The hands and feet are complicated parts of the body. A foot has 28 bones, 30 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The hand has approximately 29 major and minor bones, 29 major joints, at least 123 named ligaments, and 34 muscles. Both have many blood vessels and nerves that connect them to the heart, spine, and brain. All these various components work together to make the body healthy and strong, and if one part is damaged, others are likely to suffer as well.
The feet are perhaps among the most neglected part of the body when it comes to health. A doctor isn’t going to notice them during a regular checkup since patients are probably not walking around barefoot. People are not really reminded of their feet until severe pain settles in or they start to itch or get blisters.
The hands get a little more attention as they are almost always exposed. But symptoms of potential health issues that show up on the hands are often vague, such as dry skin or dull looks, and believing that’s all it is, people just put a moisturizer on the affected area.
But the feet and the hands can be major indicators of problems ranging from serious illnesses such as diabetes to conditions like a nutritional deficiency that may require minimal intervention but can be dangerous if left untreated.
Looking closer at the hands and feet can be helpful in finding health problems that may otherwise go unnoticed. There are a number of conditions whose symptoms include signs on hands and feet — just like these warning signs you might have diabetes.
To compile a list of 15 health problems for which symptoms show up in the feet and hands, 24/7 Tempo consulted a foot surgeon and reviewed information on chronic conditions and their symptoms and complications from independent and government health organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. National Library of Medicine, and Harvard Medical School.