Your blood is responsible for transporting oxygen and nutrients to every part of your body; hence good blood circulation is crucial for the effective functioning of your body.
Any issues with your circulatory system can lead to a whole host of health problems. It is essential to treat it at the very first symptom else it can cause serious damage to your limbs, kidneys, liver, heart, and brain. There is a wide range of symptoms that indicate poor circulation.
You can suffer from poor blood circulation for numerous reasons, with the most common being peripheral artery disease (PAD), and atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries). This can affect your quality of life and may even cause severe health complications.
Top 10 Warning Signs of Poor Blood Circulation
#1 Varicose Veins
Poor blood circulation can result in the existing varicose veins to become visible. When the valves in the veins are damaged, pressure and blood start to build up causing the veins to twist and swell. This leads to varicose veins that are usually purple or blue and appear near the ankles and feet. Its symptoms may include swelling, itchiness, aches, and heaviness in the legs.
#2 Leg Ulcers
Poor blood circulation compromises with the body’s ability to heal quickly. This results in ulcers in the feet and legs. Due to lack of blood flow, the kidneys become incapable of carrying out the process of keeping the fluid in the blood vessels. This results in the fluids leeching out and settling into the surrounding tissues causing swelling and in extreme cases – leg ulcers.
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#3 Change of Skin Color
When your tissues aren’t getting an adequate amount of arterial blood, the skin may start appearing blue or pale. In case, if the blood is leaking from the capillaries, the affected areas may appear purple. This condition is often called cyanosis that indicates low blood oxygen levels. Your skin around the eyes, lips, and gums look blue, and even your toes and fingers appear slightly bruised.
#4 Muscle and Joint Cramping
Painful cramps are one of the most common symptoms of poor blood circulation. You may experience cramps in your calf, thigh, or hip muscles during any physical activity. On the other hand, cold feet and hands may throb or ache, particularly when they start to warm and blood flow returns. The pain experienced worsens when standing or sitting for long durations.
Persistent tiredness and fatigue indicate insufficient blood supply to different parts of the body. When the blood circulation is poor, it makes the heart to pump faster and harder, leaving other organs struggling to carry out their normal functions. This leads to further fatigue. Apart from feeling tired, some people may also experience sore muscles, lack of stamina, and breathlessness.
#6 Digestive Problems
Proper digestion requires proper blood flow. When your digestive tract isn’t getting adequate blood flow, it makes the digestive processes slower, which can lead to constipation. Moreover, if the condition persists, it can lead to severe bowel complications like abdominal pain and diarrhea. This can be due to the fatty buildup on the blood vessel walls resulting in restricted blood flow to the abdomen.
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#7 Cognitive Dysfunction
Just like any other body part, your brain needs a healthy blood supply in order to function properly. If your brain isn’t getting enough blood flow, it can lack in functioning that can lead to difficulty concentrating and memory loss. When the blood flow becomes slothful, your mental abilities slow down along with it. This can be due to certain changes in the blood pressure or a reduction in the amount of blood pumped throughout the body.
#8 Sudden Hair Loss
If you experience that all of a sudden, your hair has become thinner and weaker resulting in hair fall, it is a clear indication that blood is not being distributed properly throughout the body. When the scalps don’t get essential nutrients to produce natural oil, your hair becomes dry, thin, and starts falling out at a rapid speed. Apart from hair loss, lack of blood flow may also lead to brittle nails and dry skin.
#9 Weak Immune System
When the blood flow is restricted in your body, the antibodies responsible for keeping invaders and infections out of your body become sluggish. This makes your immune system weaker. If you experience that you are getting ill more often or any grazes and cuts are taking too long to heal, this is an indication that your immune system is affected.
#10 Erectile Dysfunction
In men, insufficient blood flow to the reproductive organs may cause erectile dysfunction. So, men with poor blood circulation may find it difficult to get an erection.