Let thy food be thy medicine,” said the ancient Greek doctor Hippocratées, and it’s still true. March is National Nutrition Month and a time where we explore how diet and health are related. We don’t always connect the health of our feet to the foods we eat, but there’s an important relationship. Let’s take a look. 

  • Diabetes can cause many health problems for your feet. People with diabetes are at increased risk of foot wounds and infections. In addition, when a wound develops, having diabetes may cause it to heal more slowly. As many as 70 percent of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy. Symptoms may include burning pain, tingling, or weakness in the feet. A healthy diet is key to controlling blood sugar levels and managing your diabetes. Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and moderate amounts of whole grains and healthy fats will help keep diabetes in check.
  • Osteoporosis is a disease of progressive bone loss which can increase the risk of stress fractures. Besides regular exercise, you want to increase your intake of vitamin D and calcium. Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are great sources of calcium. Vitamin D can be found in fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, and tuna.
  • Inflammation is associated with arthritis and gout and can be very painful. It can also strike the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot, causing the intense heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis. One way to avoid inflammation is to decrease your red meat intake. Foods with high levels of sugar should also be avoided. Eliminating the protein gluten found in wheat, barley, and rye can also help. Fatty fish such as salmon, or a good fish oil supplement, are reliable sources of omega-3s that can help as well.

For more tips, or if you are experiencing any foot issues, see your foot doctor for proper treatment and help with preventing complications. At Atlantic Foot and Ankle Specialists, Melissa Robitaille, DPM and Todd Newsom, DPM can treat all types of foot and ankle disorders including, bunions, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, and heel pain. Equipped with leading-edge technologies such as extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) and laser surgery for toenail fungus, we provide specialized, compassionate service for patients in the Pooler, Georgia area of Chatham County. For any pain and discomfort you are experiencing with your feet and ankles, contact us today at (912) 988-3323.

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