From vitamin deficiencies to thyroid issues, your feet can tell you a lot more about your health than you might expect. Read on for some of the things our feet say about our overall health.
You don’t have to look like a hobbit by any means, but a complete lack of hair on your feet and toes may be a sign that you don’t have the best circulation. This is especially true if you’ve noticed hair loss on your feet. One thing you can do? Test the pulse on your ankle. If you can’t find it, talk to your doctor.
2. COLD FEET
Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland, can impact your body in a number of ways, including your feet. Are your feet always cold? If you’re experiencing other symptoms of hypothyroidism, including dry skin and hair, fatigue and unexplained weight gain, talk to your doctor.
3. SWOLLEN, SORE BIG TOES
A sore, swollen, red and warm big toe is a hallmark of gout. In fact, many people discover that they have gout because of issues with their big toe. A form of arthritis, gout is caused by elevated levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. Though it’s often associated with excessive meat consumption, just over 1 in 10 cases of gout are directly related to diet.
4. DRY, FLAKY SKIN
You don’t have to be a pro player to get athlete’s foot. If you notice the skin on your feet, especially between the toes, is unusually dry, flaky and itchy, this fungal infection may be the culprit. Treat the area with an over-the-counter solution, and, if it doesn’t go away, talk to your doctor.
5. SMELLY FEET
Luckily, having smelly feet is not necessarily a sign of anything nefarious. What they CAN be a sign of, though, is, not surprisingly, improper hygiene. Wash your feet regularly, stick to cotton socks and, if you’re prone to sweating, keep an extra pair of clean socks on hand. Another tip? Don’t wear the same shoes every single day!
6. DIFFICULTY WALKING
If staying on your feet is hard for you, there could be a number of issues at play. Difficulty absorbing calcium, undiagnosed fractures and anorexia are the biggest ones. If you’re having trouble walking, your best bet is to speak to your doctor.
7. FREQUENT CHARLEY HORSES
If you often find yourself with muscle spasms, but overuse or injury of the muscle don’t seem to be the culprit, you could be dehydrated or have one of a number of different vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Potassium, calcium and even too-low levels of sodium in the bloodstream can make you more prone to these painful muscle spasms.
8. UNEXPLAINED NUMBNESS
If your feet (and legs) feel numb, there are a number of possible culprits. Sure, one of them is sitting for too long, but it can also be a sign of much more serious ailments, including Multiple Sclerosis, nerve damage and Fibromyalgia.