Even the most health-conscious individuals can sometimes forget to mind the health of a very important part of their bodies: their feet. In your lifetime, you will most likely deal with at least a few foot problems, even if you do everything in your power to protect your feet. While some of those injuries and conditions should heal on their own, there may come a point when you need to visit a specialist for professional treatments. Here are some conditions to watch out for.
Many different health conditions can make your extremities numb, and one of the most dangerous is diabetes. When left untreated, diabetes will damage your nerve endings, likely starting in the feet, and that can lead to a wide variety of serious health complications.
If you have a family history of diabetes and have recently noticed any problems with your feet including tingling or cuts that aren’t healing quickly, then you should immediately schedule a comprehensive checkup with your primary healthcare provider. Getting tested for diabetes is a simple process that takes no more than a few minutes. Early treatment will prevent more detrimental damage in the future.
Foot infections are extremely common, and you must schedule an appointment with a foot doctor if you have noticed any fungus on your feet or toes. Those infections are generally very easy to eradicate, but if you ignore the issue, the germs from the infection could spread to your bloodstream and to other parts of your body which can cause further issues especially if you have a weakened immune system from other health issues. Symptoms of fungal infections can include itching or burning skin, deteriorating toenails and blisters.
Ingrown toenails are a common condition that can also cause foot infections. If left untreated, the infection can cause complications such as infections in the nearby bones. Often, ingrown toenails can be treated at home, but if you’re in immense pain or notice spreading redness or pus, go to a doctor. To prevent future infections, you should keep your feet as clean as possible and regularly trim your toenails.
Pain on the Underside of Your Foot
The most common cause of pain around the ball of the foot is a condition known as gout. Patients who have gout usually claim that the pain is practically unbearable when they first wake up, but the discomfort slowly subsides throughout the day. Gout attacks can also come and go, beginning suddenly and lasting days.
Leaving your gout untreated for long enough can lead to arthritis. Gout is generally treated with anti-inflammatory medications, but your doctor might also suggest behavioral modifications such as changing your diet and exercising more often.
Chronically Cold Feet
When your cardiovascular system isn’t able to pump enough blood to your legs, your feet are going to feel cold. If your feet are unbearably cold at all times, then you could have rheumatoid arthritis or another similar condition. Some patients who have rheumatoid arthritis also notice additional side effects like discoloration around their feet or a tingling sensation when they first wake up in the morning. Often, it will also cause soreness and swelling in your foot joints. There isn’t a cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but the side effects can typically be mitigated with anti-rheumatic drugs.
You’re on your feet all day long, so pain from foot injuries and conditions can bring your life to a grinding halt. Many of the most common foot issues can easily be treated as long as they are caught early on, so you must immediately head to the hospital or a doctor if you want to avoid long-term problems.