Circulation refers to the blood flow in your body. The circulation of blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to your organs and other body parts. Poor circulation is a reduction of blood flow through the body, and it occurs most often in the arms and legs.
Poor circulation is caused by a variety of health problems and addressing the underlying causes of poor circulation is essential for reducing symptoms and improving blood flow.
Here, we look at poor circulation, including its symptoms, what causes it, how it’s treated, and what you can do to improve blood flow.
Causes of Poor Circulation
Poor circulation isn’t a condition in and of itself. It always has underlying causes. A number of health conditions can result in poor circulation:
Diabetes. Diabetes can cause reduced circulation in some areas of your body, but people with advanced diabetes or diabetic neuropathy may have trouble noticing the symptoms of poor circulation. That’s because diabetic neuropathy can reduce sensations in the arms and legs, which are most affected by poor circulation.
Obesity. Obesity often involves a sedentary lifestyle, and this, coupled with a lot of extra weight, can cause circulation problems. One reason for this is related to the calf muscles, which removes blood and fluid from the lower legs and promote the flow of blood to the lower legs and feet. When the calf muscles aren’t used enough, this can lead to poor circulation.
Blood clots. Blood clots block the flow of blood through your veins and can develop nearly anywhere on the body. A clot that develops in the arms or legs can cause poor circulation in those areas.
Varicose veins. Varicose veins are caused by valve failure and appear twisted and thick. They’re most often found on the backs of the legs, and they don’t move blood efficiently, leading to poor circulation. Varicose veins can also cause blood clots, although this is rare.
Raynaud’s disease. This disease is characterized by a narrowing of the small arteries in your hands and toes. Since narrowed arteries aren’t as capable of moving blood through the body, symptoms of poor circulation may develop.
Symptoms of Poor Circulation
Poor circulation can cause numbness or tingling in the affected areas. It can also lead to throbbing or stinging pain in the limbs or cause intense muscle cramps. People who have peripheral artery disease may also have erectile dysfunction that appears with other symptoms, and people with diabetes may experience nerve pain along with poor circulation.
Other symptoms of poor circulation include:
•Cold hands or feet.
•Hair loss on the legs or feet.
•Dry or cracked skin on the feet.
•Slow healing of wounds in the extremities.
How Poor Circulation is Diagnosed
Poor circulation is a symptom of another health problem. Identifying the problem is essential for diagnosing poor circulation. Your physician will take a complete medical history, including a history of poor circulation or conditions that lead to it. This history will help guide the choices of diagnostic tests to confirm poor circulation and determine its cause.
Some of the tests you may undergo include:
•A blood test to detect antibodies that point to inflammatory conditions.
•A blood sugar test to rule out diabetes.
•A blood test to detect blood clots.
•An ultrasound or CT scan to detect blood clots, narrowed veins and other problems.
•Blood pressure tests, including testing the blood pressure of the legs.
Visit your physician if you have any of the symptoms of poor circulation. Many of the diseases and conditions that cause it can be effectively managed if they’re caught early. Left untreated, poor circulation–and its underlying conditions–can lead to more serious medical problems.
Treatments for Poor Circulation
The appropriate treatments for poor circulation depend on what’s causing it. Addressing the underlying issues is central to improving circulation.
Some of the most common treatments for circulatory problems include:
•Wearing compression socks, which reduce the diameter of distended veins, increase the velocity of blood flow and help prevent the formation of blood clots in the lower legs.
•Physical therapy to increase circulation.
•Starting insulin if you have diabetes.
•Endoscopic or laser surgery for varicose veins.
•Medications that dissolve clots.
•Alpha blockers and calcium channel blockers to treat Raynaud’s disease.
Getting medical conditions under control is essential for improving circulation and preventing the problems poor circulation can cause.
Exercise and Supplements for Improved Circulation
Getting regular exercise can help prevent poor circulation and improve circulation for those with existing problems.
Nerveology’s Advanced Circulation Formula can help improve circulation as well. Our Advanced Circulation Formula contains a powerful blend of eight natural ingredients that promote optimal blood flow in the body.
Advanced Circulation Formula increases nitric oxide levels to expand the blood vessels and restores energy sapped by poor circulation. It helps improve cardiovascular performance and helps maintain optimal hormone balance and organ function.
Whether you have diabetes or another condition, Nerveology supplements support optimum blood circulation, better immune function and healthier nerves for less pain and better overall health and wellbeing.