Tuesday, 09 May 2023 00:00

Autoimmune Diseases and the Feet

Lupus, and other autoimmune diseases, can affect the feet. The most common symptoms of such diseases related to the lower extremities are swelling and pain from arthritis in the ankles and feet. Raynaud’s phenomenon is a common ailment of those with lupus as well. This phenomenon is when the autoimmune system attacks the small blood vessels in the feet and toes and causes them to constrict. This often causes discomfort and numbness and may even lead to ulcers and gangrene in the toes. Because the immune system is suppressed in those with autoimmune diseases, they are at a higher risk for developing infections, which often take longer to heal. If you have lupus or another autoimmune disease, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist who can help you navigate issues that may arise in your ankles and feet.

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, it is extremely important to check the affected areas routinely so that any additional problems are caught quickly.  If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact one of our podiatrists from Summit Podiatry. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric needs.

Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Systemic diseases affect the whole body, and symptoms usually are displayed in the feet. This condition can make a patient’s ability to walk unbearable.  Systemic diseases include gout, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and arthritis.

Gout – is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Common symptoms include pain, inflammation, and redness at the metatarsal/phalangeal joint of the base big toe. Gout can be treated by NSAIDs to relieve pain and inflammation, and other drugs that lower the acid levels in the body.

Diabetes mellitus – is an increase in the level of blood sugar that the body cannot counteract with its own insulin. Failure to produce enough insulin is a factor in Diabetes.

Diabetes of the Feet

Diabetic Neuropathy – may lead to damaged nerves and affect the feet through numbness and loss of sensation.

Peripheral Vascular Disease – can restrict the blood flow to the feet, and often times lead to amputation of the feet. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Wilmington, Whiteville, and Wallace, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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