Cancer, lung disease, atherosclerosis, blood clots, and second-hand smoke – you may have heard all these terms related to why smoking is bad for you and the people around you. You may think of the direct effects, such as mouth and lung disease or cancer, but what you may not know is how smoking can affect the rest of your body, including your feet.
Because smoking involves nicotine, the rest of the body is affected. Nicotine directly affects the blood vessels, constricting them. Cholesterol, plaque and other toxins can attach to the walls of the blood vessels and become stuck. Not only is your whole body getting less blood, but it’s also getting less oxygen. Smoking puts that type of strain on your body over and over again with each cigarette smoked.
Circulation reduction to the feet
That’s why, even though they are the farthest body part from the actual cigarette being smoked, the feet can also suffer. The main issue affecting the feet (among other things) is peripheral arterial disease. The symptoms can include leg pain, slow-healing injuries, and numbness or tingling. Because smoking causes plaque buildup in all the arteries, even the smaller ones that reach out to the feet and toes are negatively affected.
More dangerously, it can lead to a completely blocked artery or blood clot. Long-term circulation issues can lead to a foot that is so badly damaged that it may need major surgery to repair.
So we urge you not to wait until you have severe symptoms. Stop smoking now so that you never have to get to the point of circulatory problems, damaged nerves, or slow-healing ulcers – not to mention breathing problems, and even cancer.
If you have symptoms of foot problems, make an appointment with our podiatrists at The Podiatry Group. Whether or not it’s due to smoking, it’s important to treat foot problems as soon as you experience them. Dr. Mark E. Reiner and his team of experienced foot doctors can perform a thorough assessment at our Jonesboro, AR office. Call us at (870)931-3338 today!