Dr. Oz: Three Warning Signs from Your Feet
Dr. Oz explains that three warning signs from your feet play an important diagnostic role in indicating whether someone may be at risk of a serious health condition. In The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Oz presents to his viewers three life-saving clues that act as warning signs from your feet that you are in need of treatment by a physician before your condition develops into a serious medical problem.
Warning Sign #1: Hairless toes and feet are a sign of cardiovascular disease
One of the life-saving clues Dr. Oz discusses has to do with how well the circulatory system brings oxygenated blood from the heart via arteries that travel within and outside the bones of the legs to the feet.
One test is to observe whether or not you have hair or “peach fuzz” on the tops of your toes. When a person is healthy and his or her circulatory system is not clogged by arterial sclerosis and plaque formation, then blood is able to travel easily to the feet and provide nourishment that supports the growth of hair on the toes. However, if the arteries are clogged, then the blood perfuses poorly the long distance to the feet. According to Dr. Oz, the first sign of this is loss of hair on the toes because they are deprived of the oxygen and nutrients needed to support their growth.
“If you are a smoker,” says Dr. Oz, “one of the first things you will notice is that you’ll have less hair on your feet because those plaques are clogging the arteries…the good news is that all of this is reversible.” He explains that eating ½ a glove of garlic a day (Benefits of Garlic) mixed in with your food will improve the condition of your arteries and can increase the blood flow to your feet.
Warning Sign #2: A big red swollen toe is a sign of gout
“The big toe is frequently where we see the second big warning sign of the body—which is gout,” says Dr. Oz. as he explains that gout typically occurs in the big toe, but can manifest in other toes as well. Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals around the joints in the toe. The uric acid crystals eventually buildup and develop into shards that pierce the surrounding tissue like tiny spears, which leads to the characteristic inflammation and swelling seen with gout.
He explains that gout typically occurs in women following menopause, but can also result from eating certain kinds of foods such as wine and red meat. Dr. Oz advises his viewers that if they have gout, that by reducing their intake of red meat and avoiding alcoholic drinks—especially beer, because beer actually aids the formation of the uric acid crystals—that they can lessen the symptoms of gout.
The good news according to Dr. Oz is that there are things you can do to prevent gout (How cherries help to prevent Gout). “If you have four cups of coffee a day, you can reduce the chances of developing gout by 40 percent,” says Dr. Oz.
Warning Sign #3: Foot cramps are signs of mineral deficiencies
“The third warning sign that your feet can give you is foot cramps,” says Dr. Oz as he explains that foot cramps are often caused by an electrolyte imbalance from a deficiency of certain minerals. A mineral deficiency can cause the muscles in the feet to become very rigid and tense, which leads to the cramping pain people feel in their feet. He advises his viewers to bring their electrolytes back in balance by eating a banana for its potassium (Foods That Contain Potassium) and to take 400 and 600 milligram supplements of magnesium and calcium respectively; or, to eat deep green lettuces such as romaine and arugula. “They [in comparison to iceberg lettuce] actually have a lot more magnesium in them,” says Dr. Oz.