, red meat, and seafood, while also trying to incorporate some exercise into your lifestyle.

So your feet might be a little more important to your overall health than you thought! Pay attention to their condition and stay on top of your health.

Source for Today’s Article:
Oz, M., “4 Things Your Feet Tell You About Your Health,” Oprah web site;, last accessed December 9, 2015.