7 Commonly Ignored Signs of Poor Circulation
Poor circulation constitutes a series of discomforts that negatively affect a person’s well-being. Over the years, they become even more noticeable. That’s why most people who suffer from this problem are senior citizens.
However, poor circulation isn’t only related to the passage of time. There are many risk groups in different age groups. This is why it’s evident that this problem doesn’t only affect older adults but people with certain health conditions or bad habits.
Below, we tell you the seven warning signs of poor circulation that often go unnoticed.
1. Changes in the skin, a sign of poor circulation
The skin is an organ that reflects bodily alterations. Thus, color changes in the skin are signs that your blood isn’t flowing properly.
The most common places where bad circulation “spots” appear are the legs and feet. These spots may look red or purple. They’re caused when the blood flows outside the blood vessels.
Instead of spots, the skin may look extremely pale or look bluish. In this sense, the most affected areas are the nose, lips, ears, nipples, hands, and feet.
Changes in the skin can be accompanied by other symptoms, such as skin dryness. Although skin dryness isn’t always associated with poor circulation, it’s good to be aware of it.
2. Swollen feet
When your blood doesn’t flow properly, your extremities are the last to receive that supply of oxygen-rich blood and nutrients. When the body doesn’t get the normal amount of blood it needs, it tries to reduce the effects of this imbalance with fluid retention, also known as edema.
Edema causes cyanosis. This means that, besides looking blue, your feet will start to swell on a regular basis and your toes may look slightly bruised, as if you hit them with something.
3. Hair loss and brittle nails
Hair loss and brittle nails are common symptoms of many things, from stress to nutritional deficiencies. They can also be signs of poor circulation.
4. Slower digestion
5. Low immune defenses
This is another aspect that must be taken into account, although it isn’t associated with poor circulation. When blood flow is slower, the immune system stops detecting and fighting pathogens like it used to. Thus, it’s more vulnerable to infections.
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6. Cold hands and feet
This is actually the most well-known symptom of poor circulation. It indicates that your circulation is slower in these body parts because the blood takes longer to reach them.
Chronic fatigue is another symptom of poor circulation. This is because the heart has to pump harder (thus overexerting itself) to be able to facilitate venous return to keep the body working as it should.
Without the necessary oxygen and nutrients feeding your body, not long after starting work, climbing stairs, or doing gentle exercises, you’ll start feeling fatigued and discomfort.
If you’re suffering from one or several of these symptoms, go see your doctor for a medical evaluation so they can detect the cause. If they tell you that you have bad circulation, try to follow their instructions and improve your lifestyle habits as soon as possible.
How to prevent poor circulation
You can prevent and fight poor circulation with a healthier lifestyle that includes a good diet and exercise routines.
Remember that healthy habits will help you prevent both poor circulation, as well as more serious problems, such as heart attacks, varicose veins, blood clots, thrombus, and even a stroke.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Berlin, D. A., & Bakker, J. (2014). Understanding venous return. Intensive Care Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00134-014-3379-4
- Kougias, P., Duffy, P. E., & Harris, E. J. (2008). Venous Insufficiency and Varicose Veins. In Endovascular Therapy: Principles of Peripheral Interventions. https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470994863.ch14
- Vallo, S., & Bartsch, G. (2014). Edema. In Urology at a Glance. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-54859-8_7
- Wolinsky, C. D., & Waldorf, H. (2009). Chronic Venous Disease. Medical Clinics of North America. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mcna.2009.08.001