Poor circulation refers to obstruction in the blood vessels that prevents the flow of blood to the central and peripheral organs of the body. The condition leads to poor oxygen and nutrient supply to the organs.
Prolonged sitting or standing in one position can lead to poor circulation in the legs or arms. This is due to temporary compression of the blood vessels. Several acute or chronic disorders such as cardiovascular diseases and blood disorders can impair the circulation of blood as well. Unusually thick blood and blood clots can slow down the movement of the blood. Cholesterol and calcium deposits in the blood vessels can block the flow as well. Common risk factors include obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Increased alcohol or coffee consumption may also contribute to poor circulation.
Poor circulation may affect a specific part of your body, and cause symptoms such as tingling fingers, especially when you are sleeping. Some individuals may experience impaired circulation in the entire body. Common indicators or symptoms of poor circulation include:
- Tingling sensations and numbness in the peripheral organs such as arms, hands, legs and feet are major indicators of poor circulation. Your arms and legs may ache and get fatigued frequently due to poor oxygen supply.
- Impaired blood circulation in the kidneys can lead to the swelling of feet, ankles, and hands due to excessive fluid retention. You may also experience fatigue and high blood pressure.
- Poor circulation can lead to pale and lifeless skin. This can give you a tired and unhealthy look. Lack of normal circulation in the liver may lead to sudden and drastic weight loss, which may affect your appearance as well.
- If your heart gets affected by this condition, you may experience chest pain, elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure.
- Brain is the central organ in your body. Impaired circulation in the brain can affect your memory, mental clarity, and cognitive ability. It can cause headaches, lethargy and dizziness as well.
- Poor circulation to a specific part of the body can make it appear blue. This is called cyanosis.
- Circulatory problems in the legs can lead to varicose veins.
- Excessively cold extremities, especially fingers and toes, can occur as result of bad circulation. This is because flowing blood helps regulate body temperature.
- Brittle nails and poor vision may also occur due to bad circulation. Remember that your body gets its nutrients and oxygen from the blood. Lack of proper blood supply can deprive your body of the required nutrients. This may affect their structure and function.
Treatment of circulatory problems depends on the underlying causes and conditions. A healthy diet and regular exercise will lower your blood cholesterol levels. This will prevent plaque formation in the blood vessels. Other conditions may require specific medications or surgery.
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