Poor Circulation: Everything You Need to Know

Poor circulation occurs when the circulatory system cannot pump blood effectively throughout the body. The most common affected area is the extremities, like arms and legs, causing a decrease in blood, oxygen, and nutrient delivery. Poor circulation is not a condition in and of itself, it stems from other health problems like obesity, diabetes, arterial issues, and heart disease. 

If you suffer from poor circulation, it can result in problems such as varicose veins. Conversely, having varicose veins can lead to poor circulation in areas where blood flow is restricted. Understanding the underlying causes is crucial before taking treatment measures.

Poor Circulation and Varicose Veins

With varicose vein disorders, vein failures occur within the valves, causing the blood to flow backward, creating congestion and enlargement of the vessel. If left untreated, it can become a complicated issue. Treatment of the varicose veins must include eliminating the source of the failure to provide maximum results, such as:

  • Endovenous Laser Treatment. Local anesthesia is used to insert a laser fiber into the affected vein. The laser then creates heat directly in the vein causing it to collapse.
  • Sclerotherapy. A small amount of a solution is injected into the diseased vein through a fine needle during this procedure generating a mild inflammatory reaction that causes the vein walls to stick together and close off. 
  • Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy. This treatment allows doctors to identify problematic veins that aren’t visible on the skin’s surface by monitoring veins on an ultrasound screen.
  • Microphlebectomy. Accomplished through tiny, precise incisions that are nearly undetectable, this procedure removes the affected vein and only takes 15-20 minutes using local anesthesia.

Poor circulation is not a condition in and of itself, it stems from other health problems like obesity, diabetes, arterial issues, and heart disease. 

What Causes Poor Circulation?

People who are more than 40, overweight, have diabetes, or don’t get much exercise are more likely to experience poor circulation. Many conditions can reduce your blood flow, giving you deficient circulation, including:

  • Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body, including the heart, blood vessels, lungs, etc. The harmful chemicals in tobacco can damage your blood vessels, putting you at a higher risk of atherosclerosis
  • High Blood Pressure gradually increases the pressure of blood flowing through the arteries, which leads to blood pushing against your blood vessel walls with force, weakening them, and making it more difficult for blood to move. 
  • Diabetes is a direct link to high blood sugar, and having too much glucose in your blood can harm the lining of your blood vessels. 
  • Obesity puts you at greater risk for medical problems. If your body is larger, your heart has to work harder to pump blood to the extremities. 
  • Varicose Veins occur due to a disruption in the blood between the extremities and the heart and are a potential manifestation of circulatory problems. When your blood pressure increases, it damages the walls and valves of your veins, leading the blood to flow the wrong way. 
  • Peripheral Artery Disease is a condition in the arms or legs in which the arteries narrow, not allowing enough blood flow to keep up with demand.

What Are The Symptoms?

Over time, poor circulation can become detrimental to your legs, feet, and hands. Several signs can indicate that you suffer from poor circulation, and some symptoms are more severe in certain patients than in others, such as:

  • Muscles that hurt or feel weak when you walk
  • A “pins and needles” sensation on your skin 
  • Pale or blue skin color 
  • Cold fingers or toes 
  • Numbness
  • Chest pain 
  • Swelling
  • Bulging veins

If you regularly experience tingling in your legs or any other poor circulation symptoms, call your doctor to determine treatment options before it leads to varicose veins or other vein complications.

7 Ways to Improve Poor Circulation

Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to improve the circulation in your legs and feet. You can start by making lifestyle changes that significantly reduce your risk factors for poor circulation. Here are a few helpful tips:

  1. Get Moving. Improve circulation with regular exercise. Even a simple walk can make a huge difference in your health. 
  2. Stop Smoking. The more you smoke, the more your arteries will harden due to plaque buildup, which makes it more difficult for blood to flow. 
  3. Healthy Diet. A healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables will help you achieve proper circulation and benefit your overall health. 
  4. Elevate Legs. Elevating your legs above your heart for 20 minutes a day will improve your circulation and reduce swelling in your legs. Take this opportunity to reduce the pressure in your legs and decrease stress by relaxing.
  5. Compression Stockings. If swelling is the problem, compression socks will reduce puffiness and the risk of blood clots. 
  6. Manage Blood Pressure. Having high blood pressure can damage your arteries and your heart. Talk to your doctor about treating your blood pressure. 
  7. See a Vascular Surgeon. Don’t put your health at risk. Contact our vein experts at Indiana Vein & Laser Center to schedule a consultation.

At Indiana Vein & Laser Center, our expert, compassionate care is unmatched and tailored to your specific needs. We focus on personalized care, wellness, and relief from pain and discomfort. If you have questions or would like to schedule a consultation, contact us TODAY!

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images, and other material contained on this website is for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment before undertaking a new healthcare regimen.