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Feet Conditions May Uncover Signs Of Heart Disease

Heart disease is a chronic disease and a leading cause of death. Knowing sign of heart disease early may help one lower risk of serious complications or even death. Sometimes, the signs of heart disease can be spotted through other parts of human body. For instance, the eye may reveal signs of heart disease. Small yellow patches around the eyes are actually cholesterol deposits, and about half of the time, those bumpy eye patches are the only warning signs of a serious heart problem. Likewise, the condition of one’s feet may uncover sign of heart disease.

Edema, or more commonly known as swelling, in the lower legs or feet can be a result of many reasons. It is usually temporary phenomenon caused by standing too long or a long flight, especially one is pregnant. Swelling should subside after a couple of days. Certain medications for blood pressure and diabetes or varicose veins could cause swelling. A kidney disorder or underactive thyroid can be the cause of swelling, too.

Nevertheless, swelling can be a sign of serious illness such as heart failure, a chronic condition in which the heart pumps blood inefficiently. When the heart does not work as well as it should, blood flow slows and backs up in the veins in the legs. This causes fluid to build up in the tissues. Swelling can also occur when the heart valve does not close normally. Heart-related foot swelling is often accompanied by other symptoms that include shortness of breath and/or fatigue.

Peripheral cyanosis is when there is a bluish discoloration to the hands or feet. Being cold is the most frequent cause of cyanosis. Cold temperature can narrow blood vessel that lead to temporarily blue-tinged skin, though it is possible to have blue hands or feet even though they are warm. Cyanosis is usually a result of low oxygen levels in the red blood cells or problems getting oxygenated blood to the body.

Massaging or warming the blue areas should return normal blood flow and color to the skin. If not, it could be a sign of more serious health problem with the blood, lungs or heart. In the worst-case scenario, blue feet could mean one is close to having a heart attack. If the blue feet are accompanied by a shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing up mucus or a fever, emergency medical attention should be sought immediately.

Cold feet can be due to poor blood flow linked to smoking, high blood pressure or heart disease. The nerve damage of uncontrolled diabetes can also make the feet feel cold. Other possible causes include hypothyroidism and anemia. Anemia is a condition that develops when the blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin (a main part of red blood cells and binds oxygen). Hypothyroidism, also called underactive thyroid disease, is a common disorder. With hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone.

Experiencing extremely pain when walking can be a sign of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). PAD can cause discomfort in the legs and feet, and limit walking and activities. Severe PAD can eventually progress to loss of limb. PAD is a build-up of fatty plaque in leg arteries and CAD (coronary artery disease) is a condition in which build-up of cholesterol blocks the arteries to the heart. Sometimes the presence of PAD indicates a higher risk for CAD.

One may probably experience numbness in the feet when he or she sits in one position for too long, or if he or she fell asleep at an awkward angle. But if this happens regularly or while one is active, it can be a problem of more serious conditions. Foot numbness is one of the more common symptoms of peripheral neuropathy related to Type-2 diabetes. Diabetes complicates blood flow to the feet, which means wounds or cuts may take a longer time to heal, leaving one susceptible to infection.

There are of course other feet conditions that may link to medical conditions like diabetes (sores that do not heal, claw toe, dragging feet, etc.), cancer (dark spot on the foot), or kidney disease (white nails). So, do pay attention and seek help if any abnormal foot conditions appear.




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