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Here are 5 Signs of Hepatitis C Foot Damage

Would you recognize Hepatitis C foot damage if you were showing symptoms? Well, we hope you would. And we’re here to help!

As we celebrate World Hepatitis Day this month, we want you to know more about this disease—and how it impacts your feet. Basically, this form of hepatitis is a virus that causes liver disease. Once you develop liver disease, you may start to notice symptoms in your feet, ranging from minor to severely painful issues.  These can include swelling in your feet and ankles, neuropathy, arthritis and more.

Hepatitis C foot damage

Photo by Imani Bahati on Unsplash

Now, these are all areas where our highly trained Spring TX podiatrists can help.  That was certainly the case for our patient Judy M, who recently shared this review:

“ When I first came to Dr. Walsh I was in terrible foot pain that was affecting my daily activities. I was tired of a swollen ankle and constant foot pain. Dr. Walsh performed a complete flat foot reconstruction which was an extensive surgery. Throughout my recovery, Dr. Walsh was wonderful-informative, responsive, encouraging and caring. She also educated/advised me on the right types of shoes to wear, Once recovered, I was able to return back to my normal activities…I highly recommend Dr Walsh! “

Of course, we love to help you resolve your foot concerns. But we also like to help you avoid surprises when it comes to your foot health. Which is why, today, we’re sharing information about foot complications related to Hepatitis C infections. And, we’re offering suggestions to help you manage these complications and get back to your daily activities!

1.      Swollen, Itchy Feet and Ankles

With hepatitis C, fluid can build up in your legs, ankles and feet because of leaks in your smallest blood vessels. (We call this edema.)  If your disease progresses, you may also develop a condition called pruritus, which makes your skin very itchy. Often, the itching is isolated on your hands and feet. Even without pruritis, side effects of treatment can dry out your skin and cause itching. For that reason, proper moisturizing routines will be very important.

2.      Neuropathy

A hepatitis c infection can damage your nerves, leaving you with the burning, tingling or numbness of peripheral neuropathy. While extremely painful, we can manage this condition with nutritional supplements, injections, medications or even surgery, depending on the severity of your symptoms.

Our Texas podiatry practice also offers advanced surgical relief for neuropathy pain. The procedure, called peripheral nerve decompression, can offer pain relief if you’re suffering from neuropathy. Some patients also enjoy improved sensation after this surgery for neuropathy.

3.      Hepatitis C Foot Damage: Arthritis

The hepatitis virus inflames your liver, but it can inflame your joints as well. This can trigger rheumatoid arthritis. And, since there are 33 joints in your feet alone, this form of arthritis can take a toll on your feet—and your mobility. But we can manage your symptoms and help you keep doing what you love each day.

4.      Diabetes

A hepatitis C diagnosis increases your risk for diabetes, even if you don’t have other disease risk factors. Diabetes also increases your risk for neuropathy. And, when your blood sugar levels rise, your circulation may be compromised. If that happens, even small cuts on your feet could develop into ulcers. Left untreated, ulcers can threaten your limb health, so staying on top of your diabetic foot care is the best way to avoid amputation.

5.      Kidney Disorders

Hepatitis C can also attack your kidneys, causing a series of events that up your risk for Raynaud’s disease. If that happens, even small drops in temperature can make your feet feel numb. With Raynaud’s, you may also notice burning pain and skin color changes if you’re exposed to cold temperatures. The best way to avoid complications is to always cover your feet and hands with warm, dry clothing any time you’ll be out in cold weather.

While Hepatitis C can impact your feet, it doesn’t have to cause permanent damage. With early diagnosis and regular foot exams, you can protect your feet from this virus. So, if you’ve been diagnosed with Hep C, don’t wait another day. Call our team of Spring and Tomball, TX podiatrists, and make an immediate appointment. That’s the best and simplest way to prevent future foot complications!