The circulatory system is an organ system that allows blood to circulate and transport nutrients throughout the body. The constant movement of blood through our veins supplies the brain and cells with oxygen and other essential nutrients that help the body maintain homeostasis, fight diseases and regulate temperature. Due to its importance, any kind of circulatory problems can have detrimental effects on our health.
Poor blood circulation can be caused by numerous factors, but the most common culprits are peripheral artery disease and atherosclerosis. Obesity, blood clots, heart disease and diabetes can also be considered major factors for blood circulation, with smoking, alcohol abuse and pregnancy also causing problems.
Depending on the cause, the treatment for blood circulation varies. The list below contains the most common poor blood circulation symptoms – if you experience any of them, we suggest visiting your doctor as soon as possible.
Numbness in the hands and feet
Numbness in the limbs is one of the main signs of impaired blood circulation. The same symptom can also be a sign of diabetes, vitamin B12 and magnesium deficiencies, long exposure to cold, nerve compression and constant pressure on the hands or legs.
Swelling in the feet
The swelling in your feet can be a sign of high sodium intake and other problems and it usually goes away shortly on its own. However, if your feet are swollen for a longer period, you might be suffering from poor circulation. The lack of blood flow makes the kidneys unable to keep fluids in the blood vessels, which eventually leak out and settle in the surrounding areas, causing swelling. If you experience this problem, raise your legs above your heart while lying on your bed – once the circulation is restored, the swelling should go away.
Fatigue can be brought on by different factors, but if you’re constantly tired it may be due to poor blood circulation. The lack of proper blood and oxygen flow can interfere with the normal function of our organs, which will result in severe fatigue.
Cold hands and feet
Cold hands and feet is the main symptom of poor blood circulation. As the circulatory system plays a big part in the temperature regulation of the body, impaired blood flow can make your hands and feet cold. If you experience this symptom, you’ll need to quickly restore your blood flow by rubbing your hands and feet. Raynaud’s disease may also cause colds hands and feet, so make sure to visit a doctor who can identify the underlying problem and treat it appropriately.
Improper blood flow may lead to varicose veins – the lack of proper blood and oxygen flow will make the veins on your legs twisted and swollen and ruin your appearance. Obesity, genetics, hormonal imbalance, constipation and other problems may also be responsible for varicose veins, so we suggest visiting your doctor who can identify the real culprit.
Slow healing of wounds and weakened immune system
The lack of proper blood flow will affect the immune system. When your cells don’t receive oxygen and nutrients on time, the immune system won’t be able to fight off infections and will make you more susceptible to various ailments. The weakened immune system will also result in slower healing of minor cuts and wounds. In order to prevent these problems, you’ll need to improve your circulation by staying physically active. Walk for about 20 minutes every day or take a jog in the morning to get your blood moving.
Improper blood flow is one of the main causes of erectile dysfunction. The lack of blood flow in the reproductive system will result in inability to sustain erection, so make sure to visit a doctor if you experience this symptom.
Sudden and severe hair loss
Circulatory problems can also cause hair loss, as the lack of blood and oxygen to the scalp makes the hair follicles dry and brittle. If your hair has suddenly started falling down, you need to improve the blood flow to the scalp. You can do this by rubbing essential oil on your scalp every day – this will boost your circulation and make sure your hair receives the nutrients it requires. Hair loss can also be caused by hormonal imbalance, stress, thyroid disorders, scalp infections or iron deficiency as well.
A heavy feeling in the chest
The lack of blood flow will mostly affect the heart. When deprived of blood, the heart won’t be able to function properly, which can lead to a feeling of heaviness and tightness in the chest. The same symptom can also be a sign of major heart and cardiovascular problems, so make sure to check it out at a doctor, especially if it goes on for a longer period.
Cyanosis and skin discoloring
Cyanosis is a skin discoloration problem which occurs due to lack of blood and oxygen flow. You may experience dark bags under the eyes and the area around the lips, and your fingers might look bruised as well. If you notice the symptom in your infant, it may be a symptom of congenital heart disease, so make sure to visit a doctor on time.
In order to improve your circulation, you need to exercise regularly and control your stress levels. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, stop smoking, and substitute coffee with green tea. Our posture is highly important for our circulation as well, so make sure you’re walking or sitting down properly. Invest in high-quality shoes with proper support as well, as they can maintain your posture and keep the blood flowing.
Finally, you’ll need to make some diet changes as well. Add cayenne pepper, hot spices and nuts and seed in your diet as they have been known to boost circulation. A massage rosemary and olive oil can also boost the circulation, as can practicing hydrotherapy (hot and cold water massages). Follow these tips and we’re sure that you’ll never suffer from poor blood circulation again.