Symptoms of Poor Circulation
by Angela Halderson
Are you always cold? Do your fingers and toes feel like ice or often turn blue? If so, these could be signs of poor circulation. When blood does not flow properly, your extremities (fingers, toes, nose, feet, or hands) will suffer from restricted blood flow, fewer nutrients, and less oxygen. This leads to temperature changes, numbness, tingling, and even color changes to the skin.
People suffer from poor circulation for a variety of reasons:
Smoking can bring about poor circulation because it leads to a build-up of fatty deposits in the heart vessels. This is called arteriosclerosis, and as a result, the heart and its vessels lose their elasticity. Smoking causes the heart muscle to harden so it must work harder to pump blood. Inhaling smoke also leads to damaged lung tissue. When the lungs become damaged, a person cannot breathe as deeply as they should. This leads to less oxygenated blood and plays a role in poor circulation.
High Blood Pressure
Common factors that cause high blood pressure are being overweight, smoking, a diet high in processed foods containing salt and fat, high cholesterol, and diabetes. With high blood pressure, fat builds up inside the artery walls and hardens, turning into plaque. Plaque will narrow the arterial walls and force the heart to pump harder to get blood to flow through.
Blood clots can block veins and keep blood from flowing properly. This certainly impedes circulation. It’s more concerning that these blood clots can break free from the blood vessel and travel through the circulatory system. This can lead to blockages within the blood vessel and can lead to a heart attack or a stroke.
If you think you have any of these issues, don’t wait to improve your circulation. Get moving! Daily exercise like walking, yoga, or aerobics immediately improves circulation. Daily exercises like these will consistently get your blood pumping, moving oxygen and nutrients to all your joints and organs. A common side effect of daily exercise is weight loss. This can decrease blood pressure, further improving circulation. If you find yourself sitting for long periods, try to incorporate more breaks into your day or move from sitting to standing to get the blood flowing again.
If you smoke, make a goal to quit. If you have tried to quit smoking in the past and have been unsuccessful, know that relapses can be a part of your health journey. You may want to try herbal detoxes to help rid the body of cigarette toxins, which could make quitting an easier process. Low-level laser therapy has also been found to be a helpful tool in smoking cessation.
Blood pressure and blood clots can be managed naturally with nattokinase. Nattokinase is an enzyme derived from natto that has been studied for its benefits to cardiovascular health. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in cold-water fish such as tuna, mackerel, or sardines, have also been found to help maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
Remember, there is no reason to be so cold during the wintertime. Proper supplementation combined with healthy lifestyle changes — such as embracing a whole foods diet and routine exercise — can help restore your circulation and warm you up!