Poor blood circulation is a condition that affects many people worldwide, and it can be caused by a variety of health conditions. In later stages, poor circulation can have severe consequences, so it is necessary to seek treatment from a doctor if you have poor blood circulation. Unfortunately, most people do not know that they are having circulatory issues until damage has been done to their health. Look out for these 10 warning signs that you may be having problems with your circulation.
1. Numb Extremities
When your heart has trouble pumping blood throughout the body, it prioritizes getting blood to the organs and brain. This means that the hands and feet often end up without enough oxygen-rich blood, so they feel numb or tingly. Occasionally, vitamin B12 and magnesium deficiencies can cause this symptom, so make sure you are getting enough of these nutrients.
2. Varicose Veins
Pressure can build up in the veins when blood does not move fast enough, causing veins in the legs to swell and darken. Wearing compression stockings that prevent blood from settling in the leg veins can help to reduce the appearance of varicose veins.
3. Chilly Hands and Feet
In addition to carrying oxygen throughout the body, the circulatory system also has an important role in maintaining body temperatures. Reduced blood flow in the hands and feet can make them seem constantly cold. This can sometimes be fixed just by rubbing the cold areas together quickly.
4. Swollen Feet and Ankles
It is often extremely hard for the heart to pump blood against gravity to get it from the feet back into the torso, so circulation issues can cause the feet, ankles, and calves to swell with excess fluid and blood. To help fluid leave swollen feet, try to raise your legs above heart level for brief amounts of time.
5. Slow Healing
Without the circulation system sending nutrients throughout the body, the immune system cannot get everything done efficiently. A mild case of poor circulation can typically make a person get sick more often, and cuts take more time to heal. You can speed up your circulation by getting a small amount of exercise each day.
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6. Erectile Dysfunction
The male genitals need sustained blood flow to maintain an erection. Without enough circulation, you may notice that you have trouble sustaining or achieving an erection. This issue often requires medical treatment, because it is often caused by atherosclerosis.
7. Constant Fatigue
When the circulation system is not carrying enough oxygen to the brain, it is hard for the brain to function properly. The muscles of the body also have difficulty lifting and moving things without enough oxygen. This can combine to cause a constant feeling of exhaustion, weakness, and fatigue. This is often caused by anemia, a blood disorder that happens when you do not get enough iron.
8. Pressure in the Chest
The heart also needs red blood cells to work, and without enough oxygen, it has trouble functioning. This may cause a feeling of tightness, pain, heaviness, or pressure in the chest. This symptom of bad blood pressure tends to come and go, but it requires medical treatment to fix.
9. Discolored Skin
The skin may appear unusually pale in people with poor blood circulation because they do not have a lot of red blood cells giving their skin color. This issue can often be fixed with iron supplementation. If you are not getting enough oxygen, your lips, gums, or nails may look bluish or bruised. This is a severe sign of low oxygen levels that requires immediate medical treatment.
10. Unexplained Hair Loss
If you start losing hair suddenly without any other health problems, this may be a sign that your circulation system is not bringing your hair the nutrition it needs to grow. Massaging your scalp with olive oil gently can boost blood flow and help hair follicles work better.
If you notice any of these 10 warning signs of poor blood circulation, you should talk to your doctor about potential treatments. Bad blood circulation may be caused by many different things, ranging from diet to heart problems. Though minor issues can often be fixed with lifestyle changes, medical help may be needed if these symptoms persist.