Our body is a great machine where everything has been designed to work properly so as to ensure our survival. Our organs, as well as all the structures that are part of the human body, are organised in a logical and functional way.
The same is true of blood circulation. A large network of vessels, veins and arteries allow the blood to reach all organs and tissues of the body, working as a kind of fuel, allowing functions as simple as breathing.
However, the machine that is the human body also has some flaws and sometimes minor problems can cause a few parts to have some difficulties and can cause inconvenience. This is the case of poor circulation. The circulatory system, often because of our habits and behaviours, does not always work as desired, which can bring some discomfort and lead to serious health problems if not treated in a timely manner.
How Blood Circulation Works
Blood circulation is the constant and fluid movement of blood in a closed circuit. In the human body, blood circulation refers to the movement of blood originating in the heart from where it is pumped into the arteries. This circulatory function, of blood transport along the body, is made in two circuits separated anatomically and with different functions:
Small circulation (or pulmonary circulation) is the one through which gas exchanges of oxygen are performed.
Great circulation (or systemic circulation) is the one that allows the transport of nutrients and oxygen to the tissues and receive the final products of the metabolism to be later expelled by the individual, as well as to take the hormones to the target organs.
Problems of poor circulation are very common and are defined by the difficulty of blood passing through the veins or arteries. Poor circulation in the legs may be typical, especially in heavier heights, when the heart feels it’s more difficult to perform the function of pumping blood to all parts of the body.
It is also very frequent to have poor circulation in pregnancy, since during this period there is an increase in the production of fluids in a woman's body. This can hinder the work of the veins, giving rise to poor circulation. In addition, during pregnancy there is the production of relaxin (a hormone responsible for dilating the veins) which makes it more difficult for the blood to return to the heart.
Causes of poor circulation
it is also possible that there is a malfunction of the circulatory system due to the taking of the contraceptive pill in the case of women.
Smoking and consuming of tobacco can restrict the blood flow and may impair the circulatory system.
There may be cases of poor circulation related to hereditary problems. It is therefore very important to know the history of diseases in the family to see if you are at risk of suffering from poor circulation.
Spending a lot of time on your feet or, conversely, spending a lot of time sitting (especially with your legs crossed) also contributes to problems of poor blood circulation.
Consuming foods high in sugar and fats can lead to cholesterol build-up in the body which accumulates on the walls of the arteries and can restrict the blood flow, thus leading to poor circulation.
Likewise, these problems in the circulatory system may appear as a normal sign of ageing of the body.
Symptoms of poor blood circulation
How do we know if we suffer from poor blood circulation? What are the signs when something goes wrong with our circulatory system? The symptoms of poor blood circulation appear most often in the legs and feet. Symptoms of poor blood circulation may begin with swollen ankles, varicose veins or small fissures or cracks in the heel. These fissures arise since there are not enough nutrients in this area of the body.
Poor circulation can reach people of all ages but is more common in older people and women - especially when they are taking the birth control pill or are pregnant. It can even reach people suffering from some illnesses such as hypertension, high cholesterol and even diabetes.
The main symptoms of poor blood circulation are:
- Itching in the legs
- Cold skin
- Dry and scaly skin
- Red spots on the legs
- Onset of varicose veins
- Leg cramps
- Swollen feet and ankles
- Feeling of tingling and numbness in the legs
- Fissures in the heels
- Absence of hair on the legs
- Paleness or bluish colour in areas with poor circulation
In heavier heights, it is normal for people to experience swollen legs due to poor circulation or fluid retention. The problem arises when people who suffer these problems devalue the symptoms and do not seek to find out how they can improve blood circulation.
Natural solutions to improve blood circulation
There are several treatments available depending on the case and the needs of each person. In some cases, you can just do away with the factors that are causing poor circulation to solve the problem. However, in other situations, more options can and should be studied. Some examples of these include:
The Final Word
Poor circulation should not be seen as a passing or unimportant problem. Ignoring the symptoms or devaluing them is putting your health at risk, since the circulatory system is of great importance for the general health and wellbeing of the human being. Once you identify the causes, you should seek advice from your doctor to see what is to be done, and try to find the best natural solution for you to restore normal functioning of the circulatory system.