High Blood Pressure and Your Feet
At NY Foot Health one of our goals is helping patients become better educated about the health of their feet and how it relates to the overall health of their body. Are you aware of the connection between high blood pressure and your feet? Often times, high blood pressure is associated with atherosclerosis—that’s a buildup of plaque in your blood vessels which can lead to decreased circulation. Your feet are the part of your body that’s furthest away from your heart and for this reason circulation issues can more seriously affect your lower extremities. In fact, signs of poor circulation are often first visible in your feet. Some podiatric symptoms that may signal high blood pressure include:
- Changes in color or temperature of the feet
- Cramping in the feet or lower legs, especially during or after exercise
- Sores on the feet
- Loss of hair on legs or feet
- Swelling (this may be a sign that hypertension has progressed to heart disease)
If you have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure it’s important that you inform your podiatrist of this and also any medications you are currently taking to treat this or any other medical condition. (If you don’t have a podiatrist, we can help you find one. Check out our online directory.) High blood pressure will also be a factor if you have to have surgery for foot or ankle problems.
There are a number of ways you can work to reduce high blood pressure. Several of these are also beneficial to your feet, including:
- Lose weight if you are overweight. Check out our community programs dealing with obesity.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables and reduce the fatty, fried or high-calorie foods in your diet.
- Exercise regularly. This will help improve circulation, reduce weight and maintain flexibility and range of motion.
- Follow all your doctors’ instructions for managing your high blood pressure.
Your podiatrist will be a partner with you in the care of diseases that affect your feet and the rest of your body. To learn more about diseases that affect your feet, contact us and subscribe to our free e-newsletter.