What your feet say about your health - pt. 2

Published: 2011-04-20 10:16:12
Author: Bernadette Gibson

  THIS week continues with more red flags as you take a sneak peek at your feet.

"You can detect everything from diabetes to nutritional deficiencies just by examining the feet," says Jane Andersen, Doctor of Podiatry Medicine and president of the American Association of Women Podiatrists and a spokeswoman for the American Podiatric Medical Association.

The feet provide an abundance of insightful data. A pair of feet contain 52 bones, which is more than a quarter of all the 206 bones of the body Each foot has 33 joints; 100 tendons; muscles and ligaments; and countless nerves and blood vessels that link all the way to the heart, spine and brain. This is an indication of how important nature regarded the foot when she designed it.

Unresolved foot problems can have unexpected consequences. Untreated pain often leads a person to move less and gain weight or to shift balance in unnatural ways thereby increasing the chance of falling and breaking a bone.

So when the feet send a message they mean business!! This week we will highlight the ninth and tenth of eighteen red flags as I continue a nine segment presentation.

Red Flag 9: Thick, yellow, downright ugly toenails

What it means: A fungal infection is running rampant below the surface of the nail. This condition is referred to as Onychomycosis and can persist painlessly for years. By the time its visibly unattractive, the infection is advanced and can spread to all toenails and even fingernails.

More clues: The nails may also smell bad and turn dark. People who are most vulnerable are those with diabetes, circulatory trouble or immune-deficiency disorders (like rheumatoid arthritis). If an older person has trouble walking, sometimes the problem can be traced to the simple fact that the infected nails grew thicker and are harder to cut and thus have simply gone undetected to the point of pain.