About circulation Circulation plays a significant role in human health as it transports red and white blood cells, adult stem cells, plasma, hormones, etc. It is a complete circuit of vessels, which distribute the blood through the arterial system to the microcirculation of different tissues where the exchange of substances between the intestinal space and blood takes place and collects the blood from the capillary region through the venous system. The blood circulatory system functions works well when there is normal blood flow, microvascular elasticity, arterial blood pressure, capillary permeability, blood viscosity, and local as well as systematic control.
The circulatory system sends blood, nutrients, and oxygen throughout the body. When the flow of blood is reduced to a specific part of your body, you may experience symptoms of low or poor blood circulation. Inadequate blood flow to body parts may cause peripheral arterial disease, which may lead to serious foot problems. The good news is that circulation can be improved by making changes in the lifestyle.
Causes of poor circulation
There are several conditions that slow down blood circulation. Some of them are as follows:
• High cholesterol levels
• High blood pressure
• Peripheral artery disease (narrowing of the arteries and blood vessels)
• Lack of physical activity
• Blood clots
• Raynaud’s disease
• Staying too long in front of a computer can also lead to poor circulation
• Tight fitting clothing
• Venous thrombosis when veins become inflamed
• Hardening of blood vessels (Atherosclerosis)
Signs and symptoms of low circulation
Apart from the discomfort, there are numerous other symptoms of a bad circulation. Some common ones are given below:
• Lack of energy and stamina
• Headaches and muscle cramps
• Hypertension problems
• Hardening of the arteries
• Varicose veins, law circulation in the legs can result from varicose veins
• Feeling lethargic even after climbing the stairs
• Tingling and numbness
• Throbbing or stinging pain in your limbs
• Hair fall and dandruff
• Shortness of breath
• Swelling of hands and feet
• Feeling sleepy all the time
• Memory loss
• Change in body’s temperature like cold fingers, hands, and feet
• Loss of appetite and unusual weight loss
• Dry skin, itchy, hands, legs, and feet
• Swelling of hands and feet
• High cholesterol levels and blood pressure
Circulation problems can be prevented by changing unhealthy behavior and managing the medical conditions that may be causing it: To improve blood circulation:
• Stop smoking cigarettes. If you want to improve blood circulation, then you can’t smoke.
• Start eating a well-balanced diet. Avoid junk food or preserve food. Keep your cholesterol level under control by cutting out unnecessary fats. Maintain a normal range of blood pressure by doing 30 minutes exercise daily, or you can have a brisk walk of half an hour.
Myths and facts
Myth: Running is one of the causes of varicose vein.
Fact: Running is good for vein health. It improves blood circulation. It increases calf muscles pumping and lead to more blood returning to the heart.
The treatment for low or poor blood circulation depends on the conditions causing it. The following are the effective natural remedies that are known to improve blood circulation:
• Ginger: It contains zingerone and gingerols that prevent the absorption of cholesterol in the blood as well as liver.
• Green tea: Due its antioxidant property, it improves the health of the cells that take part in the construction of blood vessels. It prevents the rise in blood pressure.
• Ginkgo biloba herb: A natural circulation booster is known for its ability to improve memory. It is available in various forms in the market. You can buy Ginkgo biloba capsules to increase blood circulation in the brain. Ginkgo Plus tablets help improves blood flow and strengthen blood vessels. One of the popular herbal product available worldwide. All Ginkgo biloba supplements are designed to assist poor circulation.
Some of the medical treatment may include:
• Insulin for Diabetic patients
• Compression socks for swollen and painful legs
• Laser or endoscopic vein surgery to treat varicose vein
• Special physical activity recommended by a physician to increase circulation
Medications may include blood thinners as well as clot dissolving drugs depending on the patient condition. Calcium channel blockers and alpha blockers are prescribed for Raynaud’s disease. Sometimes, an antidepressant-like Venlafaxine drug may also use to affect the chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in patients with depression.
If you are unable to improve your circulation by using home remedies and natural supplements, then consult your physician. Your physician will help to diagnose the exact condition. It is necessary to inform your physician about the medical history of poor circulation or the related disorder, if any. This can help your physician in assessing your risk factors as well as help in determining the appropriate test for the condition.
Apart from performing a physical test to detect swelling and pain he/she may also perform:
• An ultrasound or CT scan
• A blood sugar test to check the level of blood sugar in the body
• A test to check blood pressure, including testing of the legs
• An antibody blood test to find Raynaud’s disease
• Blood test to find symptoms of blood clot
Important steps to improve health
• Take regular breaks; do not sit in the same position for too long.
• Exercise several times a week. Exercise should not be strenuous as well.
• Massage your hands and feet to calm the muscles and joints. This helps relieve stress. The process dilates the blood vessels by reflex action, resulting in improved circulation.
• Perform hydrotherapy once a week. It will affect the blood vessels by increasing blood circulation.
Important things to know
A healthy balanced diet is a key to improve overall body’s system. It is extremely important for the proper function of the circulatory system.