At Benenati Foot & Ankle Care Centers, we always encourage our Macomb County patients to examine their feet regularly. While this is the best way to detect changes that may indicate a podiatric problem is developing, there’s another reason as well. Many systemic diseases may first manifest in your feet. Regular self-exams of your feet will make it easy to spot unusual symptoms that may point to a serious medical condition like the ones below.
Diabetes—this disease that stems from high blood sugar levels has a few conditions associated with it that may first show up in your feet. Nerve damage or neuropathy can occur in conjunction with diabetes and you may notice a lack of feeling or numbness in your feet. Conversely, you may notice burning or tingling in your feet. Another potential sign of diabetes is dry, cracked skin on your heels and soles. This is caused by dysfunction of the glands that may also be part of the disease.
Arthritis—although joint disorders may show up anywhere in your body, the feet and toes are often the first place they strike. Why? These are the joints that get the most consistent, daily use. They are also the joints under the most pressure from carrying the weight of your entire body.
Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)—more commonly referred to as “poor circulation,” PAD occurs when plaque buildup and blockages begin to form in the arteries. Since your feet are the place where the blood in your body must travel the furthest, they are often the first place to show signs of PAD. Symptoms may include:
- Loss of hair on toenails and feet
- Cold feet
- Discoloration of toenails
- Sores that don’t seem to be healing
- Pain or numbness in the lower legs or feet
If you notice any suspicious changes to your feet, ankles or lower legs, it’s very important that you contact our Macomb (586) 416-3668, St. Clair Shores (586) 779-6140 or Warren (586) 756-3338 office for an appointment. Our podiatrists, Dr. Anthony Benenati, Dr. Neil Shaw or Dr. Philip M. Watkins will evaluate your symptoms and determine the best course of action.