7 Commonly Ignored Signs of Poor Circulation

Many times, these signs are related to excessive physical activity, nutritional deficiencies, or lowered immune defenses. However, they could also be signs of poor circulation.
7 Commonly Ignored Signs of Poor Circulation
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

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.

In this sense, if your hair and nails don’t get the nutrients and oxygen they need, they’ll weaken and fall out. Thus, weak and dry hair, as well as brittle nails, can be signs of bad circulation.

4. Slower digestion

The digestive process requires good blood flow. Thus, heavy digestions that are accompanied by abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, cramps, and bloody stools could be signs of poor circulation.

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.

This article may interest you: Improve Blood Circulation with Natural Remedies

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.

7. Fatigue

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.

A fatigued woman.

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.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.