Each part of the body needs a steady supply of oxygen-rich blood to function properly. Your organs and brain suffer if this flow of nutrients is interrupted for whatever reason. Poor blood circulation can lead to heart, kidney and brain damage. Atherosclerosis and artery disease are just two of the ailments that occur when insufficient blood circulation takes over the body. If you have any of these warning signs of poor circulation, you need to visit your doctor immediately.
Numb Hands and Feet
Do your hands or feet ever feel numb? This can be due to a number of reasons. The poor circulation could be a result of pressure on your limbs, condensation of your nerves or vulnerability to cold temperatures. Diabetes, multiple sclerosis and thyroid issues can also cause numbing of your hands and feet. Be sure to talk to your doctor about this early sign of poor circulation before it leads to greater health problems. You might just need to increase your magnesium and B12 intake.
Cold Hands and Feet
Maybe it’s not the numbness of your limbs that you notice, but the chilliness. Your fingers and toes are at extreme points of the body, so it’s crucial that good blood circulation maintains and regulates their temperature. If you feel chilly, rub your hands or feet to encourage circulation. An underactive thyroid, peripheral neuropathy and Raynaud’s syndrome all cause a cooling effect, so it’s important to discuss your symptoms with your doctor.
Swollen Ankles and Feet
If your lower extremities are swelling, it can be for a number of reasons, including pregnancy, obesity, and aging. Consuming too much salt or standing in one place for a long time may also cause your ankles and feet to swell. If the problem doesn’t subside over time, you may have poor circulation. The lack of blood flow makes the kidneys function improperly, and the fluids in the blood capillary absorb into the surrounding tissues, causing swelling.
In extreme conditions, your legs can develop ulcers. These rash-like ulcers usually appear as patchy, sore spots and often develop by your knees and ankles. If the inflamed skin doesn’t go away, proper circulation may reduce the swelling. Lifting your legs above your heart level can promote better blood flow. Make sure you talk to your doctor if the swelling persists.
Constant Fatigue and Tiredness
Poor blood circulation can affect your organs because not enough oxygen and nutrients are reaching them. Sore muscles, lack of stamina and breathlessness are also signs related to poor circulation. Fatigue can be brought on by a plethora of conditions, including bad eating habits, anxiety, stress, grief, and depression. Tell your doctor about any related symptoms so you can pinpoint your health ailments better.
When veins suffer from irregular blood flow, pressure builds up, causing a twisted, swollen bulge. Varicose veins are mostly found on the legs. They’re often itchy and painful, and some people experience an unpleasant heaviness and burning sensation in the lower extremities. Heredity, obesity, constipation and hormonal changes may all cause varicose veins. Compression stockings encourage blood flow, and your physician can give you more advice.
Slow Healing and Weak Immune System
Since vitamins and minerals aren’t properly distributed throughout the body due to poor blood circulation, you may have a hard time fighting off an infection or illness. If you notice that an injury or wound isn’t healing promptly, your immune system may be vulnerable. Exercising regularly can promote good blood circulation. However, you should also talk to your doctor about any ongoing disease.
Sudden Hair Loss
The first sign of poor circulation to the scalp is an unexpected dryness. The hairline thins very quickly after that, leading to sudden hair loss. Not enough nutrients can reach the skin because of the lack of blood flow. You can nourish your scalp by promoting a blood surge in the hair follicles; for example, rubbing hair oil into your scalp may help improve circulation and growth. However, hair loss can be the result of numerous other conditions, including hormonal imbalance, iron deficiency, stress and aging, so talk to your doctor about your symptoms.
Just like your hair, your nails are also adversely affected by poor circulation. Healthy nutrients don’t have a chance to travel to the fingernails and toenails, and the resulting lack of oxygen-rich blood leads to brittle, fragile nails that easily chip and break.
Men who have poor blood circulation to the reproductive organs may experience erectile dysfunction. The inability to get or sustain an erection can also be caused by atherosclerosis, and you might have to talk to your doctor, who can monitor for other diseases. Luckily, medications are available that can assist with this symptom.
Tightness or Heaviness in the Chest
Inadequate blood flow throughout your body may affect your heart. The lack of circulation causes a tightness or heaviness in the chest, which is known as angina pectoris. Other medical problems such as indigestion, heartburn, muscle spasms and infections can also cause chest pain, so it’s best to discuss your symptoms with a physician.
Cyanosis is a condition that’s characterized by the discoloration of skin due to reduced oxygen levels in the blood caused by inadequate blood circulation. The fingers and toes may look bruised, and the lips and eye areas may be a dark red. People with cyanosis tend to have blue gums as well. If a baby appears to have cyanosis, get medical attention immediately as it may indicate congenital heart disease.
Dark Under-Eye Circles
Besides skin discoloration, poor circulation may cause puffy, dark circles under your eyes. Like many other items on this list, this can be a symptom of something else. To determine if your dark circles are from poor blood flow, gently touch the affected area with your finger. If it looks lighter after you move your finger and then grows darker again after a few seconds, the cause could be the lack of proper circulation.
A lack of blood supply leads to improper digestion. When the process of ingesting food is interrupted, you may suffer from diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, and a host of other digestive issues. Furthermore, a lot of the healthy nutrients your body receives from food are lost during digestion.
Loss of Appetite
Although digestive issues can result in a loss of appetite, this symptom alone is a warning sign of poor circulation. Your body requires the proper digestion and distribution of nutrients to function. If the gastrointestinal tract doesn’t have a good blood supply, this entire process is disrupted, leading to decreased circulation. In turn, your metabolic rate slows and affects your appetite.