Poor blood circulation is the start of numerous other ailments.
What causes poor blood circulation?
Low blood circulation is caused by different underlying conditions. The most common ones are atherosclerosis (“hardening of the arteries) and peripheral artery disease (PAD).
If you experience symptoms of blood circulation problems, consult your physician right away. Poor circulation can lead to heart attack, stroke and even death.
What are the signs of poor blood circulation?
Symptoms of poor blood circulation mostly occur in the hands, feet, arms, and legs. Here are 8 signs to look out for…
- Leg Pain While Walking
A common symptom of poor blood circulation is pain or cramping of your leg or hip muscles. This is felt while walking, climbing stairs or another similar physical activity. This is a condition called intermittent claudication, which is a sign of PAD.
- Numbness and Weakness
Your arms or legs may feel weak or numb. This can happen while you are moving, or even sitting still.
If these symptoms in your arms and legs come about suddenly and are accompanied by impaired or slurred speech and drooping facial muscles, you may have low blood circulation to your brain due to atherosclerosis.
Poor circulation in the arteries which supply blood to the brain can cause a stroke.
- Coldness and Swelling
If your feet, hands or lower legs feel cold all the time for no apparent reason – it is a sign of poor blood circulation.
Low blood circulation due to PAD or atherosclerosis tends to produce coldness in one foot, hand or leg more than the other. You could also notice swelling in your extremities due to poor circulation, particularly in your legs and feet.
- Non-healing Sores
Sores on your feet or legs that don’t seem to heal are a common sign. You may also notice that ulcers or infections in your legs and feet heal very slowly.
You may also notice that you’re losing hair on your legs and feet or that your hair is growing slower than normal. Your toenails may grow slowly as well.
- Changes in Skin Colour
Poor circulation can cause your skin in your arms, hands, legs and feet to change colour. You may notice that your skin looks “shiny”.
Your legs and feet may turn pale or bluish in colour, due to the poor blood and oxygen delivery to your extremities.
- Weak Pulse in Your Legs
Poor blood circulation due to atherosclerosis or PAD can cause your pulse to become weak in your feet or legs.
When the pulse in your limbs is weak or absent, this means that there is little or no blood circulation to these areas.
The most common method that doctors use to determine blood flow problems is to check your pulse in the leg and groin areas.
- Chest Pain
Chest pain or angina, and other symptoms of a heart attack are signs of poor blood circulation in the arteries to your heart.
This may be a sign of atherosclerosis in these arteries. If you have chest pain, you should see your doctor right away to prevent a potentially life-threatening medical problem.
- Erectile Dysfunction
If you’re a man, experiencing erectile dysfunction can be a sign of low blood circulation.
Erectile problems can indicate poor blood flow to your groin and lower extremities due to one or more blocked, clogged, or narrowed arteries.
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