When it comes to our health, the last place we tend to look is down at our feet. However, they can tell us a lot about what’s going on in our body. What kind of things?
Cramping And Spasms
Constant cramping could be an overuse injury if you’re on your feet all day, but it could also be more serious. People who have nutritional deficiencies and are dehydrated often experience chronic foot spasms.
Deficiencies in magnesium, potassium, chloride, and sodium are largely responsible for cramping – in other words, electrolytes.
Stay hydrated and consider upping your intake of calcium. You could also try soaking your feet in epsom salts as those are magnesium and sulfur-based salts.
Finally, get yourself a lacrosse ball and massage your foot with it. This is really easy to do. Place the lacrosse ball on the floor and place your foot over top of it in the meaty part of the foot, over the arch. Work the ball back and forth from the ball, through the arch, to the heel until you find tender spots. When you hit one, you’ll know.
Concentrate on those tender spots to break up the tension, pressing and holding, then moving the ball around to try to release the muscle tension.
Do this every day until the cramping lets up.
What Heel Pain Means
A sore heel that won’t heal is indicative of some serious health problems. But, don’t start with the most complicated diagnosis. It could be a tight achilles tendon causing your problems. Or, you could have massive cramping in your foot arch, calf muscle, and possibly other muscles as far up as the shin that are causing the sore heel.
A non-healing wound is another matter. If you have wounds that aren’t healing, it’s time to see a doctor. Non-healing wounds can be a sign of cancer or other serious illnesses.
Assuming you’re not having second thoughts about getting married, cold feet can be a sign of poor circulation. Hypothyroidism is the most common cause of feet that never seem to warm up. But, this can also be caused by being underweight, not eating enough calories, or by being sedentary.
If it is hypothyroidism, you’ll likely experience other symptoms like hair loss, fatigue, unexplained weight gain, and depression. Get a simple blood test to rule it out.
If it’s not hypothyroidism, one thing that might help is exercise. Start lifting weights or go out for a walk every day.
What Swollen Feet Mean
If you’re not pregnant, stand all day, or just came from a long flight, then you might have a serious underlying medical condition. Feet that are chronically swollen could have poor circulation, a problem with the lymphatic system, or a blood clot.
Lymph buildup, which is a protein-rich fluid that usually travels through vessels and capillaries, can be blocked. And, when this happens, it can interfere with wound healing and lead to an infection.
If it is a simple matter of being on your feet all day, you might try a nice foot bath at the end of the day. Soak with magnesium or epsom salts. This should help take down the swelling. If you keep the water cool to cold, this will also help with swelling. It might not be pleasant, but it will feel good when you’re done. About 20 minutes in cold water, and 20 minutes out, will make a world of difference.
What Yellow Toenails Mean
Yellow is a bad sign. Regardless of what else is going on, what you’re probably facing is a fungus of some kind. That, or psoriasis. If it is fungus, which can be confirmed with a trip to the foot doc, then you might need something like ZetaClear to get rid of it.
If it’s a skin condition, you will have to discuss treatment options with him or her.
Some treatment options include light therapy or creams that must be applied every day for several months. Skin conditions rarely fully resolve, unfortunately. Even the best doctors have trouble with aggressive cases and getting them to partially resolve.
What Spoon-Shaped Toenails Mean
Normal toenails are slightly raised in the middle and curve down at the tip. But, if yours are more spoon-shaped, then this could be a sign of anemia – an iron deficiency. It usually presents as concave shapes on the toes’ nail beds in moderate to severe cases.
What’s happening is that you lack hemoglobin, which is an iron-rich protein in your blood cells which transports oxygen.
John Hopkins is a wellness coach. He likes to share his experiences on the web. His articles are available mainly on health and fitness websites.
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