Special Report

Dangerous Health Problems Your Hands and Feet Can Reveal

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6. Anemia

Lack of iron is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies. The mineral is crucial for overall health as it is needed to make hemoglobin, a part of blood cells that carries oxygen to all organs of the body. Cold feet and hands are a common sign of a more severe iron deficiency anemia. If untreated, anemia can cause pregnancy complications and heart problems because the heart must pump more blood to make up for the lower amount of oxygen.

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7. Gout

In an acute gout attack, the joints in the feet are red, hot, and swollen, and you will feel pain, Feldman said. This is not the case with chronic gout, which looks like a normal arthritis, he noted. Gout is a form of arthritis where uric acid accumulates in the blood, causing inflammation in the joints. Gout is fairly common in people with diabetes.

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8. Kidney failure

Kidneys are responsible for getting rid of waste products and excessive water in the blood. When they can’t do so — whether it’s because of a direct injury to the organs or due to a chronic condition such as heart disease — the waste can accumulate. One symptom of acute kidney failure is fluid retention, where the fluid builds up in the body instead of being filtered. This causes swelling in the feet, legs, and ankles.

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9. Athlete’s foot

Athlete’s foot, a contagious disease that can spread if left untreated, is a common fungal infection caused by a tiny fungus that lives and grows in the dead tissue of the foot’s hair, toenails, or outer skin layer. The infection most commonly occurs in the summer because the fungus thrives in warm and humid environments. Common signs include peeling and cracking of the feet, itching, burning, redness, and blisters.

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10. Vitamin B12 deficiency

The body needs vitamin B12 to carry out many functions, including making red blood cells, nerves, and DNA. While complications such as abnormally fast heartbeat, vision problems, memory loss, and peripheral neuropathy, are not common, they are possible if the nutritional deficiency has not been treated for a long time. Tingling hands or feet may also indicate lack of vitamin B12. The vitamin is crucial for a healthy central nervous system, and lack of it may lead to nerve damage.