Managing Blood Pressure Benefits Heart and Feet
It’s American Heart Month and at FL Foot Health we believe that good podiatric health is connected to the health of the rest of your body. One way that you can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease is by keeping your blood pressure under control. High blood pressure is associated with heart disease and it can also have a detrimental effect on your feet. High blood pressure raises your risk for peripheral arterial disease (PAD) which is a narrowing of the arteries in the legs that results in reduced blood flow to legs and feet—otherwise known as poor circulation. This can cause a host of problems, including pain in your toes, feet and legs and wounds or ulcers that are slow and difficult to heal.
Changes that Make a Difference
Fortunately, there are many opportunities to lower your blood pressure and keep it at a healthy level. Work with your medical doctor for the right combination of medication and lifestyle changes, such as:
Regular physical activity. Talk to your podiatrist if you have chronic foot or ankle problems such as hammertoe or Achilles tendonitis that can make exercise painful. Don’t have a podiatrist? Use our online directory to find a qualified foot doctor near you. The podiatrist can make suggestions for shoes, activities and accommodations such as orthotics and padding that can make sports and other physical activities more comfortable.
Quit smoking—smoking not only increases the risk of heart disease, it also impedes circulation.
Attain and maintain a healthy weight. Even small changes like using smaller plates to control portions, swapping vegetable noodles for pasta and switching from sugary drinks to water can make a big difference.
Limit your salt and alcohol intake.
Find healthy ways to deal with stress, such as prayer, meditation, hobbies and cultivating a strong family and friend support network.