Poor circulation occurs when there is inadequate blood flow to certain parts of your body. Your arteries and veins are responsible for delivering blood throughout your body and returning it back to your heart. This can cause poor circulation, and when that happens, a number of health problems can take place.
What Causes Poor Circulation?
Your arteries deliver oxygen-rich blood from your heart to all of your body including your arms, legs and brain. Healthy veins allow the blood to return to the heart. When your arteries are healthy, they are smooth and unobstructed, allowing your blood to flow freely. But as we age, we begin to gradually buildup plaque in our arteries, which is a sticky substance made up of fat and cholesterol. This can cause the arteries to harden, become clogged, or even blocked (known as atherosclerosis), resulting in poor blood circulation. If left untreated, serious medical problems can occur.
Symptoms of Poor Circulation:
- Painful cramping of the muscles in the hip, thigh, or calf after activity (claudication)
- Leg numbness or weakness
- Coldness in the lower leg or foot, compared with other parts of the body
- A sore, poorly healing wound or ulcer on the toe, foot, or leg
- Change in skin color or shiny skin on the legs
- Hair loss or slower hair growth on the feet and legs
- Slower toenail growth
- No pulse or a weak pulse in the legs or feet
Are you or a loved one concerned you may have poor circulation, or vascular disease?
Risk Factors for Poor Circulation and Vascular Disease
- Smoke (current or former)
- High Blood Pressure
- Personal/Family History of Heart Attack or Stroke
- High Cholesterol