Your feet are essentially your body’s platform and are made to carry the weight of your entire body as you go about your day. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that being overweight could result in foot problems.
Having high body weight may lead to painful conditions such as inflammation of the foot tissue, osteoarthritis or tendon inflammation.
You do not necessarily have to be obese to experience these problems. Being as little as 25 pounds overweight could put you at higher risk of foot and ankle issues.
Obesity, however, could heighten the risk even further. When carrying too much weight, the body’s posture can change, shifting the body weight to the wrong parts of the feet.
In addition to pain, inflammation and discomfort, there are several specific health issues that show a link between poor foot health and being overweight.
People who are overweight are at much higher risk of developing diabetes – a condition that may lead to a decrease in foot sensation and a reduced blood flow. This makes the individual more likely to experience smaller injuries that may turn into serious problems if not treated effectively in good time.
According to the NHS and Diabetes UK, there are around 135 patients per week undergoing foot and leg amputations related to diabetes.
Gout can cause sharp foot pain, most commonly in the toes and joints. The condition occurs when uric acid becomes crystallised and accumulates in the joints. People who are overweight are at higher risk as their bodies produce higher levels of uric acid.
Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)
Peripheral arterial disease is caused by a build-up of plaque in the arteries, resulting in a lack of blood flow to the legs and feet. The plaque is caused by fatty deposits and is more likely to occur in those who are overweight.
Staying active and eating a healthy, balanced diet will reduce your risk of developing the above conditions and keep your feet healthier in the process.
Many people don’t realise that simply moving around more counts as physical activity that can aid weight loss without putting them at risk of foot injuries.
For those who are significantly overweight, it’s important to begin with low-impact activities.
After taking the steps to improve your physical activities and working with a doctor to improve your overall health, try getting in touch with a podiatrist.
Beta Feet Podiatry can advise on the best shoes for your condition in addition to the correct sizing and support.
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.