Do you experience unexplained muscle cramps, tingling or numbness? Do your hands or feet feel cold? If so, you could have poor circulation. Good circulation delivers the essential oxygen and nutrients to your body at the cellular level needed for healthy metabolic and organ functions. Impaired circulation is a serious condition that can compromise your health. Read this blog to learn more about how to improve circulation to help you achieve overall wellness.
Causes of Poor Circulation
Poor circulation is often seen with other chronic illnesses like hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol. It can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), a medical condition that restricts normal blood flow to the tissues, as well as venous insufficiency, which occurs when the veins are unable to pump the venous blood back to the heart. Lifestyle choices like smoking, lack of exercise and a poor diet, in addition to standing or sitting too long may lead to poor circulation.
Symptoms of Poor Arterial Circulation (PAD)
When arterial blood flow is reduced, you may experience symptoms in the area of your body fed by that artery. Poor circulation is most common in the arms, hands, legs and feet may occur with exercise and in a more severe form of PAD at rest. These symptoms include numbness, tingling, pain and muscle cramps, as well as feeling persistently cold. The tips of your fingers and toes may also appear red, purple or blue.
Health Problems Caused by Poor Venous Circulation
Poor circulation in the venous system can lead to varicose veins, spider veins, leg swelling and skin changes including leg ulcers. These venous leg ulcers are caused by inflammation resulting in the appearance of a permanent rash. Another serious medical conditions caused by poor venous circulation is deep vein thrombosis. Slowed blood flow in a vein damaged by poor circulation can lead to a deep vein blood clot and severe pain, swelling and redness in your leg. Varicose veins can, also, bleed spontaneously most often after a warm shower or bath. If you have worsening varicose veins, unexplained leg swelling, redness or pain, or a bleeding varicose vein seek immediate medical attention.
How to Improve Circulation at Home
Adequate blood flow is crucial for supporting bodily functions, which is why poor circulation requires prompt attention. Beneficial lifestyle changes to improve circulatory health include losing weight, eating a healthy diet and getting sufficient exercise. Avoid extended periods of immobility and the use of tobacco products and wearing compression stockings can also improve circulation.
When to Call the Doctor
Poor circulation is a silent killer because its symptoms may be overlooked. Seek professional medical attention if your symptoms worsen or you develop new ones. When detected early, the underlying cause related to poor circulation is usually treatable. If left untreated, poor circulation can become progressively worse and potentially limb and life threatening. A comprehensive treatment plan that includes a healthy lifestyle will improve your circulation and reduce risk factors for other complications.
Achieve Better Veins for Life® and Improve Circulation in Middle Georgia at Vein Specialists of the South
If you suffer from symptoms of poor circulation which may be related to varicose veins, contact our office today for a consultation. Dr. Harper has over twenty years experience in the treatment of venous and lymphatic disease and is certified by both the American Board of Surgery and is a diplomat of the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine. Our office will be happy to evaluate your symptoms, perform a thorough examination and diagnostic tests to determine your best possible course of treatment.