Poor Blood Circulation Causes & Symptoms
Good circulation is important for your health. The body’s circulatory system carries oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, delivering blood to the organs and tissues. Certain chronic health conditions, such as type two diabetes, can lead to poor blood circulation. When circulation is limited, other health problems arise as a result.
The numbness you’re experiencing in your arms and legs could be a symptom of poor circulation.
Circulatory issues should never be ignored, as they can lead to serious health issues. Fortunately, lifestyle changes can help improve circulation and prevent potential complications. Let’s explore the common symptoms, risk factors, causes, and treatments for poor circulation.
What Causes Poor Circulation?
Although poor circulation isn’t necessarily a health condition, poor blood circulation issues are usually related to an underlying health condition. Some of the most common causes of poor circulation include:
Venous Insufficiency occurs when veins become damaged and are unable to circulate blood throughout the body effectively.
Peripheral Artery Disease and Atherosclerosis
This is when blood vessels and arteries are narrowed down and, in turn, prevent blood from flowing to the extremities.
A dangerous cause of poor circulation is blood clots. Blood clots can be fatal if not treated quickly. These blockages in the bloodstream are caused by a thickening of the blood, creating a mass of platelets, proteins, and cells.
Blood clots can be life-threatening if they block an artery or vein that carries blood to the lungs, heart, brain, or other vital organs. They can cause serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, and pulmonary embolism.
Blood Clots that develop in the arms and legs particularly affect blood circulation.
Another common cause of poor circulation is varicose veins. These bulging veins are caused by a weakened or damaged valve. Individuals with varicose veins typically report symptoms of aching, swelling, throbbing, and restlessness.
Varicose veins are predominantly a result of genetics, but other factors like obesity, leg trauma, and adults over the age of 50 have an increased risk. While there is no tried and true way to fully prevent varicose veins, adults can lessen symptoms by eating healthy, quitting tobacco, and avoiding sitting or standing for long periods.
Peripheral artery disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 6.5 million people over the age of 40 have peripheral artery disease. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition where arteries start to narrow, resulting in poor blood flow and circulation. This condition can cause pain, numbness, and other symptoms in the legs and arms.
It is important to be aware of PAD symptoms because it can lead to serious health problems such as a heart attack or stroke. Smoking increases the risk of PAD, and frequent smokers are more likely to develop symptoms earlier in life.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) occurs when blood clots into a solid state within veins that lie deep inside the body. Often, this problem occurs in veins in the thighs and calves, but it can happen in the arms and other parts of the body as well.
While deep vein thrombosis may be asymptomatic in some people, it can cause significant risk. The clot could become dislodged and enter other parts of the body like the lungs, where it can do much more harm. This is precisely why learning the causes, symptoms, and treatments for DVT is important.
DVT is a type of blood clot that occurs deep in a leg vein.
Type 2 Diabetes
When blood sugar is not controlled, Type 2 Diabetes can cause issues with the heart and circulatory system.
Raynaud’s Disease is a condition that causes the narrowing of small arteries in fingers and toes.
Obesity puts increased stress on the circulatory system, often causing circulation issues for those who are overweight.
What Are the Symptoms of Poor Circulation?
Symptoms of poor circulation are usually present in the arms and legs. Symptoms can include:
- Varicose veins
- Muscle cramps
- Fatigue and dizziness
- Coldness in feet or hands
- Painful throbbing
There are many other symptoms that are related to the underlying cause of poor circulation. For example, peripheral artery diseases can affect erectile function. Another example is those who have diabetes may notice their wounds heal more slowly.
Other symptoms to watch out for consist of swelling, ulcers, unexplained weight loss, purplish skin discoloration, cold hands and feet, and confusion or memory loss. Most signs of poor circulation are localized to the arms and legs—however, signs of poor circulation can occur anywhere within the body.
If left untreated, poor circulation can lead to serious health problems like blood clots and infected ulcers, which can result in amputation.
Who is at risk of developing poor circulation?
Poor circulation happens when the body cannot easily circulate blood. While poor circulation can happen to anyone, circulation issues are most common amongst smokers, pregnant women, and those living a sedentary lifestyle.
How Is Poor Circulation Diagnosed?
If you experience any of these symptoms, your doctor will take a complete health history to look for the underlying cause of poor circulation.
Poor circulation can be diagnosed through ultrasound vein mapping by the vein specialists at Gilvydis Vein Clinic. This easy outpatient procedure takes about an hour and helps us visualize and identify the problematic veins causing your poor circulation issues.
He or she may also conduct blood pressure testing and blood tests to diagnose health problems that cause poor circulation.
When you’re experiencing poor circulation in your legs, visit a leg vein specialist for ultrasound vein mapping to identify the cause of your circulation issues.
How to Treat Poor Circulation
Home treatments that can help with ciruclation
Often, treating the cause of poor circulation will help resolve symptoms. Getting to the route of your circulation issue is the important part. Varicose veins can be removed with endoscopic or laser surgery. Another way to help improve blood circulation and reduce the uncomfortable symptoms associated with poor circulation is to use compression socks. Your doctor may also recommend exercises to improve circulation.
You can also make lifestyle changes that improve circulation. Losing weight when overweight or obese reduces stress on the blood vessels. Smoking can damage the blood vessels and is a significant risk factor for circulation problems. It also raises the risk for peripheral artery disease.
If your blood pressure is too high, take steps to control it. Your doctor may recommend blood pressure medication if you are unable to lower your numbers with diet and exercise. Drinking enough water and getting regular exercise can help blood flow more freely. If you spend a lot of time sitting, try to get up and walk around every so often.
Laser vein treatment
In addition, there are various treatment options for poor circulation. To treat blood circulation issues related to veins insufficiency, Gilvydis Vein Clinic offers a variety of minimally invasive treatment options.
Painful varicose veins hinder your everyday life—including your confidence. With safe and effective vein treatment, Gilvydis Vein Clinic can help you get a leg up on life.
Endovenous laser ablation
Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) removes damaged or diseased veins without invasive, open surgery. A laser catheter is inserted into the affected vein to close off and reroute blood flow to healthy veins. This outpatient procedure takes about 45 minutes under local anesthesia.
Gilvydis Vein Clinic uses sclerotherapy for smaller veins that cannot be treated by endovenous laser ablation. Our vein specialists inject a special solution into your affected veins, closing them off to alleviate the symptoms of poor circulation. This 15 to 45-minute outpatient treatment allows you to return to your same-day activities.
How can I prevent poor circulation?
To prevent poor circulation, make sure you are maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. You should also avoid smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol excessively.
What Complications or Issues Are Associated With Poor Circulation?
Poor circulation can damage the nerves and tissues when left untreated because these nerves and tissues are not getting the blood and nutrients they need. This is especially prevalent among people who have type 2 diabetes because they may also have numbness that affects the ability to feel symptoms of poor circulation.
When peripheral artery disease is the cause of poor circulation, the person is at increased risk for a stroke or heart attack. This can occur when the blood vessels to the brain or arteries leading to the heart become blocked. Blood clots can also cause a stroke if they break free and travel to the brain, while DVT can lead to a pulmonary embolism.
Improve Your Vein Health: Contact Gilvydis Vein Clinics in Illinois
Are you experiencing poor circulation? The vein specialists at Gilvydis Vein Clinic can help you get moving again. Through cutting-edge technology, our experts will develop a personalized treatment plan to get you back on your feet again.
Vein disease is progressive and will worsen over time. Don’t wait and request your free screening at Gilvydis Vein Clinic in Naperville, Geneva, or Sycamore today.