Good circulation is essential for good health. The body’s circulatory system carries oxygen and nutrients throughout the body by delivering blood to the organs and tissues. Chronic health conditions, such as type two diabetes, can lead to poor blood circulation. When circulation is limited, other health problems will result. Fortunately, lifestyle changes can help improve circulation and prevent potential complications.
What Causes Poor Circulation?
Limited blood circulation is usually related to an underlying health condition. Some of the most common illnesses that affect circulation include:
- Venous insufficiency ― Veins become damaged and are unable to circulate blood effectively.
- Peripheral artery disease and atherosclerosis ― Blood vessels and arteries are narrowed down and, in turn, prevent blood from flowing to the extremities.
- Blood clots – particularly those that develop in the arms or legs
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) ― a type of blood clot that occurs deep in a leg vein.
- Type 2 diabetes ― This can cause problems with the heart and circulatory system when blood sugar is uncontrolled.
- Raynaud’s disease ― A condition that causes narrowing of the small arteries in the fingers and toes.
- Obesity ― This puts increased stress on the circulatory system.
What Are the Symptoms of Poor Circulation?
People with poor circulation usually experience symptoms that affect the legs and arms. These feelings can include tingling, numbness, muscle cramps, cold hands, cold feet, painful throbbing or stinging. Other symptoms are related to the underlying cause of poor circulation. For example, peripheral artery disease can affect erectile function, and those who have diabetes may notice that wounds heal more slowly.
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. He or she may also conduct blood pressure testing, blood tests and ultrasound imaging to diagnose health problems that cause poor circulation.
What Are the Treatment Options for Poor Circulation?
Often, treating the cause of poor circulation will help resolve symptoms. Varicose veins can be removed with endoscopic or laser surgery. Compression socks can help improve blood circulation and reduce the uncomfortable symptoms associated with poor circulation. 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.
What Complications Are Associated With Poor Circulation?
When left untreated, poor circulation can damage the nerves and tissues because they 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
Do you need help with vein health near Batavia? If you have issues with your veins that are affecting circulation, visit the team at the Gilvydis Vein Clinic. Contact us to make an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Geneva and Sycamore today!