Poor Circulation in Feet, Legs and Hands – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Circulation is the process of blood flow in our bodies. Bad circulation is a common problem of many people. Actually, it is a result of many other health problems. Poor circulation may also be caused by unhealthy lifestyle and prolonged sitting in one place. There are also many other causes of poor circulation in your feet, legs and hands.

What causes poor circulation? Is it possible to treat this condition? Is there any poor circulation treatment?

In this article we will tell you something more about poor circulation and its causes and symptoms. Also, you will find out how to treat this condition. It is important to discover the underlying cause of poor circulation, in order to treat circulation problems properly.

Symptoms of Poor Circulation

The most common symptoms of poor circulation are cold hands and cold feet, lack of energy, numbness in the extremities, water retention, tingling as well as headaches. If you have poor circulation in your feet, legs and hands, it may lead to hair loss and muscle cramps.

Now you will see something more about these symptoms and how to recognize them.

Cold Extremities. Poor circulation is most noticeable on your extremities. Your hands and your feet are the first places where you will notice that you have a problem with your circulation. If your hands and feet are cold, it is one of the most obvious signs of poor circulation. If the blood flow in your body is too slow, then your extremities will be colder than the rest of your body.

Skin Problems. Sometimes you may also have some skin problems, such as blemishes on your skin or excessive dryness of the skin. Also, it is possible that your extremities turn blue or purple, so it should be the sign for you to control your circulation.

Decreased Mental Abilities. Some studies have shown that your memory may also be affected by poor blood flow to your brain. It is known that our brain needs blood in order to function properly. If there is not enough blood that comes to our brain, our mental abilities become decreased. So, if you notice that your memory is bad, the cause of it may be poor circulation in your body.

Loss of Appetite. Loss of appetite is another symptom that you circulation is poor. If the blood flow in your body is reduced, your digestive system will not be able to digest food properly. You will probably lose your appetite, which is not good for your health. So, if you lose your appetite suddenly, it may be the sign that you have poor circulation.

Exhaustion. If the flow of blood in your body is reduced, you will be exhausted every day. You will not have energy for your daily activities and it will also slow down your metabolism.

Weak Immune System. If your immune system is too weak, it may be also the sign that you have poor circulation in your body. The flow of your blood will be reduced and your body will not get all the vitamins and minerals that it needs.

Pressure in the Chest. If your circulation is poor, your heart will not get enough blood. Because of that you may feel pressure in your chest. This can be a symptom that your circulatory system is not working properly.

Dark Circles under Your Eyes. If you have noticed dark circles under your eyes, it may be the sign that you have poor circulation.

You have seen some of the most common symptoms of poor circulation. It is important to recognize the early symptoms of poor circulation because it will be much easier to treat this condition. The symptoms that will appear depend on the underlying cause of poor circulation. Now we will see something more about the possible causes of poor circulation in your feet, legs and hands.

Causes of Poor Circulation

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). One of the most common causes of poor circulation in your legs is certainly peripheral artery disease. It is the circulatory disease that will narrow your blood vessels and arteries. This way peripheral artery disease will reduce the blood flow in your body, so you may experience pain in your extremities. This is one of the first symptoms of poor circulation that is caused by peripheral artery disease. Other symptoms that will also appear are tissue and nerve damage, tingling and of course numbness.

If you don’t treat this condition, you may have some more serious problems later. Actually, if your blood flow is reduced and if there is plaque in your arteries, it can lead to stroke and also to heart attack. People older than 50 years are more likely to get such disease. However, sometimes also young people may suffer from peripheral artery disease. Some studies have shown that smoking increases the risk of peripheral artery disease.

Atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition that is associated with peripheral artery disease and it can also cause poor circulation in your body. In this case the plaque will appear in your arteries and blood vessels, which will cause the stiffness of the arteries. Arteries will be clogged, so it will lead to poor circulation. Sometimes it may be difficult to identify the symptoms of atherosclerosis, so if not treated on time, it can lead to many serious complications.

Blood Clots. Blood clots that appear in your legs or in your arms are a very common cause of poor circulation. It is known that blood clots will block the blood flow in your body, so they are considered as very dangerous. Blood clots may lead to heart attack and stroke, so it should be treated on time.

Varicose Veins. A cause of poor circulation in your legs may also be varicose veins. They usually appear on the back of your legs and they will slow down the blood flow in your body. Not only will varicose veins lead to poor circulation, but they will also lead to the formation of blood clots.

Some studies have shown that varicose veins usually appear in women. Also, genetic factors have a very important role in varicose veins development.

Diabetes. Diabetes is also one of the causes of poor circulation in your legs, arms and hands. The symptoms that will appear in this case are frequent muscle cramps in your legs and pain in your thighs and buttocks. If you are physically active, your cramps will get even worse.

It is known that diabetes may also cause high blood pressure, heart problems and atherosclerosis.

Obesity. Obesity may cause many health problems. One of them is poor circulation in your body. Actually, circulation problems in obese people may appear due to long sitting or standing for a longer period of time.

Raynaud’s Disease. Raynaud’s disease is also one of the possible causes of poor circulation in your body. Actually, people with such disease will have chronic cold feet and hands. When small arteries in your feet or in your hands narrow, then it will reduce the blood flow in your body.

If you have Raynaud’s disease, then you will have cold hands and cold feet especially when you are under stress or when it is cold. Your ears, lips and nose may also be too cold due to Raynaud’s disease.

Studies have shown that this disease usually appear in women and also in people who are living in some colder regions. The symptoms of this disease will worsen if you are smoking.

Buerger’s Disease. There is another disease of the veins and arteries that is called Buerger’s disease. If you suffer from this disease, you will have blood clots in your blood vessels and they will be swollen. The most common symptoms of Buerger’s disease are weakness, swelling and pain in your feet and in your legs. Studies have shown that the major cause of this disease are tobacco products. Because of that we recommend you to stop smoking if you have Buerger’s disease, but it is best to consult with your health provider first.

DiGeorge Syndrome. This syndrome can also be one of the causes of poor circulation and in most cases it is diagnosed early. The most common symptoms of DiGeorge syndrome are weak immune system, behavioral disorders and heart problems. If you have this syndrome, your skin may turn bluish and your feet and hands will be constantly cold.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This syndrome is considered as one of the most common causes of poor circulation in your hands. The main symptoms in this case will be numbness in your hands, as well as pain.

Prolonged Sitting or Standing. If you are sitting or standing for too long, it may also cause poor circulation in your legs. The blood flow in your body will be reduced and your hands and feet will be cold.

Smoking. We all know that smoking is bad for our health, but did you know that it may also cause poor circulation in your body? It is proved that smoking is also one of the reasons for poor circulation.

Lack of Exercise. Studies have shown that lack of exercise may also be the cause of poor circulation in your body. If you have spent months or even years without physical activities, then it will certainly affect your circulation.

You have seen some of the most common symptoms of poor circulation in your hands, arms and legs. When you go to your doctor, it is important to say if someone in your family had problems with poor circulation, because genetic factors play a very important role when it comes to poor circulation. You will have to do blood pressure test, blood sugar test, antibody blood test and many other tests, in order to determine the underlying cause of your poor circulation.

Treatment of Poor Circulation

As we have already said, it is important to discover the major cause of poor circulation in your legs, feet and hands. When you discover the main cause of poor circulation in your body, it will not be difficult to treat it. There are many methods that may help you in treating poor circulation. If you don’t treat poor circulation, it could lead to many serious complications.

Now we will present you some of the most common home remedies and methods that may help you in the treatment of poor circulation.

Healthy Diet. Healthy and balanced diet is one of the most important things for the treatment of blood circulation. Actually, you should increase your daily intake of the foods that are rich in antioxidants, such as lemon, blueberries, pomegranates and many others. These foods will increase the blood flow in your body. Also, if you have problems with poor circulation, it is recommended to eat chocolate. Chocolate is a great source of flavonoids that are very important for the flow of the blood.

Blood circulation may also be improved by eating nuts and sunflower seeds. You should also add omega 3 fish oil to your diet because it can be a great supplement that will improve your circulation. It is also recommended to reduce your daily intake of coffee and tea. It is known that these stimulants have immediate effects on your blood. It is recommended to limit the intake of these beverages, so you can drink 2-3 cups of tea or coffee daily.

Avoid Alcohol. Another advice for you if you want to improve your circulation is to avoid drinking alcohol. Not only will alcohol lead to poor circulation, but it may also cause a heart disease. We recommend you not to drink more than 2 glasses of alcohol per day. If you like drinking alcohol, we recommend you to drink red wine because it may be a healthy alcohol choice. Most important is to avoid sugar alcohols because they can affect your digestive tract and cause poor circulation.

Plenty of Water. One of the ways to improve your blood circulation is to drink plenty of water every day. Water will improve your digestion and it will expel from your body all the waste products. Also, if you drink plenty of water, it will keep you hydrated and it will increase the blood flow in your body.

Green Tea. We all know that green tea has many health benefits. It is also a great option if your circulation is poor.

Cayenne Pepper. Did you know that cayenne pepper is a great way to improve your circulation? It will also improve your digestion and clear your sinuses. Your overall health will be better if you include cayenne in your regular diet.

Ginger. Ginger is also a great home remedy for poor circulation. It has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and it will increase the blood flow in your body.

The Perfect Salad for Circulation. You can also mix different vegetables and make a great salad that will improve your circulation. We recommend you to mix some of the following veggies: kale, spinach, mustard, sweet bell peppers, cucumber, celery, onions and olive oil. This salad is very easy to make and it will increase the blood flow in your body.

Exercise. As we have mentioned above, lack of exercise is one of the most common causes of poor circulation. Because of that, you should start exercising. You can simply walk, swim or go to gym. However, you should be moderate because excessive exercising may also have some adverse effects. We recommend you to walk at least half an hour every day.  Also, you should use the stairs instead of lift. It can be a great beginning for you and very soon you will notice that your circulation is much better.

Massage with Essential Oils. If you have problems with poor circulation in your feet, legs and hands, you should try the massage with essential oils. You just need to mix 30 drops of rosemary oil with 2 ounces of olive oil. Another option is to mix 30 drops of lavender essential oil with 2 ounces of carrier oil. Massage with essential oils will speed up the blood flow in your body and make your circulation better.

Acupuncture. Acupuncture is one of the methods that is commonly used for treating poor circulation. Actually, this method has been used since ancient times.

Hot Water Bottle. If your feet are cold too often, we recommend you to use a hot water bottle. You can put something between the bottle and your skin if the bottle is too hot.

Hot and Cold Treatment. If you have poor circulation, it is recommended to try hot and cold treatment. It means that you should use something hot first, for example a bowl of hot water, and to put your feet in it for about 30 seconds. After that, you should use a cold water bowl for your feet. But, you should have in mind that water should not be too hot or too cold because it can reduce the effectiveness of this treatment. Also, you can put in water your hands or some other parts of your body that have poor circulation.

Extra Socks. Another recommendation is to wear extra socks if you have problems with poor circulation. But, you should not wear the socks that are very tight because they can reduce the flow of the blood in your feet and make your condition even worse.

Circulation Socks. Have you ever heard of circulation socks? If you want to improve circulation in your feet, you should try these socks. These socks will increase the flow of your blood and improve your circulation. They are specially designed for people with poor circulation.

Take a Break. There are also some other methods that may help you improve your circulation. We recommend you to avoid sitting too long at one place. You should take regular breaks and stretch your body every hour. You can do a short walk and do some exercises for legs and arms. This will increase the blood flow through your body and your circulation will be much better.

Avoid Tight Clothing. Another advice for you if you have poor circulation is to avoid clothing that is too tight because it can restrict the flow of blood in your body. We have already mentioned that you have to avoid tight socks, but also tight belts and tight under garments. We recommend you to wear more comfortable clothing.

Wear Comfortable Shoes. If you have poor circulation in your feet, it is recommended to wear comfortable shoes, especially if you will be standing for too long.

Summary

You have seen in this article that poor circulation may be the result of many diseases, but very often poor circulation is caused by your unhealthy lifestyle. The most common causes of poor circulation in your feet, legs and hands are peripheral artery diseases, atherosclerosis, diabetes, Raynaud’s disease, blood clots, varicose veins and many other health conditions.

Also, if you don’t exercise regularly and if you eat unhealthy foods, it may be one of the most common causes of poor circulation.

There are many symptoms that may warn you that you have a problem with your circulatory system. These symptoms are cold feet and hands, decreased mental abilities, weak immune system, frequent exhaustion, as well as many skin problems. If you recognize some of these symptoms, then you are likely to have poor circulation.

Poor circulation must be treated properly. If it is not treated, it can lead to many complications and health problems. We recommend you to balance your diet first and to increase your daily intake of healthy foods.

Also, you should exercise regularly and drink plenty of water. It is also recommended to massage the affected areas of your body with essential oils and to warm them constantly.

We hope this article has been useful for you and we are sure that poor circulation will not be a problem for you anymore. As you have seen, there are different methods and remedies that may help you with that problem. Just follow our tips and we are sure that you will improve your circulation.