Good blood circulation is vitally important to good overall health because the blood carries oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. If your circulatory system is not working properly, you will experience a variety of negative symptoms.
In this article, we will outline some of the signs to watch for that could indication that your circulatory system is not operating at optimum efficiency. Read on to learn more.
Warning Signs Of Poor Circulation
1. Angina or Tightness In The Chest: Naturally, your heart suffers when your circulation is poor. It does not get the blood flow it needs to function correctly. If you feel a pressure on your chest or a tightening sensation, this could be angina.
This is a sure sign that your circulatory system is not up to par. This is a serious symptom, and you should see your health care professional right away because it could also be a sign of an impending heart attack
2. Numbness In The Extremities: If you find yourself experiencing a tingling sensation in your hands and feet and/or lower legs and forearms, it is a sign that you are not getting adequate blood flow to the extremities.
This will feel as if your limb has “fallen asleep”, but it will happen without any particular reason. If you experience this sensation suddenly in your left arm, it is a sign of a heart attack. Seek medical assistance immediately.
3. Cold Hands & Feet: In addition to numbness and tingling in the extremities, you will also find that poor circulation causes cold hands and feet.
This is because you are not getting enough warm blood in your extremities and because your body has gone into “conservation mode” which causes your body to focus warmth on your core to keep you alive.
4. Ulceration Of The Skin Of The Lower Legs: Lack of circulation to your extremities can also cause the skin of your lower legs, ankles and feet to develop inflamed sores and patches of rash.
5. Varicose Veins: When your circulatory system is struggling to deliver blood to your body, the veins can become stressed and swollen. This manifests as large and often painful veins in the legs.
Unexplained purple or blue bruise-like splotches also indicate the presence of varicose veins.
5. Swollen Extremities: If you ignore the other indications of poor circulation to your extremities (i.e. numbness, tingling, chill, ulceration and discoloration) you may very well end up with swollen feet and hands.
When your circulatory system is not working properly, fluid settles in your extremities and causes swelling.
6. Mottled & Darkened Areas Of Skin: When your hands and feet are cold and tingly, you may also find that they look bruised. If the skin on your hands and feet appears purplish or bluish, it is a sure sign you are not getting an adequate blood supply to these areas.
This is also true of the skin under your eyes. You may suddenly find that you have dark under-eye circles. This may just be caused by lack of sleep, but if it is caused by poor blood circulation you can tell by simply pressing on the dark area with your fingertip.
After you release pressure, if the area is pale and then becomes dark again it means your circulation is poor.
7. Dry Skin, Hair & Nails: Good blood flow supports the growth of healthy hair and nails and supple skin.
If your skin, hair and nails are in poor condition even with the best of external treatment, it is a sign that they are not getting the necessary nutrients and hydration good blood circulation should bring them.
8. Lessened Appetite: If you just don’t find food appealing, it may be that your digestive tract is not getting enough blood to function properly.
Good digestion is dependent on ample blood flow to support peristalsis and transport nutrients from your intestines throughout your body. Lack of blood flow impairs your digestive function and negatively impacts your metabolism.
9. Digestive Difficulties: In addition to a lessening of appetite, a dearth of blood flow to your gastrointestinal system causes food to be improperly and poorly digested.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as diarrhea or loose stool, nausea and/or acid reflux, this could indicate poor blood circulation. Don’t just treat the symptoms. See your health care professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.
10. Frequent Illness: Your immune system is dependent upon a healthy circulatory system. If your blood circulation is impaired, your body cannot benefit from the vitamins and minerals you consume.
This quickly leads to weakening of the immune system and frequent illnesses such as colds and flu.
11. Excessive & Frequent Fatigue: A slow circulatory system does not provide your muscles with the oxygen and nutrients necessary to maintain adequate energy levels. As your metabolism slows down, you are bound to feel sluggish and lethargic.
This is because your body attempts to adjust to a lessened level of nutrition by dropping into a conservation mode. This is a mechanism that is intended to conserve energy during times of scarcity.
When this happens, you will not have the energy you need to carry out your activities of daily living.
12. Loss Of Interest In Sex: When your body goes into conservation mode, your reproductive system goes into hibernation. After all, if you aren’t getting enough nutrients to support your own life, you shouldn’t be reproducing!
This means that you will simply lose interest in sex. When you do attempt to enjoy sexual activities, you may find your body is just not up to it.
13. Muddled Thinking: Your brain needs a good flow of blood to function properly. If you find that you are not thinking clearly or you are becoming forgetful, it could mean that you are not getting enough blood, oxygen and nutrients in your brain.
What Can You Do?
The best way to make sure your blood is circulating properly is to take care of your overall health. Here’s how!
- Don’t smoke! Smoking and using tobacco products of any kind will damage your overall good health and negatively impact blood circulation. If you currently use tobacco products, talk with your health care professional to devise a plan for quitting.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol. In small amounts, caffeine and alcohol can have a positive effect on your health. In excess, they can destroy it. If you are not able to enjoy these substances in moderation, it is better to abstain.
- Eat right! Avoid junk food, fast food and all packaged foods. Instead, enjoy a healthy, natural, whole foods diet made up of foods that are as close to their original state as possible. Plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, high quality sources of lean protein and fiber will help ensure healthy circulation of blood that is filled with nutrients to nourish your body.
- Stay hydrated! We are made up of mostly water, and blood needs a high water content in order to circulate freely and easily throughout your system. Drink eight, eight-ounce glasses of pure, filtered water every day for healthy blood and a healthy body.
- Maintain a healthy weight. You don’t have to be model-thin or weight-lifter buff, but you should keep an eye on your weight and keep it within a healthy range for your height and build. It’s easier for your heart to pump life-giving blood throughout your body if your body is the right size!
- Keep moving! When you exercise regularly, you encourage your heart to pump faster and your blood to circulate more efficiently. Be sure to get at least 20 minutes of light-light-to-moderate exercise every day. Exercising vigorously for 30 minutes, three times weekly will really improve your cardiovascular health. Choose forms of exercise you enjoy so that you will look forward to your exercise breaks every day.
Following these common sense tips will help improve your overall health, and subsequently, your circulation. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of poor circulation reviewed here, you should see your health care professional for a proper diagnosis.
Review the information presented here and work closely with your health advisor to tailor a circulation improvement plan that is perfect for you.