As podiatrists, one of the things that we're trained to look at when we're checking your feet, is your circulation.
Why do we use a Doppler?
What we're listening for with a Doppler is the number of sounds that we can hear in your pulse. It gives us an idea of the amount of blood that's flowing down to your feet, and of the quality of your pulse. But also when we're listening to it, we can pick up any irregularities in the heartbeat. Some people have conditions such as atrial fibrillation, which is an irregular heartbeat, and this can be a risk factor to strokes. So if we pick up any irregularities in your pulse, we have a Kardia machine, which is a little sensor that you place your thumbs on, and we can do a quick trace of your heart rate, and if there are any concerns, we can email a copy of that trace through to your GP and ask them to investigate further.
With the microvascular circulation, the small capillaries that sit near the skin surface, we're getting to the time of year now where the weather's starting to change and it's getting a little bit colder. In some people that have conditions like Raynauds, the capillaries will shut down in response to the cold, and the fingers and toes might go white, and then when the blood flow returns, when they warm up again, they'll go quite purpley and maybe be painful and itch. We've got a blog about Raynauds on our website from February, so if you want to know more about that condition, and chilblains which can be associated with Raynauds, then please do have a read, there's lots of good information on there.
If you have any concerns about your circulation, please don't hesitate to see a podiatrist. We can check things over for you and set your mind at rest or refer on to your GP or to the hospital if we have any particular concerns.