If asked to point to our hearts, many know that they’re located in the chest area, but a key to heart issues and disease, could be found in your feet.
“The foot can be one of the first places in the body to show that you have problems with circulation,” said Dr. Dan Michaels, a foot and ankle surgeon in Western Maryland.
“The foot has two pulses on it and you can feel the heartbeat there, the arterty comes down here and you can feel the artery right behind the inside part of the ankle,” said Dr. Michaels.
According to Dr. Michaels there are some other, simple tests to see if your heart is working properly.
“The ‘capilary refill’ is when you push on the skin it turns white, then it turns pink again. That should be less than 3 seconds. If its over 3 seconds that’s a problem. Then hair on the toes is a good sign that you have circulation. And if the foot’s warm then you’re good. If you have really cold feet all the time that’s an issue. You may not have enough blood getting down there to keep your toes profused or warm,” explained Dr. Michaels.
What does all of this mean for the heart?
“Chances are if you have circulation problems in your foot, you also have it in your heart because it’s all the same system just a different location in your body,” said Dr. Michaels.
The risk of poor circulationfor those living a certain lifestyle.
“Anybody who is overweight, has a sedentary life, over 50 years old, these are all risk factors for cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Michaels.
But Dr. Michaels says the fix could be simple.
“There are other tests that can be done and they’re not invasive, non-painful tests that we can do in the office that gives us much more detailed information,” he explained.
Dr. Michaels suggests if you notice any of these issues, to make an appointment with your Cardiologist right away. Health experts also suggest if you experience random foot numbness or wounds on the feet that won’t heal, take time to see a doctor as that could be a sign of something more serious.