If you're a smoker thinking about having surgery on your foot or ankle, there are some important things you should know. Cigarette smoke is filled with harmful chemicals including nicotine, hydrogen cyanide, and carbon monoxide. Smoking increases the chance that your bones and tissue may not heal well, that the area may become infected, or that you may have more pain after surgery than you did before.
How Smoking Affects Healing
How to Assess Changes in Feet: Normal or Abnormal
Over time or through improper use or overuse, feet can change. Some of these changes are normal, such as a foot widening as a person ages. But other changes are abnormal and should be diagnosed and treated by a doctor. For instance, if a painful knob begins to develop near the big toe, it could be a bunion. Click below for information on how to assess your feet and know when you should see a doctor.
How to Eat Right for Your Foot Health
One step you can take to help keep your feet healthy is to consume plenty of calcium. Calcium keeps bones strong, and the amount your body needs varies at different times in your life. Dairy products like cheese and yogurt are examples of foods high in calcium. Click the button below to find out how much calcium you should have each day and for more tips to ensure you get enough in your diet.
How to Keep Your Feet Flexible
When you take time to do a few foot flexibility exercises each day, it not only helps reduce any current discomfort you may have, but it can also help you avoid foot pain and injury in the future. Click the button below for diagrams and instructions on how to perform several foot flexibility exercises that can be practiced at home, such as towel curls and toe raises.
How Vitamin D Affects Bone Health
Vitamin D is important for maintaining bone health. It affects bones by controlling the body’s levels of calcium and phosphate, which are critical for building new bone. Vitamin D controls calcium and phosphate levels in three ways: by regulating how much we absorb from our diet, how much is within our bones, and how much we excrete.
We get vitamin D from our diet, sun exposure, and oral supplements like multivitamins. Only a few foods naturally contain vitamin D. These include some oil-rich fish, certain mushrooms, and egg yolks. Most of our dietary vitamin D comes from fortified dairy products, cereals, and bread products. The sun provides a major source of vitamin D, but sunscreen, which protects against sunburn and skin cancer, decreases the skin’s production of vitamin D.