Blood is the body’s way of transporting oxygen, nutrients, and various other elements all throughout the body. It literally goes everywhere and if a body part is devoid of blood for a period of time – it can die actually die and fall off. This is why good blood circulation is crucial if you want your body to experience optimum health. You want every organ, every muscle, and every appendage to get blood in order to sustain life. Check some symptoms of poor blood circulation below.
What is Poor Blood Circulation?
Poor blood circulation is basically a situation when there’s not enough blood moving all throughout your body. It doesn’t mean you have less blood per se – just that the life-giving liquid isn’t reaching all the parts that it should.
Poor circulation of the blood isn’t a disease in itself. Often, it is a symptom of much bigger problem. Upon diagnosis of poor blood circulation, doctors would look into other symptoms and correlate those information to find out the possible cause of the condition.
Symptoms of Poor Blood Circulation
The typical signs associated with poor blood circulation include:
- Muscle Cramps
- Cold feet or hands because there’s not enough blood flowing through the veins
- Loss of hair on the feet and hands. Since blood is responsible for transmitting nutrients through the body, poor circulation means that not all body parts are able to function as normal – including the growth of hair.
- Erectile dysfunction can also happen since blood pumping to the penis is the main reason for erection
- The nails are slow growing and particularly brittle. Again, this can be traced back to the insufficient amount of nutrients being received by these body parts
- Dry or cracked skin, especially of the feet.
- Slow-healing wounds caused by a low amount of nutrients reaching the affected body part.
Have you ever tried sitting on your legs for a period of time? Perhaps you once slept on your arms during the night and woke up to a tingling sensation of the affected area. There’s often a prickly and tingling sensation on the affected limb as the lack of blood is felt by the whole body.
If you want to better identify the sensation that comes with poor blood circulation, you can try a rubber band exercise.
Grab a rubber band and tie it around one of your fingers, effectively cutting off the blood flow through it. Keep the rubber band on there for a few minutes, noticing how the finger starts to become purple. Now, carefully remove the rubber band again and the blood will rush to that particular body part. The tingling sensation often happens around this time along with the other symptoms.
Diagnosis Poor Blood Circulation
Since poor blood circulation is a symptom in itself, it makes sense to solve the underlying condition first. Diagnosis of poor blood circulation is often done through a physical exam compounded by tests to determine its cause. Your doctor may therefore want you to take any of the following tests:
- Antibodies blood test for the detection of anti-inflammatory conditions
- Blood testing to check clotting factors
- Blood pressure test
- Blood sugar test
- An ultrasound or a CT scan
Treating Poor Blood Circulation
Once the cause of poor blood circulation has been determined, the next step is to administer treatment based on the root reason. Here are the typical treatment recommendations of a doctor:
Wearing Compression Socks
This is a treatment method done if the cause of the poor circulation is inflammation. The compression socks help minimize any swelling of the feet, therefore making it easier for the blood to flow through the appendage. Note though that this is used only for the feet area since this is the part most likely to suffer from bad circulation. For other body parts, a different approach must be taken.
Those diagnosed with diabetes may need to take insulin on a regular basis or other medications designed specifically for diabetics. This is often paired with a healthy diet that’s low in sugar and carbohydrates to lower the risk of a sugar spike.
In situations when the poor circulation is due to varicose veins, laser surgery may be resorted to remove the obstruction.
Depending on the diagnosis, individuals may also be prescribed blood thinners to help promote blood flow throughout the body. Those diagnosed with Raynaud’s Disease are often given calcium channel blockers and alpha blockers.
Exercise – especially cardiovascular – can do so much in promoting the circulation of blood all through the body. Even better, exercise can help reduce fat buildup in and around the vessels which messes up with the ability of the heart to pump blood. With consistent and proper exercise, the body can stimulate proper blood flow and prevent similar problems in the future.
Obesity creates a high risk in terms of poor circulation. Individuals who are obese or overweight are more likely to suffer from diabetes, blood clots, and other issues that eventually lead to circulation problems. Fortunately, undergoing exercises and eating correctly are, by themselves, contributory to better blood flow.
For a more permanent way of solving poor circulation problems, lifestyle changes have to be made.
Stopping smoking, decreasing consumption of alcohol, and controlling diet are just some of the ways to help reduce the risk of this condition. The use of the right supplements can also go a long way in supporting the body’s circulatory system and minimizing the chances of suffering from poor blood circulation.
Final Word – Outlook on Circulation Problems
The good news is that poor blood circulation can be remedied and even reversed with the right treatment. Often, it is a question of finding the correct diagnosis or the root cause of the symptom and addressing it head-on. Your doctor can work with you on finding out the prime reason for the problem and create a treatment plan that would suit you best for overall health. Do not ignore the symptoms of poor blood circulation because this is often the first indicator of an even bigger health issue!