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November 13, 2020 5 min read

Blood circulation is probably the most important of all the physiological processes necessary to sustain life. The heart and network of blood vessels dispersed throughout the body make up the circulatory system and the blood’s primary transport structure. It distributes blood, with the aid of the pumping muscles, to the different parts of the body so that they’ll have a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients. With poor circulation, various organ systems may not function well and eventually fail.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF POOR CIRCULATION

When blood flow to your limbs is diminished for any reason and your limbs can’t get enough blood, you may feel cold and numb in your hands or feet, and sometimes a tingling sensation. It can also result in muscle cramps, swelling, or edema (accumulation of fluid) in the feet and legs, as well as varicose veins. Your skin may look pale and blue. In severe cases, you may develop ulcers or slow-healing wounds, which can be problematic in people with diabetes. Poor circulation can also cause dry skin, brittle nails, and hair fall, especially in the feet and legs. With poor blood flow to the brain, you may experience some memory loss or lack of concentration due to the reduction of blood flow to the brain. The heart pumps harder due to poor blood flow and causes fatigue. In men, getting or keeping an erection may be an issue. Lack of oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development.

  • Cold hands and feet
  • Numbness and tingling sensation in the hands or feet
  • Muscle pain and cramps
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Hair loss on the feet or legs
  • Skin discoloration; pale or blue color to the skin of the legs
  • Dry or cracked skin on the feet
  • Brittle toenails
  • Leg ulcers
  • Cognitive dysfunction, such as memory loss or poor concentration
  • Digestive issues
  • Erectile dysfunction

CAUSES OF POOR CIRCULATION

Reduced blood flow can be due to many underlying causes. The following are some of the common conditions that can contribute to poor circulation:

Peripheral artery disease:Narrowing of the blood vessels can cause a circulatory condition or Peripheral Artery Disease(PAD).  When one develops PAD, which is commonly seen in the legs, the limbs don't get enough blood and cause symptoms such as leg pain during walking, termed as claudication. PAD can also be a sign of an associated condition related to the accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries—atherosclerosis, greatly reducing the blood flow.

Blood clots:Blood clots can be due to a variety of reasons. They can develop anywhere in the body but more frequently in your arms or legs, which can lead to circulation problems. If a blood clot in your leg or arm dislodges and travels through other parts of your body, including the heart, lungs, and brain, it may cause serious and fatal conditions, such as a stroke or a heart attack.

Varicose veins:Varicose veins are twisted, swollen, and enlarged veins. This happens when valves become weakened or damaged, causing a disturbance in the direction of the blood flow. Blood begins to accumulate in the veins, making it appear gnarled and engorged. Varicosities can develop anywhere but are most often seen on the back of the legs. Sitting or standing for extended periods can cause blood to pool in the leg veins, with a noticeable dark blue appearance.

Diabetes:Diabetes mellitus is a major risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis, an inflammatory disease of the arteries, leading to the formation of fatty streaks and plaques, which may shut down blood flow through the blood vessels. Also, high blood sugar levels decrease the elasticity of blood vessels and cause them to narrow, further impeding blood flow. This can lead to a reduced supply of blood, oxygen, and nutrients, increasing the risk of high blood pressure and damage to the arteries.

Obesity:Obesity can alter peripheral blood flow to the muscles. In a study on obese Zucker rats showed that excess weight can lead to vascular control abnormalities, such as narrowing of the blood vessels with the decreased ability for vasodilation or the opening of the arteries, resulting in impaired blood flow and distribution within the muscles, both at rest and exercise. Also, the extra weight leaves an obese person in a sedentary condition with decreased physical activity.

Raynaud’s disease or phenomenon:People with these conditions develop vasospasm of the smaller arteries in the hands and feet in response to cold temperatures or stress. This results in the narrowing of the blood vessels, restricting blood flow and resulting in symptoms of poor circulation, particularly numbness, coldness, and tingling sensation in the fingers and the toe.

Smoking:Smoking is a risk factor for peripheral artery disease. It damages the blood vessels and causes thickening of its walls from plaque formation with eventual narrowing and restricted blood flow.

WAYS TO DEAL WITH BAD CIRCULATION

After knowing some of the common causes of poor blood circulation, let’s talk about some of the common remedies we can do at home to deal with this problem:

  • DO AWAY WITH CIGARETTES:Nicotine causes your blood vessels to narrow. Over time, your blood vessels become stiff, thick, and less elastic, which decreases the amount of oxygen and nutrients delivered to you’re the body.
  • MONITOR YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE:High BP can cause arteriosclerosis, a condition that hardens your arteries and can impede blood flow. Although 120/80 mmHg is considered normal for many, your doctor will tell you the best numbers for your age and health.
  • KEEP HYDRATED: About half of our blood is water, so you need to be hydrated at all times to keep moving. Aim for 8 glasses of water a day, or more if you exercise or if it’s hot outside.
  • TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS AND STAND:Sitting for long hours isn’t good for your circulation as well as your back. It slows down the flow of blood to your legs, which could cause a blood clot.
  • LEGS UP THE WALL:Raising the legs improves the flow of blood with the aid of gravity. The legs-up-the-wall yoga pose can send your blood flowing back to your heart.
  • PUMP IT UP:Exercise allows your heart to pump blood to your working muscles, which in turn drives blood to the different parts of your body.
  • PUT ON A SOCK:Compression stockings or socks create graduated pressure on the legs to squeeze the legs, improving circulation, reducing swelling when present, and lowering blood clot formation.
  • STROKE YOUR SKIN:Dry skin brushing enhances blood circulation while removing toxins from the body. With a body brush, stroke the surface of your skin from your feet up, going to the direction of the heart. Dry brushing also exfoliates dry skin.
  • TAKE A WARM BATH:Warmth causes your blood vessels to open up, letting more blood through. If you’re noticing having problems with circulation, just soak yourself in a warm bath to get the blood flowing throughout your body.
  • HIT IT WITH RECOVAPRO: The repeated blowing of the vibration from a Recovapro massage gun can activate the pumping action of the muscles, enhancing blood flow.

PRECAUTION AND CONTRAINDICATION: Application of vibration to an immobilized segment may increase the risk of thrombosis, and vibrating applied close to a blood vessel may displace a thrombus and produce embolus. Extreme precaution is advised.

CIRCULATION IS KEY

Blood carries nutrients and oxygen to everything from your heart and brain to your muscles and skin. Follow these steps to help improve your blood circulation and let Recovaprohelp you so that you’ll feel replenished and revived every time.

 


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