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Signs of Poor Circulation

Oftentimes poor blood circulation is associated with the elderly, but people of any age can be affected. While poor circulation can be very easy to fix, it can also be very harmful to your body if left untreated. The body relies on the circulation system to complete a number of processes and quite literally gets your blood pumping.

Why Does Poor Circulation Occur?

The body is made up of about 60,000 miles of blood vessels that carry blood everywhere in your body. When your blood isn’t circulating normally, the flow is slowed down or blocked, and your cells won’t get the oxygen and nutrients required to function normally.

Symptoms of Poor Circulation

 

tingling foot

 

There are several symptoms associated with poor circulation. These are the five most common:

  1. Numbness or Tingling: When you stand up after sitting with your legs crossed for a while, you may experience a sensation that your limb has “fallen asleep.” This is one of the most basic comparisons to poor circulation. When the blood flow is restricted, you may feel numbness or tingling in your fingers, toes, hands, and feet.
  2. Swelling: If blood isn’t circulating correctly, fluid can accumulate in the legs, feet, arteries, and veins. This accumulation of fluid is called edema and can signify heart failure because the heart is unable to move the correct amount of blood through your body. As blood collects, it creates pressure and forces fluid from the blood vessels into tissues.
  3. Feeling Cold: Many people with poor circulation experience cold fingers, hands, toes, and feet. When blood isn’t flowing normally, the body sends an increase of blood to the main organs instead. As the temperature drops in your extremities, you will feel colder than usual.
  4. Muscle Cramps: Oxygen needs to be carried in flood to effectively reach muscle tissues. When blood isn’t successfully completing this process, muscles can feel stiff and cramp up.
  5. Cognitive Dysfunction: The brain relies on normal blood flow and consistent blood pressure to function properly. Poor circulation can cause memory loss and make it difficult for you to focus.

    Additional symptoms can include skin discoloration, ulcers, a lack of leg hair, pelvic pain, and a slowed or stopped growth in your toenails.

     

    Causes of Poor Circulation

    Poor circulation is typically a side effect of other conditions with additional symptoms of their own. The key to preventing and improving poor circulation is to understand which type of condition is causing it.

    Atherosclerosis

    When plaque builds up in the blood vessels, it causes the arteries to narrow and harden, which restricts blood flow. Atherosclerosis is typically found in the brain, heart, legs, and arms and can cause Peripheral Artery Disease, also known as PAD. When PAD develops, arteries can stiffen and lead to heart attack or stroke. PAD is usually exhibited in adults over 50-years-old, but smokers may develop PAD at a younger age.

    Varicose Veins

    Valve failure can damage veins, causing them to become enlarged and inhibit the blood’s normal movement. Typically found on the back of the leg, varicose veins can be painful and uncomfortable.

    Obesity

    People who are overweight have a greater chance of developing blood pressure problems and varicose veins.

    Blood Clots

    When blood thickens and forms a clot, blood isn’t able to flow freely. While blood clots can occur in many places in the body, they’re most common in the legs and arms. Poor circulation is one of the first signs of a blood clot, which could eventually lead to heart attack or stroke.

    Diabetes

    When the body experiences high blood glucose levels, blood vessels can become damaged and cause plaque buildup. In order to maintain normal blood flow, those with diabetes need to keep a close eye on their blood glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels.

    How to Increase Circulation

    woman doing yoga

     

    If you think you’re suffering from poor circulation, your first step should be to contact your doctor. Depending on what’s causing your poor circulation, your doctor may prescribe medication, but usually implementing a few simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference. These changes include:

    Exercise

    Moving your body is vital for your heart and circulatory system. Spend time enjoying a low impact exercise like walking, swimming, or yoga to help increase your blood circulation.

    Elevate Your Legs

    If you’re going to be sitting for a long period of time, elevating your legs can help decrease fluid buildup. If you’re exhibiting signs of swelling, try lying with your legs on the wall. With your butt up against the wall, put your legs flat against the wall to encourage blood to travel the opposite way.

    Drink Water

    There are very few things that water doesn’t help! The body needs to be hydrated or the blood can retain sodium, causing it to thicken and slow down. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to help promote good circulation.

    Eat a Balanced Diet

    It’s important to eat a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, good fats, and whole grains while limiting how often you enjoy sweets and processed foods.

    Take Heart-Healthy Supplements

    Omega-3

    One of the best sources of good fats is fatty fish, like salmon, but many people don’t enjoy the taste of it. Taking an omega-3 supplement can help encourage normal inflammation processes and support heart health without the fishy taste.

    Smarter Omega 3 is formulated with grape seed and sesame seed extracts and olive oil to help provide additional benefits to the circulatory, immune, and nervous systems. Grape seed extract can help decrease the cell damage caused by toxins and free radicals and sesame seed extract is a great source of fiber that can help maintain normal triglyceride and cholesterol levels.*

    Ubiquinol

    The active form of the crucial coenzyme CoQ10, Ubiquinol is involved in 95% of the body’s cellular energy production. It also acts as an antioxidant, discouraging free radical damage to cells and boosting heart, liver, kidney, pancreas, and nervous system functions. Although the body can naturally produce it, ubiquinol production declines with age.

    Smarter Ubiquinol is formulated with ahiflower seed oil to help support the heart, encourage natural cellular energy production, and help maintain normal ubiquinol blood levels, which can deplete when taking medication to lower your cholesterol .*

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