Could Feet Be the Windows to Your Health?

When it comes to checking on your health, you might think about your skin, hair, or even your eyes. But what about your feet? They’re often overlooked but can tell you a lot about what’s going on inside your body. At our nationally recognized podiatry clinic, we believe understanding your feet’s health can be a game-changer for your overall well-being.

Could Feet Be the Windows to Your Health

Why your feet matter

Your feet are connected to the rest of your body through a complex network of nerves and blood vessels. This connection means that changes in your feet can be early warning signs of various health issues, from infections and cardiovascular problems to nerve disorders. Let’s take a closer look at what your feet can reveal about your health.

What your feet can tell you

Here are some health conditions that your feet can warn you about:

Hand, foot, and mouth disease

Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFM) is a common and highly contagious childhood viral illness. It’s caused by the coxsackie virus and typically starts with red spots that can blister on the hands, feet, and mouth. Despite its name, the rash can also appear on the legs and buttocks.

This condition is usually short-lived and resolves on its own after a few days, but it’s important to recognize it early to prevent spreading it to others.

Heart and circulation problems

Your circulatory system works tirelessly to deliver blood throughout your body, all the way down to your toes. If your feet are consistently cold, or if they change color and become painfully cold, this could indicate a circulatory problem.

One condition to be aware of is blue toe syndrome, which occurs when small cholesterol clots block blood flow in the smaller blood vessels of the feet. This can cause your feet to turn blue and become painful. Blue toe syndrome can result from aneurysms or atherosclerosis, especially after surgical treatments for these conditions.

Nervous system issues – the Babinski sign

The Babinski sign is a reflex test that doctors use to check for nervous system problems. During this test, a doctor will stroke the sole of your foot with a blunt instrument. In a healthy adult, the toes should curl downward.

However, if the big toe points upward and the smaller toes fan out, this is known as an “upgoing plantar” response or the Babinski sign. This response is normal in infants, whose nervous systems are still developing. However, in adults, it can be a sign of serious conditions like a stroke or multiple sclerosis. It can also occasionally be observed during deep sleep in otherwise healthy individuals.


Diabetes can cause numbness, tingling, or sores on the feet due to nerve damage and poor circulation. It’s crucial to monitor your feet regularly if you have diabetes to prevent complications.

Kidney Problems

Swelling in your feet and ankles can be a sign of kidney problems. This occurs because your kidneys are not able to remove excess fluid from your body effectively.

Thyroid Issues

Dry, cracked skin on your feet can be a sign of thyroid disorders. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can affect your skin’s texture and moisture levels.

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Keep an eye on your feet

Regularly checking your feet can help you catch health issues early. Inspect your feet daily for:

  • Changes in color
  • Swelling
  • Rashes
  • Injuries

If you notice any changes or alarming symptoms on your feet, get in touch with University Foot & Ankle Institute’s podiatric experts right away!

At University Foot & Ankle Institute, we specialize in diagnosing and treating a wide range of foot-related conditions. We’re here to help you understand what your feet are telling you about your overall health.

Remember, healthy feet are a step towards a healthy body! Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a comprehensive foot health evaluation. Your health starts from the ground up, and taking care of your feet is essential for your overall well-being.

UFAI has the most experience with foot-based health problems

The podiatry specialists at the University Foot & Ankle Institute are experts in the biomechanics of the foot and ankle. With a wide range of treatment options for all foot and ankle conditions, our podiatrists can treat foot pain, restore functionality, and improve your overall wellness.

To schedule a consultation, please call (855) 872-5249 or make an appointment now.

University Foot and Ankle Institute is conveniently located throughout Southern California and the Los Angeles area. Our foot doctors are available at locations in or near Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Northridge, Downtown Los Angeles, Westlake VillageSanta Barbara, and Valencia.


Baumgardt 1. D, Bristol U of. Don’t ignore what your feet are trying to tell you about your health. CNN. Published May 10, 2024. Accessed May 20, 2024.


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