Poor blood circulation can lead to multiple health complications. While poor blood circulation can affect almost any part of the body, the regions of the body which are most likely to suffer from the ill effects of poor blood circulation are the upper and lower extremities.
A common myth surrounding poor blood circulation is that it is a health problem which only afflicts elderly people. However, people across the entire age spectrum – from babies to the elderly – can suffer from the ill effects of poor blood circulation. Poor blood circulation manifests itself in different forms. But the commonest type of poor blood circulation is peripheral vascular disease or reduced blood flow to the arms and legs.
Symptoms of Poor Circulation
Poor circulation is an easily identifiable health problem because of the multiple symptoms which are exhibited by people suffering from this condition. While poor blood circulation will not result in any immediate health complication, it can lead to major health problems if left untreated. Some common symptoms associated with poor blood circulation have been examined in this article.
The clinical term given for muscular pain, ache, numbness or cramping (especially the calf muscles) is intermittent claudication. The intermittent pain, which is the hallmark of arterial claudication occurs when a person starts walking or climbing the stairs. In most cases the muscle pain disappears after resting the legs for a while.
Poor circulation leads to reduced amounts of oxygen reaching the muscles. When the muscles do not receive adequate amounts of oxygen it leads to cramping and pain. While most people with circulation problems suffer from mild to moderate muscle pain, people with advanced blood circulation problems suffer from debilitating pain in the calf muscles.
Changes in Skin Tone and Body Temperature
People with poor blood circulation observe a change in their skin tone. The skin on the hands, legs and feet take on a reddish, shiny appearance or may appear very pale and ashy. The skin on the fingers and toes of people with advanced circulation problems, often appear bluish in color.
Similarly poor blood circulation affects the body temperature. Poor or reduced blood circulation can lead to a sudden dip in the body temperature. The hands and the feet of people suffering from circulation problems become suddenly and inexplicably cold.
Cuts and abrasions take a longer time to heal in people with circulation problems. Delayed healing of wounds and formation of open sores are typical symptoms of poor blood circulation. People with poor blood circulation also bleed heavily if they suffer any nicks or abrasion.
Appearance of Varicose Veins
Another common symptom of poor or reduced blood circulation is the appearance of varicose veins. The enlarged and torturous veins which are visible on the back of the legs and on the arms are referred to as varicose veins. While varicose veins can develop due to a variety of reasons, poor blood circulation is one of the leading causes of varicose veins.
Numbness and Tingling Sensation
One of the earliest and most common symptoms of poor blood circulation is the numbness or tingling sensation on the hands and the feet. People who suffer from poor blood circulation often complain of a sensation akin to hundreds of needles simultaneously pricking their skin.
Intermittent chest pain, blurred vision and brittle toe nails are some of the other symptoms of poor blood circulation.