When scanning for senior health body for issues, your feet may be the last place you check. However, you could be missing vital clues into how your body is functioning. Prevention magazine noted that, since your extremities are farthest from your heart, they’re the first to show signs of circulation and similar problems.
Pay more attention to your feet, especially if you have a condition like diabetes, and you’ll be more likely to identify issues as early as possible. Follow these signs from Prevention magazine to take note of what your feet can tell you about your health:
Occasional foot spasms and stiffening is normal, but frequent bouts could point to an issue with your diet. Dehydration or deficiencies in nutrients like potassium can cause the discomfort. Try incorporating more liquid into your diet, and eat a banana to restore your levels.
Stubborn sores or cuts
Depending on your existing health conditions or medications, cuts can sometimes take a while to go away. For example, if you’re taking blood thinners or if you have diabetes, your body may take longer to heal. But in other instances, this could be a sign of skin cancer, which can appear anywhere – even between the toes. Talk to a medical professional at your assisted care community to identify exactly what’s causing the sore and prevent it from getting infected.
Itchy, flaky skin
Sometimes, you just have dry skin – especially in the cold months when there’s little moisture in the air. However, perpetually itchy, dry skin on your feet can also signal a fungal infection or eczema. With a simple skin test, your doctor can identify the issue and prescribe effective treatment. As a preventative measure, the American Diabetes Association recommended using lotion on your feet once a day to prevent dryness and cracking, which could ultimately lead to infection. Slather lotion on your feet, but not in between your toes, and cover with socks to keep from slipping.
If you were sitting cross-legged and you temporarily lose feeling or get pins and needles, it’s normal. But if feeling doesn’t come back, or if the numbness is in both feet, it could be something more serious. It can be a result of diabetes, a side effect of chemotherapy, or it could just be a pinched nerve from wearing uncomfortable shoes. The only way to know for sure is to visit your doctor and explain your symptoms.