When most people think about their health and nutrition, they usually correlate the food they eat with heart health or weight management. But nutrition plays a major role in your overall health and can affect various parts of the body, and yes, even our feet. March is National Nutrition Month so today Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA is sharing how nutrition can affect your feet in several ways.
- Peripheral Artery Disease: Two of the most common conditions that affect millions of Americans' feet are diabetes and peripheral artery disease. These disorders can cause damage to the arteries that deliver blood to your lower limbs. According to the American Heart Association, a diet that is low in trans-fat, sodium, and saturated fat, while also rich in vegetables and fruits, can help decrease your risk of peripheral artery disease.
- Weight: Because your feet carry the weight of your whole body, it's no surprise that being overweight can cause issues with your feet. Added bodyweight elevates your chances of a variety of painful foot conditions. In addition to the other benefits of a healthy diet, managing your weight can help prevent or manage disorders that affect the feet. Even 25 extra pounds can lead to more problems in the ankle and foot.
- Inflammation: Research suggests that our diet can increase inflammation in the body, which is a risk element for several chronic ailments. It is a common cause of foot pain related to types of inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and psoriatic arthritis. It can also affect the plantar fascia and cause deep heel pain typically associated with plantar fasciitis.
Many everyday foods are believed to instigate inflammation, such as:
- Refined grains, trans fats, and sugar found in junk foods and baked goods;
- The saturated fat found in red meat;
- The omega-6 fats are found in many vegetable oils, such as soybean, sunflower, and corn oils.
- Diabetes: Research shows that as much as 70 percent of diabetics have some form of neuropathy, which causes tingling or weakness in the feet and burning pain. A healthy diet is a key to managing your diabetes and controlling blood sugar levels, and a diabetes diet, like any other healthy eating plan, means eating lean protein, moderate amounts of healthy fats and whole grains, and fiber-rich vegetables and fruits.
- Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis, a disease of progressive bone loss is often associated with an elevated risk of fractures. One of the initial signs of the disease is often a stress fracture in the foot. Increasing your dietary intake of Vitamin D and calcium can reduce the risk of a fracture, as can other lifestyle alterations such as regular exercise.
If you are experiencing pain in your hips and/or knees and contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA today at (425) 455-0936 to schedule a consultation to determine if pronation issues, flat feet, or gait issues are creating problems further up your body.