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How High Blood Pressure Affects Your Feet

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the excessive force of blood pushing against the arterial walls as your heart pumps blood throughout your body. When left untreated, you can experience decreased blood flow as well as many other serious health risks. Even though high blood pressure affects your entire body, symptoms can be commonly seen in the lower legs and feet.

Although these symptoms may come and go, don’t ignore them. The earlier symptoms are spotted and properly taken care of, the better. A proper treatment will help lessen any long-term damage associated with decreased blood flow. If you feel as if your feet are being affected by high blood pressure or decreased circulation, contact our foot care specialists. 

 

7 Signs of High Blood Pressure to Look for in Legs and Feet 

High blood pressure may lead to decreased circulation in your legs and feet. This decreased circulation may show up as a variety of other symptoms. Examine your lower legs closely to see if you are experiencing any of the following signs:

  • Feet and legs are unusually colder to the touch

  • Absence of normal skin tone

  • Burning sensation in feet (due to weakened pulse)

  • Hair loss on the legs and feet

  • Numbness and tingling in feet

  • Cramping after exercising

  • Wounds located on the legs and feet take longer to heal

 

While it may not seem that these are serious problems by themselves, they are precursors to potentially fatal circulatory diseases. If your legs and feet are frequently swelling, then your high blood pressure may have already started contributing to heart disease. Take these symptoms seriously and have your legs and feet checked by a podiatrist.

 

Why Do People Get High Blood Pressure?

There are many reasons people suffer from high blood pressure. It’s important to understand the origin of your high blood pressure so you can take appropriate steps toward recovery. Many times, simply changing your lifestyle can help alleviate symptoms. Your condition may have stemmed from:

  • Genetic predisposition

  • Smoking and alcohol usage

  • Sedentary lifestyle

  • Poor diet and obesity

  • Aging

 

Untreated High Blood Pressure Leads to Heart Problems

If high blood pressure is ignored or left untreated, your symptoms could develop into a variety of heart-related problems. Do your best to develop appropriate exercise, diet, and lifestyle changes that will positively impact your situation. If not, you may be at risk for developing:

  • Vascular weakness. The blood vessels overstretch to compensate for the added force from high blood pressure. This overstretching can lead to weakened blood vessels that are prone to rupturing. Stroke and aneurysms are caused by ruptured blood vessels.

  • Blood clots. The overstretching of blood vessels can create vascular scarring. This scar tissue in the blood vessels catches red blood cells as they pass through. The concentration of blood in the veins forms blood clots that inhibit, or block, the flow of blood to different body parts. Strokes and heart attacks are often the result of severe blood clots.

  • Plaque buildup. Plaque and cholesterol buildup in the damaged arteries. The flow of blood becomes limited or cut off as it tries to circulate through the body. Your heart will work harder to deliver blood throughout your body, which will increase your blood pressure. If the plaque or cholesterol entirely blocks the artery, you will be at risk for heart attacks.

 

When to Visit a Podiatrist

If you feel as if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of high blood pressure, it is important to visit a podiatrist. Also, if you have previously been diagnosed with hypertension, make sure to inform your podiatrist so they can prescribe medication that interacts well with your blood pressure medication. Additionally, if you need to have foot or ankle surgery, keep your blood pressure under control.

 

Ready for a visit? Give us a call at (913) 325-2958 or contact us online and let one of our podiatrists take a look.  

Tags: foot health,, high blood pressure, blood clots, plaque build-up, vascular weakness