Prolonged levels of dehydration can cause a number of problems — and while many people automatically think of issues like kidney issues and dry skin, dehydration can also cause foot pain.
Here’s what you need to know about these two conditions so you can understand how they are related. Reducing the effects that foot pain is having on your life could be as simple as drinking more water.
How Does Dehydration Affect the Feet?
The human body is made up of around 60% water, most of which is stored in connective tissue and organs. When you aren’t taking in enough water, the water that’s stored in the connective tissues around your joints is depleted, which can cause inflamed joints and pain.
Dehydration can also occur if you use more of your stored water than expected, such as when you play sports in hot weather. This dehydration can quickly cause foot pain.
Common Foot Pain From Dehydration
There are a few common types of foot pain when it comes to dehydration. The goal of treatment is to diagnose the condition, determine if there are other causes, and then make changes in order to reduce pain and problems.
Here are three of the most common types of dehydration-related foot pain:
Gout-Related Foot Pain From Dehydration
Since gout comes from a build-up of acid, drinking a lot of water is one of the ways to clear out the acid and reduce the severe foot pain that this condition can cause. It’s not an instant cure, as there are other reasons for gout, but staying hydrated can allow your body to disburse the acid that creates the pain. Then you can get away from the discomfort of gout and be able to walk without pain, which can mean getting back to work or fun activities.
Arthritis-Related Foot Pain From Dehydration
Arthritis can affect your feet and ankles in many ways, but there are some preventative measures you can take.
For example, some doctors recommend medicine that can reduce the inflammation of joints that can occur with arthritis, especially if you are not drinking enough water. If you have arthritis in your feet and ankles, it is vital to ensure that you are taking in a healthy amount of water both to reduce the chance of depleted connective tissue pain and to prevent any issues that may arise in your kidneys from dehydration mixed with arthritis medication.
Foot Cramps and Spasms From Dehydration
Foot cramps and spasms aren’t generally as painful as issues like gout or arthritis, but they can still be uncomfortable. Cramps that show up in the middle of the night can wake you from a sound sleep and spasms can create a lot of discomfort.
They can even make it hard to walk — and if you’re on your feet a lot during the day, you don’t want to spend time dealing with these issues. With enough hydration, though, you’re less likely to have problems with severe foot pain.
Signals From Your Feet That You Don’t Drink Enough Water
There are several big hints from your feet that you aren’t getting enough water. By listening to your body and what it’s trying to tell you, you can make good choices to protect your health and wellness.
Since your feet aren’t the only area of your body affected by dehydration, helping them feel better by drinking more water could also help many of your organs and tissues operate more efficiently. In addition to actual pain, keep your eyes open for:
- Dry, flaky, or itchy skin (especially if your lips are also chapped).
- Instability, or feeling unsteady on your feet when walking or jogging.
- Stiffness or soreness in your feet and ankles (particularly in the mornings).
- Brittle toenails, or a shift in the color of your toenails.
If you start to notice any of these issues, you’ll want to start drinking more water and make sure you’re staying hydrated. While this should help make things better, you may find that it takes some time to see a difference. Toenails, particularly, don’t grow very fast, even in the healthiest of people, so they won’t repair themselves overnight. But you should start to see an improvement in the soreness and stiffness in your feet when you’re staying hydrated.
Reach Out for Foot-Related Help Today
If you’re struggling with foot-related issues and concerned about dehydration or other factors, get in touch with us. There are many causes of foot and ankle pain — and you don’t have to live with the discomfort of these problems. Especially in cases of severe foot pain, getting help from professionals is the best way to start feeling better, faster.
At Foot and Ankle Group, we’re here to help. We can work with you to find the causes of any foot pain you’re dealing with to get you back on your feet.
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