Your blood does a fantastic job of transporting nutrients and oxygen to every part of your body, so if you have a problem with your circulatory system, it can create a knock-on effect that impacts upon your general health. Poor circulation usually stems from other health factors, but it is important that you are aware of warning signs that indicate a problem, as well as the steps you can take to improve the condition should you need to do so.
Symptoms of Poor Circulation
1. Feelings of numbness
Most of us will have accidentally lay on one of our arms while sleeping at some point, and will be familiar with the numb feeling that tends to result. This sensation comes about because you have inadvertently limited your blood circulation. If you find that you often experience a similar sensation in your limbs without an obvious trigger, it could be a sign that your blood circulation is permanently restricted.
2. Loss of Appetite
If you don’t feel hungry, despite having skipped a meal, it could indicate a circulatory problem. Your liver sends signals to your brain to tell it you’re hungry, but it can only do this when it receives adequate blood flow. This symptom can also cause weight loss over time as you will eat less.
3. Cold Hands and Feet
Your blood flow is also responsible for ensuring your body stays at a healthy temperature, and rubbing cold hands together is a natural response we all use to try and encourage blood to flow more quickly. If your circulation is compromised, areas of the body with lots of nerve endings the hands and feet can feel unusually cold.
4. Skin Discoloring
Cyanosis is a condition characterized by a slight discoloration of the skin due to low oxygen levels just below the skin’s surface. If you have poor circulation, you may see signs of cyanosis, and your fingers and toes may appear slightly bruised or red.
5. Varicose Veins
If your blood is not pumping as it should, pressure can build and cause veins to twist and swell. The resulting varicose veins tend to appear on the lower legs, and cause pain or itchiness. Varicose veins can be both a symptom and cause of poor circulation.
6. Brittle Nails and Hair Loss
Your nails and hair can provide some of the clearest signs that your blood is not distributing the required amount of nutrients around your body. Hair can become thin, dry and even start to fall out, whether you are male or female. Your nails will become weaker and more prone to breaking.
7. Swelling and Leg Ulcers
In extreme cases, poor circulation can cause swelling in extremities. If your hands or feet begin to swell it could be a result of slow blood flow, which causes fluid to gather. Leg ulcers are sore inflamed parts of the skin characterized by a rash that refuses to go away. If you notice red patches or swelling gathering around your ankles or lower legs, you may have problems with circulation.
Restricted blood flow means less oxygen and nutrients reach the muscles, so you will become fatigued much more easily. Lack of breath, sore muscles, and the inability to complete physical tasks that you should find easy, are all indicators of poor circulation.
9. A Tight Chest
Your heart might pump your blood around your body, but it also needs to be supplied with plenty of blood flow as well. If it isn’t, then you may develop angina, characterized by feelings of tightness in the chest. If pain recurs in fits and spurts, it can be a common indicator of poor circulation.
10. Poor Libido or Erectile Dysfunction
Poor circulation can cause associated problems with both the female and male libido because reproductive organs require a sizeable supply of blood in order to function properly. The obvious issue that can effect men is erectile dysfunction, while women may suffer from irregular menstrual cycles and a loss of energy in the bedroom.
11. Forgetfulness and Concentration Issues
The brain is another organ that needs to be fed a regular supply of oxygen, and it only gets the stocks it needs if your blood is flowing as it should. Poor circulation will affect your ability to focus and concentrate when going about your daily business, and can have a negative impact on both short term and long term memory.
12. Digestive Issues
If your blood flow slows down, it will have an impact on a number of bodily processes and digestion is one of them. This can reduce the frequency of bowel movements and even contribute to constipation.
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The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.