From the day you were born your body has worked constantly to circulate more than five liters of blood through your body. Your arteries and veins are like highways for blood transportation. This helps your organs function, delivers nutrients and hormones, regulates your PH, and contributes to essentially every bodily process. Like highways, they require maintenance and care to function properly.

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What is Low Blood Circulation?

Somebody with poor blood circulation receives insufficient amounts of blood to certain parts of the body. Plaque buildup and other factors slow the blood down and limit the effectiveness of transportation to the legs, arms, heart, and other important areas.

There are several life habits, medical conditions, and behaviors that make an individual susceptible to this issue. Smoking, pregnancy, eating disorders, and weight gain are just a few of many ways someone can become vulnerable to this condition.

Poor circulation affects people of all ages and if left untreated can cause serious damage to your brain, heart, liver, kidney and limbs. It’s most common in elderly people but should be taken seriously at any age.

The Symptoms

Poor blood circulation is a danger because of its silent nature. It can be easy to overlook in its early stage and only found once it has worsened. The following symptoms are common indicators of a weakened circulatory process.

Visible Signs

Leg Ulcers – Ulcers are sore inflamed parts of the skin much like a rash that refuses to go away. Someone with poor circulation might notice them beginning to develop near their feet and on their legs. Look for dry red patches of varied sizes digging into the skin.

Swelling – If poor circulation interferes with the kidneys it can lead to abnormal swelling. If your hands or feet begin to gather fluid from slow blood flow they might appear swollen and puffy. This happens because the circulatory system tries to reduce the load and the result is leaving some fluid that is called edema.

Discolored Skin – Without the right amount of oxygen pumping through your veins you’ll notice a slight discoloration, also known as cyanosis. Your fingers and toes will have a slightly bruised look to them and other areas might look more blue than usual.

Varicose Veins – If the valves working to pump blood are weakened it allows blood and pressure to build up. This causes the veins just below the surface of the skin to twist and swell. You might notice pain after long periods of sitting or random itchiness during the day. These veins most commonly appear near the feet and ankles. If you suffer from varicose veins, find here 14 tips to improve veins naturally.

Hair Loss and Weak Nails – One of the clearest signs that your body isn’t getting the right amount of nutrients is within your hair and nails. Hair might become dry and start to thin and fall out in certain areas. Your skin may also become much more dry and itchy and nails tend to become much weaker and fall apart easily. Your fingernails can actually tell you a lot about your health, and you can find here 11 health warnings your fingernails may be sending.

Digestive Issues – With less blood pumping through your body all the other processes have to be slowed as well. When digestion is slowed it causes constipation. Bowel movements become much less frequent and more difficult. To ease constipation, you can find more information in my previous article about the 10 best natural remedies for constipation.

Weakened Immune System – Your body’s ability to detect and fight off pathogens and remain healthy will also be affected by a slower blood flow. You may pick up illnesses much easier because of the sluggish antibodies. You also might find that wounds and injuries take much longer to heal. You can find here ways of how to boost your immune system naturally.

Cold Hands and Feet – When your blood is flowing at optimal speed it helps to keep your body temperature at a healthy and comfortable level. If your circulation is poor, the process of regulating temperature is interfered with. This causes chilly feelings, usually in areas with a lot of nerve endings like the hands and feet.

Exhaustion – When blood flow is slowed down, it restricts the amount of fuel delivered to your muscles. With less oxygen and nutrients fueling your muscles you’ll feel tired much quicker as they struggle to keep up with the stagnant flow of blood. This symptom is characterized by a lack of breath, sore muscles, and less endurance during daily activities.

Erectile Dysfunction – Men with poor circulation might experience an insufficient amount of blood flow in the reproductive organs. It becomes increasingly difficult for them to perform sexual tasks and may eventually stop completely.

Angina – This symptom is indicated by a squeezing pain in the chest. There is less blood flowing to the heart, which causes a tight feeling of pressure in the area surrounding it. The heavy feeling will come and go randomly and is a likely sign of poor blood circulation.

Lack of Appetite – Your liver is responsible for sending hunger signals to the brain when it receives an adequate amount of blood flow. You start to experience less food cravings and eat smaller meals during the day. This also leads to weight loss, another common symptom of bad circulation.

Poor Cognitive Function – The brain relies heavily on blood flow to function properly. You might feel less focused and determined throughout the day. Poor circulation may also affect the effectiveness of your short and long term memory. In this case you may want to refer to my previous article about how to improve your brain function naturally.

Feeling Numb – Almost everybody has experienced the feeling of numbness from keeping your limbs stagnant for too long. With poor circulation you’ll feel this much more frequently and in parts of the body that you don’t normally lose feeling in. The feelings of numbness usually last no longer than a few minutes.