Most of the time when patients come to Paul S. Demarco, DPM with a complaint about their feet, they expect to find out that they have a podiatric condition. Sometimes, however, they are surprised when they receive a diagnosis of a more serious disease that can affect the whole body. The good news is that your feet can serve as a kind of “early warning system” for the rest of your body, revealing disorders in their earliest stages when they are most treatable. Here are some conditions you may not expect to find through your feet:
- Thyroid Disorders—excessively dry or cracked skin on your feet that doesn’t go away with a healthy dose of moisturizing can indicate a problem with your thyroid. The hormones produced by this gland have an effect on metabolism, tissue growth and skeletal and nervous system development among other things. Dry skin and brittle toenails or excessively sweaty skin can all be signs of thyroid dysfunction.
- Cardiovascular Disease—believe it or not, a small and seemingly bizarre sign that you may be suffering from poor circulation is the hair on your toes falling off. Swelling of the feet and ankles is often a symptom of high blood pressure. Changes in the appearance and color of the skin on your feet can be symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease.
- Diabetes—neuropathy or nerve damage is commonly linked with diabetes. Patients who are losing sensation or feel a burning or tingling in their feet with no obvious cause should have their blood sugar checked.
- Psoriasis—this autoimmune condition, which often causes patches of dry, red and itchy skin, can also affect your nails. If you find pits or indented spots on your nails, bring these to the attention of our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco. White spots or horizontal lines across the nails are other possible indications of this disease.
It’s important that you be vigilant in checking your feet regularly. If you notice anything abnormal or unusual, contact our Somers Point office for an appointment by calling: (609) 927-4894.