Blood circulation is a continual process where the fluid is transported from the heart through the arteries to different parts of the body. Blood will then converge in the veins before returning to the heart through the lungs. When there is an interrupted movement of blood, the body will function normally. However, when movement of blood is interrupted or when poor blood circulation occurs, the body will not be able to carry out its normal functions efficiently.
Symptoms of Poor Blood Circulation
Bad circulation is not common especially in young persons. It often targets the elderly, middle aged, and those suffering from different conditions including diabetes and atherosclerosis. Bad circulation is known as a silent killer, and it presents itself with different symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of bad circulation develop over time. This is why you should learn how to listen to your body and seek early diagnosis.
- Swollen Feet. This is a common sign of bad circulation, and it occurs because normal functioning of the kidneys is interrupted. When poor blood circulation occurs, renal arteries tend to accumulate fats causing a pool of blood in the legs. Therefore, when you notice any form of feet swelling, it is important that you raise the legs above the heart level. The swelling will subside. If it doesn’t, it is critical that you seek medical advice.
- Cold Feet and Hands. Proper blood flow helps in regulating body temperature. However, when blood flow is interrupted, the body cannot maintain its normal temperature and in most cases, cold extremities will be experienced in the legs and feet. Heat extremities can also occur in some individuals.
- Skin Discoloration or Cyanosis. Cyanosis occurs when there is an inadequate amount of oxygen in the blood. Bluish discoloration will occur in the toes and fingers, and they will appear with bluish tints. In babies, the condition is always the first sign of congenital heart diseases and needs urgent medical attention.
- Fatigue. When poor blood circulation occurs, different body organs will struggle to carry out their normal duties. Less oxygen as well as essential nutrients that the body needs will not reach the muscles causing fatigue. This is often accompanied by muscle cramps and pain in the legs. Some people will suffer from breathlessness and lack of stamina.
- Poor and Slow Healing. With proper blood flow, the immune system will always enhance fast healing of wounds. However, when blood flow is interrupted, the immune system is weakened. The injured part of the body will not receive sufficient blood. This means that even small and minor injuries will take a long time to heal.
- Loss of Appetite. Sufficient blood in the liver boosts your appetite. With bad circulation, you won’t feel like eating and with time, you start losing weight. Therefore, when you lose appetite, it is important that you seek proper diagnosis because you could be suffering from bad circulation.
- Constipation. This is also one of the first signs of poor blood circulation. The body system slows down when its normal functioning is interfered with due to bad circulation. Your digestive system will gradually slow down causing constipation. In severe cases, you will suffer from other gastrointestinal disorders.
- Varicose Veins. Varicose veins will appear in the legs when bad circulation occurs. They are often itchy and cause irritability. In extreme cases, varicose veins will be very painful. It is, therefore, important that you wear compression stockings to enhance proper blood flow.
- Numbness. When you stand or sit for a long time, blood circulation is interrupted. You will experience a tingling sensation and numbness in different parts of the body. When numbness occurs, it is essential that you seek medical assistance because it could lead to heart disease.
- Dry Skin. Bad circulation also causes dry skin, hair loss and brittle nails. This is because these parts no longer receive essential nutrients in the rightful amounts for them to function normally.
- Dizziness and Memory Loss. In extreme cases, bad circulation causes dizziness as well as memory loss. This is based on the fact that it bad circulation prevents supply of oxygen and nutrients to the brain.
Causes of Poor Blood Circulation
Symptoms of bad circulation may vary from one person to the other depending on the cause. Some of the common and major causes of the condition include:
- Diabetes. Many people suffering from diabetes may suffer bad circulation due to the effects of the disease
- Arteriosclerosis also causes blood circulation because the arteries become hard as a result of high blood pressure.
- Smoking and Drug Abuse can also lead bad circulation
- Injuries can cause blood clots and, as a result, bad circulation
- Bone Marrow Disorder can also lead to bad circulation, and it is very common when there is excess secretion of red blood cells.
- Other Causes. The other factors that cause poor blood circulation include hypertension, Raynaud's disease, Buerger's disease, and blood clots caused by genetic conditions, congenital defects, inflammation, injury or some cancers.
Home Remedies for Poor Blood Circulation
- Proper Diet. This is one of the most effective treatments for bad circulation. It is important to eat a healthy and well balanced diet. Incorporate a lot of vitamins in your diet, especially vitamin E and C because they boost blood circulation. You can also boost the flow of blood by eating plenty of fruits, red veggies, ginger, turmeric, cayenne pepper and garlic.
- Massage. A massage helps to enhance proper blood flow. Massage the feet, hands and arms on a daily basis. Soaking yourself in warm water also helps to enhance proper blood flow.
- Exercises. They are vital in prevention and treatment of bad circulation. Exercising for 30 minutes to 1hour on a daily basis helps to enhance proper blood flow.
- Aromatherapy. This is very effective in treatment of bad circulation. Use lavender, Marjoman and rosemary oil to massage your feet and hands. It helps to treat bad circulation within a short span of time.
- No Tobacco and Alcohol. Smoking and too much alcohol intake are triggers of many diseases. They can also impact on blood flow and lead to bad blood circulation. So people with this condition need to quit smoking and drinking alcohol.
Medical Treatments for Poor Blood Circulation
- Medications. There are different medicines used to enhance blood flow. They include blood thinners, anti-platelet agents and anticoagulants which can prevent blood from clotting and keep normal blood flow.
- Surgeries. Surgery in extreme cases is also used to remove plague and other blood clots.
- Supplements. A doctor can also recommend supplements including magnesium and calcium, vitamin B complex, C and E. These supplements can greatly boost your blood circulation.
- Other Treatments. It is essential to seek treatment for bad circulation to prevent health complications including Raynaud’s disease, diabetes, blood clots, buerger’s disease and atherosclerosis.