The average person hardly considers their feet, especially the toes and nails as sources of information about one’s health. But experts say some symptoms of health issues can be spotted when there’s a change in the shape, texture and colour of your toes and toenails. Read on to learn about three such telltale signs in your toes that may point to a health issue.
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Toenails and diabetes
If you start to experience tingling, burning or numbness in your toes, you might want to get tested for diabetes. According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), such sensations in the toes are typical signs of peripheral neurology brought on by high blood sugar. The piece further adds that loss of sensation is a key factor in the development of diabetic foot infections.
Yellow and white toenails
The American Foot and Leg Specialists (AFLS) define a healthy toenail as one that is a shade of pale pink. Therefore, any change in colour should be of concern to you. For instance, the specialists say in an article what a yellowish colour could mean:
if your toenails become yellow, you probably have a fungal infection. Yellowing can also be the result of smoking or a side effect of diabetes or a liver condition.
According to the experts at AFLS, if your toenails are white, you should be tested for anaemia. If there are white stripes or bands going across the nail, you may be lacking enough protein in your diet.
Although some people are born with concave or ‘spoon’ nails, if you notice your toenails have taken on this shape with an ‘indentation big enough to hold a drop of water’, you should get checked for anaemia. According to WebMD:
Sometimes an injury to the nail or frequent exposure to petroleum-based solvents can create a concave, spoon-like shape. However, iron deficiency also can cause this unusual shape.
AARP: 7 Things Your Toes Could Say About Your Health
AFLS: What do your toenails tell about your health?
WebMD: Slideshow: What Your Feet Say About Your Health