BAD CIRCULATION – What You Can Do to Make it Better
The body’s circulation system is complex, as it is responsible for moving oxygen, nutrients, and blood to and from various organs. When the circulation system is not working as it is intended or at a reduced level, several symptoms can occur. From tingling and numbness throughout the extremities to a throbbing or cramping feeling in the legs or arms, bad circulation makes it difficult to manage day to day tasks with comfort and ease.
Breaking Down Bad Circulation
Poor circulation in the body is not a health condition in and of itself. Instead, it is the result of other health issues that arise due to a variety of causes. Medical problems such as peripheral artery disease that involves a narrowing of the blood vessels, as well as blood clots, obesity, and/or diabetes may all result in bad circulation. According to a leading varicose veins clinic in London, England, reduced circulation may also be the result of broken down vein walls. When these issues are not corrected in a timely fashion, poor circulation is often the result.
Fortunately for those who live with bad circulation, several shifts can be made to improve the issue. Improving blood flow can be accomplished through one or more of the following remedies, but it is often recommended to seek out professional medical help to determine the underlying cause of reduced blood flow in the body.
Tips for Improving Blood Flow
Increasing circulation through the suggestions below can help drastically reduce the discomfort that comes with poor blood flow. Combining one or more of these activities can result in feeling better overall, as well as decreasing the other symptoms that go hand in hand with underlying health conditions.
1) ELEVATE THE LEGS – Bringing the legs above the level of the heart is a common recommendation to help improve circulation in the body. When the feet and legs are elevated, the blood pooled in the lower half of the body is able to flow back toward the heart, which increases circulation. Throughout the day, set a time to elevate the legs for 15 to 20 minutes, particularly after standing or sitting for extended periods of time.
2) TRY COMPRESSION – Compression stockings are also a typical suggestion for those who suffer from bad circulation or varicose veins. Adding pressure to the lower extremities encourages the blood to flow back toward the heart, as it is intended, without elevation or other movement. Compression stockings come in many different shapes and sizes, so it is essential to speak with a doctor regarding the best fit and type for individual circulation issues.
3) INCREASE WATER INTAKE – For some adults, bad circulation can be the result of dehydration. The blood plasma carried throughout the body contains a high percentage of water, so without enough hydration, blood flow can be impeded. Adding several glasses of water to daily routines can help boost blood flow over time.
4) TAKE A WARM SOAK – Indulging in a warm bath, especially after a long day, can work wonders for circulation. The warm water helps open up the arteries and veins, allowing more blood to flow through. Similarly, drinking warm team has a mirror effect if taking a bath is not an option. These heat-induced suggestions provide a temporary boost to circulation, but the results are relatively fast.
5) GET A MASSAGE – Taking the time to get a professional massage, or doing it on one’s own, can have positive impacts on blood flow. Massaging the legs facilitates circulation in the body in a similar fashion to compression stockings through added pressure. Instead of leaving blood to pool in lower extremities, massage helps encourage the flow of blood back to the heart.
Change Lifestyle Habits
In addition to daily changes such as elevation and compression stockings, working toward better lifestyle habits can be incredibly beneficial for circulation concerns. Quitting smoking (which reduces blood flow by allowing plaque to build up), maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a diet balanced with the right nutrients and vitamins can make a significant difference in blood flow over time.