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What Your Feet Say About Your Health

By age 50, the average American has logged an incredible 75,000 miles on foot. Paying attention to your feet helps you keep them ready to meet this challenge. Just as important, it gives you clues to the health of the rest of your body.


Clues in Your Shoes

Listen to what your feet are telling you. Below are a few examples of common foot symptoms along with some of their possible sources:

  • Tingly feet may be due to nerve loss from diabetes or other conditions. Nerve damage may also cause numbness or a burning sensation.

  • Open sores on the feet may result from injuries, ill-fitting shoes, or long periods of being bedridden. They may also be a sign of nerve damage, poor circulation, or diabetes. See your doctor if foot wounds are slow to heal.

  • Swollen feet are sometimes a symptom of heart failure, especially when accompanied by tiredness and shortness of breath during routine physical activity. Other causes include injuries, infections, and varicose veins.

  • Thickened toenails may be caused by an injury or nail fungus. But they could also be a sign of psoriasis or an underactive thyroid gland.

Healthy Foot Steps

With proper diagnosis and treatment, most foot health conditions can be relieved. If you experience foot health problems, including any of the symptoms listed above, talk with your primary care doctor or a foot health specialist.

© 2000-2018 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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