If you frequently have cold feet and hands with a tingling feeling in them, it could be that you are showing signs of poor blood circulation. If blood flow in your body is reduced for some reason, you may also suffer other health complications. For example, it is known that poor blood circulation can cause dizziness, fatigue, hair loss, and even result in digestive upset.
Suffering from poor blood flow in your body is usually a symptom of another underlying health issue. If you have diabetes, are overweight, have high blood pressure, or smoke, you are at greater risk of the complications of poor circulation. This is because these conditions cause your arteries to narrow which restricts blood flow.
In this article, you will learn to identify the various signs of poor blood circulation and what causes bad circulation in your body. First of all, let’s look at what exactly low blood circulation is and its dangers.
The Dangers of Poor Circulation
Your heart is located under your rib cage and is responsible for pumping nutrient oxygen-rich blood throughout your body. According to Dr. James Beckerman on WebMD, around 5 or 6 quarts (around 5 liters) of blood flows through your vascular system. Because blood feeds your body’s tissues and vital organs, any reduction in blood circulation means that bodily functions will be impaired.1
Therefore, good circulation of blood around the body is essential to being healthy and fit.
What is Poor Blood Circulation?
Poor blood circulation means that parts of the body, especially your hands and feet, receive insufficient amount of blood. Once blood reaches your legs and feet, your heart has to pump hard to push the blood “uphill” back to the heart and lungs.
Plaque buildup in your arteries and other factors can slow down blood flow and make it more difficult for your legs, arms, heart, and other important areas of the body to get enough blood. Smoking, pregnancy, eating disorders, and weight gain can all restrict the amount of blood that flows through your veins.
Although poor circulation affects many elderly people, it can cause complications in people of all ages. It is important to always look for ways to improve blood circulation to prevent serious damage to your brain, heart, liver, and limbs.
Signs of Poor Blood Circulation
The signs of poor blood circulation may not be instantly obvious, but the results can be serious. If the body’s tissues and vital organs don’t receive an adequate supply of blood, you could end up with blood clots, swelling, a weakened immune system, and even memory loss.
Here are the many different symptoms of poor blood circulation. Depending on the severity of the weakened circulatory process, you may have one or more of these symptoms.
Numbness and tingling in limbs
One of the most common symptoms of having restricted blood flow is numbness and/or tingling in your hands and feet.
The website Diabetes.co.uk says that poor circulation causes cold feet or hands along with numbness.2Dr. Rob Hicks on WebMD says that if enough blood doesn’t reach your limbs, you may also get pins and needles.3
Impaired cognitive function
Poor blood flow can also affect your brain’s function causing memory loss, difficulty concentrating and being less focused. Your brain needs a constant flow of blood to keep it functioning properly.
According to the Journal of Geriatric Cardiology, reduction in cerebral blood flow, a drop in the amount of blood being pumped around the body, and blood pressure changes are the main factors in cognitive deficit.4
It may surprise you to find out that bad blood circulation can actually cause digestive issues. Like all other bodily functions, your digestive system also needs a good supply of blood to make it function properly.
The Cleveland Clinic reports that a buildup of fatty matter on the blood vessel walls restricts blood flow in the abdominal region. Poor circulation can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, or bloody stools. This can become so serious that it can turn into a life-threatening condition.5
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