Problems with CirculationCirculatory system problems arise when there is limited blood flow to the legs, hands, heart and rest of the body. The blood vessels become blocked as a fatty substance called plaque builds up and hardens and constricts the walls of the arteries and veins. This interrupts the normal flow of blood through the vessels and results in poor circulation.
A variety of conditions can be brought on by poor circulation such as high blood pressure, hypertension, stroke, varicose veins, peripheral artery disease, heart disease, kidney damage, aneurysms, arteriosclerosis, Raynaud’s disease and phlebitis.
Useful Tips - There are various methods to prevent, treat and improve blood circulation and they include the following:
- Exercise regularly or participate in any physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day. Try walking, swimming, biking or aerobics to get the blood pumping.
- Eat a healthy, well balanced diet that is high in fibre and low in fat - this will ensure that your cholesterol levels remain in check.
- Incorporate supplements such as gingko biloba, cod liver oil, omega 3 fish oils and garlic to improve circulation.
- Quit smoking as this increases cholesterol, hardens the arteries and causes other blood vessels to constrict.
- Wear support socks or compression hosiery to improve poor circulation.
- Take a warm bath or soak feet in warm water to increase the blood flow.
- Feet and other extremities should be kept warm by wearing thermal or woollen socks.
- Reduce stress through meditation, deep breathing exercises or listening to music.
- Keep swollen feet raised for short intervals to allow the blood to flow through and help the fluid to drain from the feet.
- Avoid staying inactive for long periods, keep moving to improve circulation (if you work in an office and spend most of the time seated, get up now and then to run an errand).
Medical Causes of Poor Circulation
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Heart disorders
- Circulatory disorders
- Blood vessel disorders
- Artery and vein disorders
- Arterial insufficiency
- Intermittent claudication
- Nerve and thyroid disorders
- Varicose veins
- Blocked blood vessels