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High Blood Pressure and Foot Health: Make the Connection

You might not think that high blood pressure would be one of our concerns here at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center. After all, isn’t foot doctor Kenneth R. Wilhelm, DPM only concerned about the health of your feet and ankles? Not at all! First of all, Dr. Wilhelm cares about your overall health. And second, there is more of a connection between high blood pressure and your feet than you might imagine.

If you have high BP, this is how it can affect your feet

  1. Over time, blood pressure that runs high puts a lot of stress on your blood vessels. Damaged blood vessels can contribute to a condition called peripheral arterial disease or PAD. “Peripheral” arteries are located in the arms, hands, legs, and feet. They are the farthest vessels from the heart.
  2. High BP, also called hypertension, makes your heart work harder. All that hard work makes the heart muscle thicken. As a result, the heart doesn’t pump blood as efficiently throughout the body. The peripheral arteries, because they’re far away, don’t get the blood they need to nourish your feet.
  3. Uncontrolled hypertension often results in fluid retention in the feet and ankles, causing them to swell.
  4. Some medications taken to control high blood pressure can also have a side effect: swollen feet and ankles. Your doctor may need to change your medication or dosage to eliminate this side effect.
  5. Without careful regulation of your blood pressure, prolonged fluid retention can put pressure on your blood vessels, causing symptoms such as burning feet and skin infections.

If you have these foot symptoms, you may have high BP

Fluid retention, swollen ankles, blue or cold toes, and sores that don’t heal are all signs of vascular trouble in the lower limbs. They can also be a sign of heart disease or congestive heart failure. If you notice symptoms like these, call Dr. Wilhelm as soon as possible for an appointment at our Fairfax County podiatry office for a complete examination of your feet and ankles. The sooner you treat high blood pressure, the better it is for your foot health – and your health overall. Call us in Centreville, Virginia at (703) 996-3000 or contact us online.

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