If you have ever felt you had poor circulation in feet, legs or arms and just shrugged this symptom off you should get these symptoms investigated by your doctor without delay.
For myself my hands and feet were always cold when everyone else was feeling warm and I suffered with what I thought was poor circulation for many years when in fact it was one of the early signs that I had an under active thyroid and had this condition for over three years! But that is a subject for another article.
Today, one of the reasons for poor blood circulation could be due to peripheral vascular disease, which I would like to explain more in depth about poor circulation in feet, and how it affects the body and more importantly give information on the action that you can take to increase blood flow with simple changes to your lifestyle.
What does poor circulation in feet and arms mean?
The medical term for this condition is peripheral vascular disease (PVD) and this type of symptom would manifest earlier in someone that had diabetes than those without the disease and it would progress more rapidly.
Poor circulation is the result of clogging or blocking of the arteries which can result in loss of a pulse in the feet at the time of diagnosis around 8 per cent of men and women can no longer feel a pulse in their feet. Diabetics with this disease after 20 years or more living with diabetes the percentage can climb as high as 45 percent.
It really depends on the individual on whom arteries are affected if it is the leg or the foot. With a diabetic PVD is a lot worse as there is a much larger involvement of arteries including the heart.
Signs to look for if you have poor circulation in feet or legs:
• Tingling or numbness in either the feet or toes
• You could experience a dull cramp like pain in the calf the medical name for this is claudicating (the pain felt in the calf muscle is dull and comes on when you walk a distance – it is often relieved by rest).
• Color change of the skin on either foot or legs where normal coloring is a pink healthy color the skin on someone with poor circulation could either be transparent looking, bluish or red.
• Temperature of the skin changes and if felt could feel cold to the touch
• Look for any breakdown of the skin with sores taking longer to heal than normal or constant reoccurring infections.
Sometimes there are many reasons why there is an increased risk of PVD such as:
• PVD disease can be genetic in families especially with various ethnic groups.
• As you age the risk of PVD is greater.
• Diabetes makes PVD that little more riskier.
Circulation problems can be helped with your effort and the things that you have control over:
• If you smoke stop now as this will promote early amputation.
• Today there are many diseases associated with being obese and this is clearly something that you can do – and that is to lose weight.
• High Glucose should be managed to keep within the appropriate range.
• High cholesterol can either be improved or addressed with diet and exercise or you may be prescribed medication in conjunction with a diet and exercise program.
To help you further your doctor may suggest in consultation that you take advantage of some over the counter drugs to prevent closure of the artery and loss of blood supply through something as simple as taking aspirin daily which inhibits clotting. There are also prescribed drugs, which will help with circulation of cells in the blood. Your doctor is the best person to discuss which type of treatment for your poor circulation in feet and arms.
Foot care is a must for anyone that has PVD:
• Ensure that you use visit a podiatrist to cut toenails, treat corns and calluses.
• Use your eyes to examine your feet carefully everyday.
• Keep shoes on never go barefoot.
• Shake the shoes out before wearing to ensure no stones or debris remains inside the shoe.
• Use a hand to check water temperature of bath water, never just step into a bath without doing this.
• Pay special attention to drying feet especially pat dry between toes and complete your care by applying moisturizer lotion daily to avoid dry or cracked skin.
• Wear cotton over synthetic socks as they are more absorbent and allow the feet to breath. Never wear socks that have tight constricting bands around the top of the socks.
Every effort should be made to help poor circulation in feet and legs by eating a healthy balanced diet and ensure you do some sort of physical exercise in order to control or rid yourself of PVD symptoms.