What is Poor Blood Circulation?
Blood circulation is considered to be impaired when there is a restricted blood flow to one or more of the following: legs, hands, fingers, feet and toes.
- This can be caused by a blockage in the blood vessels due to fatty substances like plaque which stick to the interior walls of the blood vessels. This obstructs the normal blood flow tempo thus impairing blood circulation.
- Other factors that could be the cause of poor blood circulation are nerve signals and chemical substances (such as nicotine) in the blood.
Poor blood circulation can be the cause of a variety of health issues namely:
- Hypertension (High blood pressure levels)
- Perforated arteries
- Cardiovascular disease (heart disease)
- Kidney damage
- Burning sensation in the feet
Causes of poor Blood Circulation
Problems with blood circulation can be caused by lifestyle factors and/or some medical conditions.
Lifestyle factors that can contribute to blood circulation problems:
- Smoking of tobacco products
- Consuming alcohol
- Consuming too much caffeine
- Poor dietary habits such as irregular eating patterns and eating unhealthy food sorts.
- Inadequate exercise
- Being in unusual positions such as the squat position (for work or other reasons).
Medical Problems which can cause blood circulation problems:
- HIGH Blood Pressure
- HIGH Cholesterol
- Heart Disease
- Blood vessel illness
- Hardening of the blood vessels
- Nerve and Thyroid gland complications
- Eating Disorders
- Food Allergies
Effects of poor blood circulation on the body
All bodily substances crucial to life is transported through the body via the blood stream. For this reason, chronically impaired blood circulation can have negative effects on the entire body, such as:
- The brain – poor blood flow to the brain can result in fatigue, feeling light headed, loss of memory and unexplained headaches.
- The heart – it is affected to such an extent that even the slightest form of exercise results in shortness of breath. If left untreated, it can result in heart failure and heart attacks.
- The liver – loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss and change in skin color are notable symptoms of impaired blood circulation to the liver.
- The kidneys – swelling in the hands, feet and ankles is usually a sign that the kidneys are not functioning well.
- The limbs – Cramps and numbness are experienced in the limbs due to the blood not circulating properly.
Symptoms of poor blood circulation:
- Changes in skin temperature (like cold hands or feet)
- Itching, particularly in the legs and feet
- Muscle cramps
- Numbness in the hands, feet and toes
- Swelling in the feet, legs or fingers
- Sores and blisters on the legs and feet
- Changes in the skin color (ranges from pale blue or red, this is a sign of too little oxygen)
- Cramps in the legs, glutes and feet during physical activities
- Slow-healing sores
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Memory lapses
- Shortage of stamina
Treatment for Poor Blood Circulation
It can be treated in a natural way through different methods.
- Lifestyle changes:
- a wholesome and balance diet plan,
- low fat
- high in fiber (like Manna Low GI eating plans)
- eliminate alcohol completely
- avoid coffee
- don’t drink soft drinks
- steer clear of foods that are high in sugar and fat
- make sure to get plenty of aerobic exercise such as jogging, walking, cycling, swimming or even just going for a medium-paced walk. This causes the blood to be pumped through the veins at a higher tempo and so doing overcomes obstructions in the veins.
- drink plenty of water (about 2 litres per day) which helps remove toxins from the body
- get a sufficient amount of sleep in order to repair body functions
- weight loss if necessary
- do not smoke
Food sorts that help improve poor blood circulation:
- Fresh fruit and vegetables, especially oranges, which contain many bioflavonoids which strengthens the veins.
- Nuts are rich in vitamin B3, which enhances the blood flow
- Garlic promotes circulation