It’s not just severe diabetes that affects the health of your feet. In fact, hypertension (high blood pressure) also affects your feet.
It sounds strange at first. How can your feet and high blood pressure have any relationship?
The truth is that the human body is an incredibly complex system scientists and doctors don’t yet fully understand. Just think of how many different specialists you can see for various ailments that affect your body!
No one person gets the full picture.
Because of the generally sedentary lifestyle and high salt/sugar American diet, somewhere around 100 million Americans (according to the American Heart Association) have high blood pressure. And that’s nearly ⅓ of the entire American population!
So How Does High Blood Pressure Affect Your Feet?
High blood pressure doesn’t just harm your feet. It hurts your entire body.
When your blood pressure gets too high, it damages your blood vessels. Plaque builds up in your blood vessels, which restricts blood flow.
The plaque buildup is usually the defining characteristic of PVD (peripheral vascular disease).
Because certain parts of your body no longer have an adequate blood supply, they become susceptible to a number of serious problems.
This can lead to open ulcers, which if not promptly treated, can result in the need for amputation.
Believe it or not, this can actually happen without diabetes present. However, it’s 20 times more likely to happen to diabetics.
How Do You Know If High Blood Pressure Is Affecting Your Feet?
You really should be aware if you have hypertension in the first place. Your doctor will let you know about it in your annual physical.
But how do you know if it’s getting to the point where it could be causing serious problems in your feet?
Here’s a few telltale symptoms:
If you notice any of those going on, you definitely need to see your podiatrist ASAP. Letting those symptoms go can lead to painful foot ulcers and possibly amputation.
It isn’t worth the risk to do nothing.
You may be prescribed medication to control your blood pressure. And you should strongly consider a healthier diet and regular exercise to keep your blood pressure in check.
Hypertension is also a leading contributor to heart attacks. So, it’s a wise decision on your part to take care of it immediately upon discovery.
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