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Monday, February 6, 2012

Peripheral Arterial Disease: Feet Give Good Clues

Feet Can Hold Clues to Heart Health: MI Podiatrist
If you’re wondering about the health of your heart, try looking at your feet. The lowly, stepped-on, shoe-squished foot could very well hold clues about the state of your coronary arteries. If your feet show signs of poor circulation – or peripheral arterial disease – your heart could be suffering as well. Dr. Marisha Stawiski, a Grand Rapids podiatrist, says she regularly checks patients for the subtle signs that could indicate PAD. A loss of hair on the feet is one possible sign of poor circulation. 
Dr. Marisha Stawiski checks a patient for PVD (Photo T.J. Hamilton)
That doesn’t mean that people who have always had smooth, rather hairless feet have PAD, she said. “But if you have somebody with a lot of body hair and none on their feet and ankles, it could indicate an arterial issue,” she said. Different pulses, very cold feet, or a change in color also could indicate a problem. If she sees any signs of PAD, Stawiski recommends a simple, non-invasive test called an ankle-brachial index. It compares the blood pressure in the ankles to the blood pressure in the arms.
Source: Sue Thoms,  The Grand Rapids Press - [2/6/12]

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