February is American Heart Month. It is a great time to take a moment and learn about cardiovascular health. Heart disease is the number one cause of death for most Americans. It can affect all ages, ethnicities, and genders. Every year more than 600,000 Americans die from heart disease. Did you know the health of your heart can affect the health of your feet? It’s true, and here we’ll look at how heart health and your feet connect.
Your heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout your body. However, if your heart isn’t healthy, your circulation may be poor, and this can result in several symptoms affecting your feet. Here are the most common:
Swelling of the feet is called edema. It can happen to one or both feet, ankles, and legs caused by fluid accumulation. It is one significant sign of heart problems, especially in Americans under 65. It’s a serious issue and should be looked at by an experienced podiatrist as soon as possible. Treatment for edema is by raising the swollen extremity while lying down, so it is higher than the heart. Exercise such as walking or any aerobic activity can improve circulation. If you notice swelling, make sure to wear loose-fitting clothes that won’t restrict blood flow.
You should inspect your feet daily to see if you notice any changes in your skin color. If your skin changes to a more blue or purple color, especially if the temperatures are warm, that could be a significant sign that something is wrong. It could be a blockage in your arteries or a sign of heart disease. Make sure to consult a doctor immediately before the condition worsens.
Another sign of poor heart health is when your wounds take an abnormally long time to heal. It is because your blood is nutrient-rich and contains oxygen that helps you to heal. However, if you are recovering slowly, this may signify the blood is not flowing correctly.
As always, if you do find an issue or are experiencing any pain or discomfort, contact a specialist right away.
Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, Dr. Donal M. Erickson, Dr. Keith Sherman, Dr. Riane Teagarden, and their staff will help you diagnose and treat your foot or ankle condition. Call Syracuse Podiatry, located in East Syracuse, New York, for more tips and expert advice. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today.