Tuesday, 21 May 2024 00:00

How Smoking Can Affect the Feet

Beyond the well-known effects on your lungs and heart, smoking can also severely affect your feet, particularly through a condition known as Buerger’s disease. This disease targets the blood vessels in the arms and legs, causing swelling and reduced blood flow, which leads to the formation of clots. Consequently, individuals may experience pain, open sores or ulcers, and gangrene, which if not properly treated by a podiatrist may lead to limb loss. While the precise cause of Buerger’s disease remains uncertain, one undeniable link is tobacco use. Chemicals in tobacco irritate blood vessel linings, which then triggers inflammation and constriction. Nearly all diagnosed cases of Buerger’s disease are associated with tobacco use, whether through cigarettes, cigars, or chewing tobacco. Prevention is key, and that begins with quitting smoking and avoiding all forms of tobacco. But prioritizing your foot health is also essential, and by seeking guidance from a podiatrist you can manage symptoms and receive the needed wound care. If you're experiencing any symptoms, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam and treatment.

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, it is extremely important to check the affected areas routinely so that any additional problems are caught quickly.  If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact Afsha Naimat-Shahzad, DPM from Leander Foot & Ankle. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric needs.

Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Systemic diseases affect the whole body, and symptoms usually are displayed in the feet. This condition can make a patient’s ability to walk unbearable.  Systemic diseases include gout, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and arthritis.

Gout – is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Common symptoms include pain, inflammation, and redness at the metatarsal/phalangeal joint of the base big toe. Gout can be treated by NSAIDs to relieve pain and inflammation, and other drugs that lower the acid levels in the body.

Diabetes mellitus – is an increase in the level of blood sugar that the body cannot counteract with its own insulin. Failure to produce enough insulin is a factor in Diabetes.

Diabetes of the Feet

Diabetic Neuropathy – may lead to damaged nerves and affect the feet through numbness and loss of sensation.

Peripheral Vascular Disease – can restrict the blood flow to the feet, and often times lead to amputation of the feet. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Leander, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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