The circulation system in our body is actually responsible for almost all the things. It is responsible for sending blood, nutrients, oxygen throughout the body.
Thus, it is a very important component of our body. Circulatory system problems arise when there is a restricted flow of blood to the various organs/parts of the body.
This happens because the blood vessels become blocked due to the presence of a fatty substance called plaque. Plaque hardens and constricts the walls of the arteries and blood vessels. Thus it succeeds in interrupting the flow of blood resulting in poor blood circulation. Poor blood circulation is a major problem.
It is so serious that if not rectified at the right time it may even result in the death of the person. This article aims to deal with the causes, symptoms, and remedies of poor circulation in the body. So sit back and try to understand the gravity of the matter.
Causes Of Poor Blood Circulation In The Body
There are various causes of poor blood circulation in the body. Some of the most important ones are listed below:
1. Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
This may lead to poor blood circulation particularly in the legs. It narrows the blood vessels. There is an associated condition to this problem. It is called atherosclerosis.
Herein also the arteries stiffen up due to the build-up of plaque in the arteries. Some of the effects of this cause are: numbness, tingling, nerve damage or tissue damage.
This is most commonly experienced by people above the age of 50. Yet, it does at times happen to younger people also who tend to either smoke or drink a lot. Further, this increases the risk of a stroke or a heart attack, if not treated timely.
2. Blood Clots
These clots tend to form over time. They block the flow of blood and develop anywhere in the body. These clots can develop due to many reasons such as excessive drinking or even increased intake of junk food.
Blood clots may even develop in the heart or lungs of a person leading to either a stroke or a heart attack.
3. Varicose Veins
They are enlarged veins caused by valve failure. In this, the veins tend to appear engorged and enlarged. They are usually found in the shins of the leg. As damaged veins and vessels do not allow the blood to move freely in the body it does lead to poor circulation.
Your genes also determine whether or not you are prone to develop a circulatory problem in your life. If your family had blood clots or varicose veins you are at a higher risk of encountering a circulatory problem in life.
It causes poor circulation of blood in certain parts of the body. This includes cramping in your legs, painful calves, thighs, or buttocks.
Usually, people with advanced diabetes are at a greater risk as they aren’t even able to catch the problem fast.
This is due to the fact that diabetic neuropathy reduces sensation in the extremities. Thus, it acts as a major cause of poor blood circulation.
If you are carrying extra pounds or are overweight then you are more prone to developing a circulatory problem. This is because increased intake of junk increases the fat in the body. This fat may even start blocking the veins and arteries in the body leading to death at times.
7. Raynaud’s Disease:
People who have chronic cold hands and feet at all times may be suffering from the Raynaud’s disease. This disease leads to narrowing of the small veins and arteries in the body.
The narrowed veins are then less capable of circulating the blood freely in them this is the reason it leads to circulatory problems. The symptoms of Raynaud’s disease usually occur when you’re in cold temperatures.
Some Other Causes
- Complications From Flying
- Poor Diet
- High Cholesterol
- Thyroid Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Disorders
- Circulatory Disorders
- Blood Vessel Disorders
- Artery and Vein Disorders
- Intermittent Claudication
- Nerve Disorders
- Food Allergies
Symptoms Of Poor Blood Circulation In The Body
Poor circulation in the body also exhibits many symptoms. Fortunately, with the help of these symptoms, the problem of poor blood circulation can be easily deciphered and action can be taken against it. Some of the most common symptoms are mentioned below:
1. Numbness In Limbs
There is a loss of sensation in the limbs. It feels as if a part of the body has become impervious to pain or touch.
2. Decreased Cognitive Ability
The brain is the most important organ in the body. This is because it is responsible for our cognition and actions. If the blood supply in the brain is compromised then it may also lead to memory loss.
3. Loss Of Appetite
The gastrointestinal tract needs enough blood supply like any other organ. If blood supply does reach the abdominal region then it may decrease the metabolism rate of a person. This would result in complete loss of appetite.
4. Digestive Problems
The gastrointestinal system is composed of various organs. These organs are usually involved in the digestive process and thus require enough blood supply. Poor circulation can lead to malabsorption.
This would happen as majority of food will simply pass through the digestive tract, leading to queasiness, loose bowel movements, and other digestive issues.
It is a matter of fact that the blood has both oxygen and nutrients for the body. When these nutrients reduce in the blood, due to poor circulation of the blood, then your muscles do not work with the optimum capacity.
Thus, you start tiring out very fast due to the lack of nutrients and oxygen in the body.
6. Weakened Immune System
The circulatory system helps to supply vitamins and minerals in the body. If this process gets hampered then the immune system will rupture completely.
Further, the immune system helps us fight invaders and bacteria. So a weakened immune system can actually lead to quarantine conditions as well.
7. Tightening Of The Chest
Our heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout the circulatory system. If blood flow in the heart is reduced, you can feel tightening of the chest. This happens due to the increased pressure on chest called as angina.
8. Slackened Libido
The reproductive systems of every person also require a good amount of blood supply. In cases of poor blood circulation, women may build up irregular monthly cycles or fertility issues. Further, men may also experience erectile problems.
9. Cold Extremities
It takes time for the blood supply to reach the farthest points in a body i.e. hands and feet. Since the blood keeps the body warm, if the blood doesn’t reach these points, they will always remain cold.
10. Skin Discoloration
When certain areas of the body do not get enough oxygenated blood for long periods of time, the skin above that particular area becomes discoloured. They start to appear blue or purple in colour. This is the most obvious sign of poor blood circulation.
11. Dark Circles Under The Eyes
Poor circulation is also a cause of dark circles. The reason your eyes appear to be puffy and dark is due to the decreased blood flow in that area. This happens because due to blockages in the capillaries and veins, blood is not able to reach at that point leading to a darker skin.
12. Brittle Hair And Nails
The circulatory system also provides nutrients to the organs of the body. Poor blood circulation affects these parts leading to brittle hair and easily breakable nails.
13. Swelling Of The Feet And Hands
This could be a direct result of poor circulation. Swelling usually happens due to either water retention or poor circulation of blood in those areas. Both the aspects cause imbalance of nutrients in the body also.
14. Leg Ulcers
If you experience rash like ulcers on your legs or ankles then it is a sure symptom of poor blood circulation.
15. Dry Skin
Poor circulation makes it complicated for the body to remain hydrated. Thus, skin may appear dry and itchy.
Home Remedies To Improve Blood Circulation In The Body
However, you do not have to worry about this problem. There are numerous homemade remedies which will help you increase and smoothen the blood circulation in the body. Some of them are mentioned below:
This fruit has always been known for improving blood circulation. This is because it contains lycopene, which helps to prevent the build-up of plaque in the blood vessels and arteries.
Some nuts like cashew nuts, almonds and pistachio have high quantities of Vitamin B3. This helps them boost the blood supply in the body as it dilates the blood vessels. Further, it also helps to reduce the density of lipoprotein in the blood.
It has a host of medicinal properties and thus is used to treat various ailments. Garlic helps to relax the blood vessels and increases the production of hydrogen sulphide. Hydrogen sulphide acts as a very good agent in improving the blood circulation in the body.
It also keeps the blood pressure within normal limits and prevents blood platelet aggregation. You may eat 2-3 cloves of garlic daily in the morning. Or, you may have garlic flakes infused in warm water 2-3 times daily.
4. Cayenne Pepper
It helps to increase the blood supply in the body by interacting with the red blood cells. Further, it prevents platelets from clumping together and accumulating into a clot.
It also helps to dilate all the clogged blood vessels and the functioning of the cardiovascular system. Due to its warm properties, it provides warmth to the areas which often remain cold due to poor circulation.
It is an herb which very good medicinal properties. It helps to improve the circulatory and digestive problems. It promotes microcirculation in the capillaries which encourages the blood to flow to extremities.
Also, it promotes blood circulation in the cerebral region. This helps us to retain our memory and think faster.
It contains gingeroles and zingerone. These compounds provide many benefits to the body. It helps to prevent absorption of cholesterol in the blood and liver.
Further, it does prevent clotting of the blood and thereby helps to increase the circulation rate in the body.
You may drink at least 2-3 cups of ginger tea daily, or, you may drink ginger infused in warm water 2-3 times daily.
7. Green Tea
It contains the compound called epigallocatechin. This helps to improve the cells which form the innermost lining of the vessels. Thus, it helps to enhance the blood flow by repairing the damaged vessels.
Further, it does reduce the rise in blood pressure. Also, if you consume green tea at least 4-5 times a day, the risk of heart diseases also goes down.
This is an herb which has been used to fight obesity and arthritis. It contains guggulsterones which are kenotic steroid compounds which help to reduce the formation of plaque in the inner walls of the arteries.
Further, it reduces the possibility of platelet aggregation in the blood. However, it is advised, that one should consult his/her doctor before consuming this herb. You may either use it infused with water or you may simply have this leaf after washing it.
It also helps to increase the blood circulation as it contains high concentrations of allicin. It also functions as a diuretic, which increases the amounts of fluids to be excreted.
It is one of the best herbal remedies for blood circulation. The best herb you should use is the French rosemary or you may use the dried ones as well.
The berries and leaves of this plant contain quercetin, which helps to reduce the release of histamine. It also helps to treat blood pressure issues. However, this herb should be only ingested after the approval of a doctor as it may lead to severe symptoms.
This is a beautiful spice to improve blood circulation. It has curcumin which helps to prevent blood platelets from forming clots. You may mix a teaspoon of turmeric powder with a glass of milk and have it every night before going to bed for best results.
13. Coconut Oil
You can also ingest coconut oil as it has some excellent healing properties. It has healthy fats that help to relive the person of inflammation of the arteries. You may consume 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil daily. Or, you can also use this to massage your body.
Exercise To Improve Blood Circulation In The Body
Blood circulation can also improve by doing some specific exercises daily. Some of them have been specified below:
You don’t have to become P.T. Usha to get blood pumping in your body. Start brisk walking for 20-30 minutes daily. This would alone help to increase the metabolism rate of your body. Further, it will help to improve the blood circulation in the body.
People with peripheral artery disease have also shown signs of recovery and improvement by following this technique. Thus, this is the best exercise for proper blood circulation in the body.
2. Yoga And Deep Breathing Exercises
Various yoga poses also help you to improve the blood circulation in the body (which is dealt with in the following sections). Further, deep diaphragmatic breathing helps to push the chest towards the heart.
In this manner, the heart starts to pump blood a bit faster. Thereby increasing the blood supply in the body.
3. Legs Up The Wall
This is an important exercise as it helps the blood to flow from lower extremities to the head. Lie on the floor and be sure that your bottom is close to the wall. As you twist your back, extend your legs along the wall and rest the heels and along the wall.
Your bottom should be as close to the wall as is comfortable. Hold for about 5-15 minutes. Repeat this exercise 3-4 times in a day for best results.
4. Downward Facing Dog
This exercise helps to boost blood circulation and also helps to reduce back pain, anxiety, and tension from the body. For the exercise, your feet should be hip width apart and hands should be shoulder width apart.
Now, bend forward and place palms flat on the floor. Try not to bend your knees. Keep your spine straight and allow your head to extend comfortably. Hold that position for 10 seconds to start.
5. Lift To Lift Circulation
Weight training or lifting also helps you to increase the blood flow in the body. This is because improved cardiovascular health means more proficient circulation. Initially start with slow lifts in your training regimen and lift at least 2-3 times a week.
6. Belly Dancing
As odd as it sounds it is one of the best ways to improve blood circulation in the body. It promotes improved cardio-vascular health, strengthens the gastric muscles and bowel movements.
Yoga Poses To Improve Blood Circulation In The Body
As promised, the next section deal with the yoga poses which may help you to improve the blood circulation in the body. They are:
1. Deep Breathing
What To Do
a) Sit cross-legged on the floor.
b) Focus on taking deep breaths in and exhaling completely.
Just be assured that you do not sit cross-legged for a long period time. This is because it may restrict the flow of blood in certain areas. But a minute or so will be fine.
2. Mountain Pose
What To Do
a) Stand with your feet under your hips and arms by your sides. Make sure that your spine is straight.
b) Bend down by lifting tour bottom towards the ceiling.
c) You may leave your hands at your sides. Or, you may bring them into prayer position.
d) Stand here for a few deep breaths.
3. Chair Pose
What To Do
a)Bottom of Form Begin in mountain pose and then bend your knees. Then, lower your butt toward the floor.
b) Try to imagine that you’re sitting in an invisible chair.
c) Try to go as low as your flexibility allows. Further, try to bring your thighs parallel to the floor.
d) Raise your arms above your head.
e) Stay in this position for at least 10-20 counts.
4. Warrior II
What To Do
a) Come in the mountain pose. Next, make sure that your feet are about 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart.
b) Raise your arms and make them parallel to the floor.
c) Turn your right foot toward the right wall. Then, bend the right knee making sure that your right thigh is parallel to the floor.
d) Make sure that your torso is pointed straight ahead and turn only your head to look beyond your right hand.
e) Hold for 10 deep breaths. Next, repeat on the left side.
What To Do
a) Come to Warrior II position, but straighten both legs.
b) Raise your arms so they are parallel to the floor.
c) Stretch your upper body to the right along with your torso. While doing this raise your left arm up in the air and stretch your right arm towards the floor.
d) You may grab onto your thigh, calf, ankle, or foot whichever you find comfortable. e) Turn your head to look up, and breathe.
f) Hold for 10 breaths and repeat on the left side.
6. Yoga Lunge
What To Do
a) Come in the downward dog position. Then, step your right foot forward, and let it be in between your hands.
b) Arch your back, and look up. Try to keep your palms on the floor.
c) Hold this lunge for 10 breaths and then repeat on the other side.
7. Pigeon (Or Half Pigeon)
What To Do
a) Come to the hands and knees position. After that, swing your right foot forward in a way that your knee is between your hands.
b) Slide the left leg back until it’s as straight as you can get it.
c) Arch your back, and look up for 10 deep breaths. After that, release your spine and lower your head.
d) Stay there for 10 breaths. Then, shift to the other side.
8. Shoulder Stand
What To Do
a) Lie on your back. Bring your feet close to your buttock.
b) Use your core strength to lift your feet and butt off the floor.
c) Allow your chin to tuck into your chest. Under no circumstances turn your head in this position.
d) Just gaze at your navel and engage your abdomen.
e) Remain in this position for 3-4 minutes and then roll back slowly.
The only piece of advice is that pregnant women and first-timers should not do this without the guidance of a proper yoga instructor. Do not do this without supervision.
What To Do
This is the easiest yet the most important asana in yoga. It works wonders for blood circulation. Just spread your legs and hands apart and lay down on your back. This helps the body to cool down and relax.
One thing to be noted is that if you are pregnant then try to lie down on one side rather than on your back. You may also use a cushion for support.
How To Prevent Poor Blood Circulation In Body?
Poor blood circulation can be prevented n a variety of ways. Yet, it is mandated that these ways may affect differently to different people. Some of the frequently utilized ways are:
1. Exercise Several Times a Week
Regular physical exercises help to improve blood circulation. You may start with easy exercises and then shift to rigorous exercises.
Further, you should walk, run, swim or cycle every day for better and improved blood circulation in the body. These exercises are not very strenuous and can prevent blood clotting.
2. Take Regular Breaks
Try not to remain in one position for too long. Keep taking regular breaks every 2-3 hours. This will help to loosen the muscles and thus improve blood circulation in the body.
This is a simple way of improving blood circulation. The alternate application of hot and cold water dilates the blood vessels improving circulation. This should be performed 4 to 5 times a day for perfect results.
One piece of advice is that do not begin with very hot or cold water. You may increase the temperature later on.
4. Wear Comfortable Shoes To Work
It is important to wear comfortable footwear to work. This is because; wearing heels for too long may cause blood clots in that particular region. Also, heels and uncomfortable shoes restrict the flow of blood in that area. You may also wear loose socks to keep the feet warm.
5. Relaxation Techniques
Meditation and listening to music may also prove beneficial for improving blood circulation. These techniques lift the spirit and reduce stress levels which improve the blood flow.
- A balanced and healthy diet is of extreme importance to improve blood circulation.
Reduce your coffee and tea intake. Two cups a day is more than enough.
- Alcohol can have various detrimental effects on the body. It should be drunk in moderation.
- Quit smoking as smoking increases cholesterol levels restricts the blood vessels and solidifies the arteries.
- Avoid eating foods that have great amounts of saturated fats. This is because they are responsible for the development of plaque in the arteries.
- Try to eliminate refined foods like sugar and oily foods.
- Drink plenty of water every day. This will help to hydrate the cells thereby improving blood circulation in the body. Aim to drink 2 liters of water daily.
A proper massage helps calm down the tensed muscles in the legs and arms. It helps to stimulate the nerve receptors. Thus, it dilates the blood vessels and increases blood circulation.
It also aids in removing blood clots which impair proper blood circulation. Rosemary, coconut and olive oil are the most used and suitable oils for a message.
Yet, other oils may also be used depending on the desire of the person.
What Are The Risk Involved Due To Poor Circulation In Body?
Poor circulation comes with many risks. Analysing and identifying these risks is very important. As once they are identified, a remedy can be found out for them. Thus, following are the risk factors which are usually experienced by people suffering from poor blood circulation:
- Tingling In The Lower Extremities
- Numbness Or Pain From Time To Time
- Cold Hands Or Feet
- Dangerous Blood Clots Can Develop
- Blockage Of Major Veins And Arteries
- Heart Attacks
- Pain In Hands Or Feet
- Amputations Due To Gangrene Complications.
When To See Doctor?
Thus, it is very important to understand that poor circulation is serious business. The moment any of the above-mentioned symptoms are felt by you, you should rush to a reputed doctor. He may be able to guide you better.
When you visit the doctor, let him know about any genetic condition regarding the same. This would help him diagnose the problem better.
Thus, if you feel even the slightest bit of discomfort you should refer to a doctor who would either put you through a physical exam or may order a CT scan/ MRI scan.
It is hoped that you have found this article worth referring to in times of need. Thus, if you feel you have any symptom which leads to poor blood circulation immediately refer to a doctor. He will assuredly help you better.