Symptoms of ‘silent killer’ disease shown in three red flag warning signs on your feet

By Staff 5 Min Read

Cardiovascular disease is responsible for nearly 18 million deaths globally every year – but there are some unlikely symptoms on your feet that could be a warning sign

Three alarming red flag symptoms on your feet could be warning signs of a ‘silent killer’ disease, health experts have said.

This lethal disease is often referred to as a silent killer due to its subtle signs that are difficult to detect early. However, early recognition could be life-saving. Cardiovascular disease claims nearly 18 million lives worldwide each year. Yet, some unlikely symptoms on the feet can signal its deadly presence.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) points out three major red flags for cardiovascular problems by examining the feet and toes. These include:

Swelling in your feet

Swollen feet, along with legs and ankles, is one symptom of heart disease. Medically known as oedema, it can suggest that “your heart isn’t working properly”.

The AAD explains: “Many diseases of the heart cause fluid to build up in your feet and lower legs. As the fluid builds up, you may see swelling, which can extend as far as the upper legs and groin.”

The NHS states that this swelling may be “better in the morning and get worse later in the day”.

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Blue toes

Blue toes could be a sign of blocked blood vessels. “When you’re extremely cold, your skin can turn blue (or purple)” the AAD explains. “If an area of your skin is blue (or purple) when you’re warm, that can be a sign your blood isn’t getting enough oxygen.”

Blue toe syndrome occurs when one or more blood vessels are obstructed. Without intervention, the lack of oxygen can lead to the death of the skin and underlying tissue. This condition is medically known as cyanosis.

Painful lumps on the toes

These lumps, known as Osler nodes, can also appear on your fingers. The AAD states: “If you have a heart infection known as infective endocarditis, these painful lumps can develop in your fingers, toes, or both places. The lumps can last for a few hours to several days.”

“While the lumps disappear on their own, patients require treatment for the infection. As this infection is bacterial, antibiotics can often treat it. Sometimes, surgery is also necessary.”

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