When the body cannot easily circulate blood, the symptoms of poor circulation often become apparent and will start affecting your appearance and lifestyle. Although poor blood circulation is not a health condition, it manifests in response to other health issues. These problems include blood clots, peripheral artery disease, diabetes, Raynaud’s disease, varicose veins, and obesity. Poor circulation is also more common among those who smoke as well as pregnant women.
Signs of Poor Circulation
Those with limited blood circulation may experience:
- Muscle cramps
- A stinging, throbbing or aching sensation
- A tingling “pins and needles” feeling
- Confusion or memory loss, which occurs when blood flow to the brain is limited
- Hands and feet that are cold to the touch
- Varicose veins
- Ulcers in the legs and feet caused when blood pools in veins or when wounds are unable to heal properly
- Swelling in the extremities, also known as edema, which can also signify heart failure
- Digestive issues such as cramping, abdominal pain, and diarrhea
- Purplish discoloration of the skin, often in the hands, feet, lips, ears, and nose
- Unexplained weight loss
- Difficulty exercising
- And more
Some of these symptoms are localized to the affected areas – most often in the arms and legs – but if left untreated, poor blood circulation can lead to serious health problems throughout your entire body. These include blood clots and infected ulcers, which can even necessitate amputation. In men, erectile dysfunction is sometimes associated with poor circulation. High blood pressure caused by poor blood circulation can also lead to cardiac problems as the heart has to work harder to circulate oxygen and nutrients through the body.
Treatment Options for Poor Circulation
Eliminating the underlying health problem usually resolves poor circulation. For example, those with diabetes will receive medication or dietary recommendations to control high blood sugar. Blood clots can be treated with blood thinners, while calcium channel and alpha-blockers are prescribed for Raynaud’s disease.
Home remedies can also improve circulation and alleviate symptoms of poor circulation. If the legs are affected, compression socks can help reduce swelling and relieve pain. Your doctor can recommend exercises to encourage healthy blood flow.
To help treat or prevent the symptoms of poor circulation, try getting at least 30 minutes a day of aerobic exercise and eating a heart-healthy diet. If you are obese, losing weight can decrease your risk for chronic illness and reduce comorbid health problems like poor blood circulation.
Laser Treatment for Varicose Veins
If your poor blood circulation is associated with or causes varicose veins, you may be bothered by the appearance of these enlarged blood vessels. Blocked and swollen veins contribute to the pain and discomfort of poor circulation. Gilvydis Vein Center offers safe, effective treatment for varicose veins.
Before outlining a treatment plan for you, we conduct ultrasound vein mapping to determine the exact location and extent of varicose veins. This outpatient procedure takes about an hour and allows us to visualize and identify problematic veins that are causing poor circulation.
- With endovenous laser ablation (EVLA), we can remove damaged or diseased veins without open surgery. This minimizes both your recovery time and your risk for complications. A laser catheter is inserted into the affected vein to close it off and reroute blood circulation through healthy veins. This outpatient procedure takes about 45 minutes under local anesthesia.
- Sclerotherapy is used for smaller veins that cannot be treated with EVLA. With this treatment, a liquid or foam solution is injected into the affected veins. This causes the veins to close, alleviating the symptoms of poor circulation. After this treatment, you can return to regular activity but may need to wear compression stockings.
If you’re experiencing the symptoms of poor blood circulation or are troubled by varicose veins, request a free vein screening today. This visual assessment allows our doctors to develop a comprehensive treatment plan for your vein issues.