Legs and feet bear the whole brunt of it, because they selflessly carry us over long distances for decades. Veins have to withstand twice the workload as they push blood back up to the heart against gravity. All this makes our lower limbs vulnerable to vascular disorders. Therefore, it is in the legs that first signs of poor blood circulation occur. Because the condition tends to be silent, signs become visible when it has progressed pretty much and requires serious treatment.
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Is it dangerous?
Yes, it is! As blood reaches the remotest corner of our body, it carries nutrients and oxygen, without which tissues will die. Poor circulation blocks the supply of these vital substances and kills cells. The increasing cell decay produces toxins, which are carried around the body and affect vital organs, such as brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, etc. If not treated properly, the disease can seriously undermine your health. and result in premature death.
Although the condition is widely believed to affect elderly people, it is increasingly common to young men and women well.
What are the signs?
- Ulceration. The whole thing starts with seemingly minor rash and reddish spots around the feet. They tend to be persistent and soon form visible patches going deep into the skin. Later, the spots are transformed into ulcers.
- Cyanosis is a change in skin color resulting from irregular blood flow. Feet and legs take on a grayish or bluish color. It happens because tissues do not receive a sufficient amount of oxygen.
- Weak nails are another sign of circulation problems in legs. Lack of blood supply drains the nail tissue of nutrients and weakens its structure. Hair on the legs may also grow thin and fall out.
- When blood circulation begins to affect the kidneys, they are no longer fit enough to excrete the amount of fluid. A share of it accumulates in legs and causes them to swell.
- Numbness and tingling are the sensations, which everyone has experienced after sitting in an awkward position for a long time. If you have noticed that they occur more frequently, this may be due to circulation issues.
- Lack of blood and poor nutrition causes veins to twist and dilate irregularly and eventually develop varicosity.
What causes it?
In many cases, poor blood circulation is a matter of lifestyle. Lack of physical activity can make the circulatory system in your legs ‘lazy’ too. Those who have to sit all day long for various reasons are at risk of developing circulation problems. Once again, do you remember that numbness and tingling all the way down your leg after sitting on it? Yes, you do. It happens due to the blocking of blood vessels and blood flow. If sitting is a substantial part of your life, one day your legs will be chronically asleep.
Although standing is believed to be a healthier alternative to sitting, it should have its limits too. Too much standing can lead to hypertension, which also contributes to vascular issues in legs.
Poor circulation can result from some serious conditions like diabetes and atherosclerosis.
How to treat it?
Treatment should be carried out by a trained physician and should target the cause of the disease, not symptoms. If you discover signs of vascular problems in your legs, consult your health care provider immediately.
Are there ways to prevent it?
Yes, there are! As follows from the above, you should satisfy your legs’ natural need for doing what they are supposed to do! Take up running, choose walking instead of driving/riding a vehicle from time to time, use stairways instead of elevators. If you have to sit all day long, stand up and take a walk from time to time. Both sitting and standing are ok for your body unless you overdo it either way.
- Do not wear clothes or shoes that feel too tight. For women who appreciate high heels, it is advisable to alternate them with low-heel shoes during the day. Keep your legs and feet warm during cold seasons.
- Do not miss a chance to drink a glass of water when you want to. Cut down on fatty foods to prevent the clogging of vessels.
Symptoms and Causes of Poor Circulation – Healthline.com
Poor Circulation in Legs, Feet and Hands – Organicnutrition.co.uk
Walking at Home Can Help Boost Poor Circulation in Legs, Study Shows – Medicinenet.com
Ten steps to healthy legs – Dailymail.co.uk