Proper blood circulation is essential for your overall health. If your blood circulation functions at optimal level all your body organs will get the sufficient amount of blood they need to perform their function as well as all the important nutrients and oxygen. However, if your circulation is poor it will lead to a number of health problems including heart, kidneys and brain damage.
Poor blood circulation can be caused by a number of issues but the most common factors are peripheral artery disease and atherosclerosis. It can also be caused by issues like blood clots, obesity, heart problems and obesity. Moreover, some damaging habits like excessive drinking, smoking and unhealthy diet can increase your risk of developing circulation problems.
Blood circulation is usually manifested through some warning signs and symptoms you should look out for and if you notice them you need to consult a specialist and start a proper method of treatment.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of poor blood circulation:
Numbing Sensation in Your Hands and Feet
If your hands and feet feel numb often it may be that you have circulation problems. It doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you have poor circulation if you feel numbness in the extremities as it may also be caused by exposure to cold, lack of vitamin B12 and magnesium, nerve compression and too much pressure on your feet and hands. However, it’s best if you check yourself out to be sure.
Feet and Leg Swelling
If your feet and legs swell it may be a result of malnutrition, excessive periods of standing or sitting, high salt intake, obesity, PMS, aging or obesity. However, if the swelling grows into a persistent issue it may be caused by poor circulation. The lack of blood flow the kidneys are unable to keep the fluids in your blood vessels and they settle in the tissues, which eventually leads to swelling.
If you have this problem you can benefit from raising your feet above heart level and your circulation should be improved and the swelling receded.
You may feel tired all the time as a result of physical exertion and the use of some drugs and medications. But if the feeling is persistent even when you’re not actually tired from anything it may be a result of poor blood circulation. If your blood flow is obstructed your organs will be unable to perform their function properly, but this will also interfere with the function of your muscles as they’ll lack the necessary amount of nutrients and oxygen. You may additionally feel shortness of breath, lack of stamina and sore muscles.
Cool Feet and Hands
This may be the most common symptom in people suffering from poor blood circulation. Good circulation helps regulate body temperature and poor circulation will inevitably lead to fluctuating body temperature. This is most often felt in the feet and hands, as they’re the furthest body parts and as a result of poor blood flow the blood can’t reach them. You can rub your hands and feet to get the blood running and warm them up.
Varicose veins are most commonly caused by improper blood circulation. Poor blood flow creates pressure and your veins get swollen, twisted and visible. Most patients suffer from varicose veins in their lower extremities and are accompanied by pain, itchiness, discomfort and tingling and burning sensation in your extremities. Plus, they can become quite visible and look unattractive, especially in the summer when we wear short skirts and shorts.
Aside from poor blood flow, varicose veins can be hereditary or caused by hormonal imbalances, obesity and prolonged periods of standing.
Poor circulation can also affect our immune system negatively because the weak blood flow doesn’t allow for a timely and proper distribution of all the essential nutrients throughout the body, leaving us more susceptible to infections and diseases. This further weakens the immune system as it doesn’t get all the vitamins and minerals it needs to fight off bacteria, germs and parasites.
If you have poor circulation it may lead to improper blood flow to the reproductive organs and cause an erectile dysfunction in men. It may even cause problems with achieving or sustaining erection. Some experts believe that this is linked to atherosclerosis so if you do experience similar issues it’s best if you consult an expert and evaluate your condition.
Sudden Hair Loss
You may be surprised to learn that even hair loss can be caused by poor blood circulation. How come? Well, if the scalp doesn’t get all the necessary nutrients it needs your hair will become thin, dry and will start falling off. If you suffer from this problem you might want to start massaging your scalp with some hair oil to improve your condition. It will stimulate blood flow to the scalp and eventually strengthen your follicles and prevent hair loss. In addition to hair loss, you may experience dry and brittle nails and dry skin, so if you have a combination of these symptoms it’s best if you consult a specialist and seek professional advice.
With poor blood flow your heart will start functioning improperly and you might start feeling chest tightness and heaviness. Health experts call this condition angina pectoris and it may be indicative of heart arteries atherosclerosis.
Chest pain can also be caused by issues like indigestion, muscle spasms, heartburn, stomach ulcers and so on so it’s best if you consult a doctor to determine what’s causing it exactly.
Skin discoloration can be a result of low blood oxygen levels or poor blood circulation and the condition is referred to as cyanosis. If your skin color starts changing you should consult with your doctor. In most cases the condition is manifested on the face, around the lips, eyes and gums, they start turning blue. Sometimes even your fingers and toes may look bruised and bluish.
Tips on Improving Blood Circulation
- Start exercising regularly
- Control your stress levels as it may affect blood flow.
- Massage your body (focus on extremities) with a mixture of olive oil ( ½ cup) and rosemary oil ( a few drops).
- Contrast hydrotherapy (showering with cold and hot water) can have amazing results in people suffering from poor blood circulation.
- Drink green tea instead of coffee.
- Maintain good posture while you walk or sit.
- Avoid alcohol and stop smoking if you’re a smoker.
- Eat more nuts, seeds, black pepper, onions, garlic and ginger, they stimulate good blood flow.
- Wear high quality, orthopedic shoes.
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