Circulation enables movement of blood through the body, which supplies vital organs with oxygen and important nutrients. If the circulation is somehow impaired, it can affect the proper function of different systems and organs in the body. If the problem is left untreated, it can harm vital organs such as the heart, kidneys and brain and may even have fatal consequences.
Improper circulation is the main cause of problems such as atherosclerosis and peripheral artery disease. Obesity, diabetes, blood clots and heart disease may also spawn from improper circulation, while alcohol abuse, poor diet and smoking may impair your circulation. The good news is that the symptoms of the condition are pretty hard not to notice. Detecting them on time and treating the root cause appropriately can repair your circulation and reverse the damage it might have already done. Here are 10 warning signs of poor blood circulation:
- Numb hands and feet
Numbness in the limbs is almost always a sign of poor circulation. Numbness in the hands and feet can also be caused by constant pressure in the hands and feet, compressed nerves, sensitivity to cold, lack of magnesium and vitamin B12.
- Swelling in the lower extremities
Swelling in the lower extremities can be a result of too much sodium, sitting in one position for a longer period, malnutrition, pregnancy, aging or obesity, but if it goes on for a longer period it may be caused by poor circulation. The lack of blood flow doesn’t allow the kidneys to perform well, resulting in the accumulation of fluids in the tissues and swelling in different body parts. If you’re experiencing this problem, lay down and raise your legs above your heart and the swelling should stop soon.
- Fatigue and tiredness
The lack of proper blood flow means that the body isn’t getting enough oxygen and nutrients, which interferes with normal organ function. This will result in fatigue, shortness of breath, sore muscles and lack of stamina.
- Cold hands and feet
Proper circulation ensures regulated body temperature, so if it’s somehow impaired, you may suffer from temperature irregularities. When the blood flow is impaired, blood can’t reach every point of the body, making the farthest points such as the fingers and toes go cold. In this case, you should rub the affected areas in order to get the blood flowing and prevent other problems.
- Varicose veins
Improper blood flow can twist and swell the veins in our body, resulting in varicose veins and other cardiovascular problems. Varicose veins usually appear on the legs and can be itchy and painful as well. Luckily, they are mostly an aesthetic problem that can be resolved by wearing compression stockings that can improve your blood flow.
- Weakened immune system
Improper blood flow means that parts of the body can’t get essential nutrients, which will affect the immune system and hinder the body’s ability to fight infections. If your immune system is weakened, your small cuts and wounds might not heal on time and properly. In order to boost your blood flow, you should exercise more often – you don’t need anything big, even a simple 20-30-minute walk a day can help.
- Erective dysfunction
Improper blood flow in the reproductive system is the main reason for erectile dysfunction. This can make you unable to sustain the erection and may be related to atherosclerosis. If you’re suffering from erectile dysfunction, we suggest visiting your doctor so he can evaluate if there’s an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Hair loss
Lack of blood and nutrients in the scalp will almost surely cause hair loss. In order to boost the blood flow to the scalp, experts recommend massages with some essential oils which can assist in the delivery of oxygen and nutrients. Besides hair loss, improper circulation may also cause brittle nails and dry skin. Hair loss, can, however, be caused by other factors such as genetics, aging, smoking, hormonal imbalance, thyroid disorders, scalp infections, etc.
- Heavy and tight chest
With no adequate blood flow, you can’t expect the heart to work well. Poor circulation in the heart can cause a feeling of tightness in the chest, a condition known as angina pectoris. Angina can also be caused by obesity or atherosclerosis, which is why we suggest visiting a doctor after noticing this symptom.
- Skin discoloration or cyanosis
Cyanosis is a discoloration of the skin brought on by low levels of oxygen in the blood and improper circulation. The color of your skin may change to a darker one, and may be a sign of congenital heart disease in children. Nevertheless, it is a sign that you should visit a doctor immediately.
In order to improve your circulation, you should be more physically active and control your stress levels. Hydrotherapy and sitting or walking with your back straight can also help you achieve proper circulation. Avoid drinking too much alcohol or eating too much salty and processed food, and stop smoking as well in order to allow the blood to flow through your body as it should. Make sure to eat a healthy diet and include seeds and spices such as cayenne pepper, garlic and ginger which can boost your circulation. Finally, make sure to wear proper high-quality shoes which can provide proper circulation in your feet.