07 Dec 2015
Author/blogger Reggie Simpson
While you may think your foot pain is nothing to worry about, it may be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. Diseases such as arthritis, diabetes and peripheral arterial disease (PAD) all have significant effects on the feet, leading to potential discomfort.
There are further conditions that could also contribute, for example, thyroid problems. When the gland is not functioning effectively, your nerves may become affected, leading to odd sensations in the feet.
While some conditions are temporary and easily treated, others will require more in-depth medical attention:
In the UK, arthritis is a common condition that affects approximately 10 million people in some form. Around 400,000 of these people suffer from rheumatoid arthritis specifically, which occurs when the body’s natural defence system becomes weakened.
Up to 90% of people with rheumatoid arthritis will experience symptoms relating to their feet or ankles. The joints may become swollen and uncomfortable due to damage, which can also result in the shape of the toes and feet changing over time.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a treatable condition through medication, exercise or surgery, so it’s important to see a health professional at the first sign of foot discomfort.
Since the 1990s, the number of people in the United Kingdom diagnosed with diabetes has been rising. While today the figure stands at approximately 2.9 million, it is expected to rise to around 5 million by 2025.
Diabetes is a condition that prevents the body from using glucose and blood sugar as fuel, causing it to build up in the bloodstream.
The excess sugars may cause nerve damage and harm blood vessels in the feet, which can result in a decrease in sensitivity and a compromised flow of blood.
Due to today’s medication and treatments, diabetes can be managed. However, it’s important for people suffering from the condition to take care of their health, wear supportive footwear and reduce their risk of foot trauma.
If you’re experiencing abnormal severe foot pain, tell a doctor straight away for a quicker diagnosis.
Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)
Peripheral Arterial Disease, referred to as PAD ,is a commonly occurring condition that results in a restricted blood supply to the leg muscles due to a build-up of fatty deposits.
While many people with the condition experience little to no symptoms, others may experience cramping in the calves and upper legs whilst moving around. PAD can also lead to foot pain or discomfort and prevent foot wounds from healing effectively.
The condition can be treated with medication and simple lifestyle changes, so get in touch with a professional today if you’re experiencing cramps or discomfort.
By getting yourself checked out at the first sign of these symptoms, you’ll be able to rest in the knowledge you’re well taken care of. Foot care is important, so listen to your body and don’t take any risks!
We are delighted to announce that prose written by our Practice Business Manager, Reggie Simpson, will be featured in the Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s Rhyme & Reason 2018 diary, now in its 26th year. The theme for this forthcoming year’s diary is ‘Freedom’. All proceeds from sales of the diary go to support this worthwhile charity.
Reggie says: ‘Although my entry wasn't among the top poetry and prize winners, I was chuffed to be selected for the 2018 diary. The theme was quite broad, but my degrees in politics and love of writing invariably drew me to entering the competition. In the end I settled on a focus of freedom in healthcare, no doubt inspired by my current employment at Betafeet Podiatry and the noble work of Rennie Grove Hospice Care ( www.renniegrove.org ).
Rennie Grove Hospice Care, formally known as Iain Rennie Hospice at Home, merged with Grove House, St Albans in 2010 to integrate services in south western Hertfordshire. The ethos and values of the two charities were closely aligned with the principle of allowing patients to lead a good quality of life at home for as long as possible, helping patients and their families avoid the distress of unnecessary hospital visits whenever possible.
The diaries can be ordered from the Rennie Grove website, payment by debit/credit card. It's part of their annual Christmas/holiday promotion. There will also be copies in local Rennie Grove shops. They are £5 each with additional postage if bought online. Shop locations can be found here: http://www.renniegrove.org/support/our-shops/online-shop/page/2/ .
Here is Reggie’s entry (to appear in the month of September 2018):
‘Do not count the days; make the days count.’
Muhammad Ali. Professional Boxer. Audacious. Charismatic. A winner in the ring.
But even when you have won it all, life throws you a few more punches.
Yes, his name opened doors and wealth, but the bombastic man of his younger years was humbled in later life, and following retirement, he dedicated himself increasingly to charitable work. Parkinson’s was already taking hold.
He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, the highest honour the USA can bestow. He died in June 2016, aged 74.
Now the news is about boxing helping dementia sufferers.
So what does this mean for freedom? Does getting battered around the head spell freedom and choice? One would say yes; a boxer is free to take such risks. When the consequences deal you a fatal blow as a result, when do you lose your freedom? Is it when you have been reduced to a shadow of your former self, a normal human being, and have to rely on others? Muhammad Ali likely had plenty of resources to ensure his final days would help him on his final journey.
We tend to think of freedom in political terms. It is hard to remove freedom in healthcare from politics. Think NHS reform, among others. Freedom in a healthcare environment means more to the individuals and families when they have life-limiting illnesses and need the care of volunteer-run hospices such as Iain Rennie Grove.
The NHS gives patients the rights to make choices about different aspects of the care they receive, from the different treatment options available. How these are chosen is individual, although for those with life threatening or limiting illnesses this choice will fall on family members.
I quote the following:
‘In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties’.
Henri-Frédéric Amiel, Philosopher
September is World Alzheimer’s Month.