Each day, your cardiovascular system transports oxygenated blood, nutrients, and carbon dioxide to and from cells throughout your body to keep you healthy. A strong circulatory system is vital to your overall health, yet it’s easy to overlook the warning signs when poor circulation strikes.
At CA Heart and Vein Specialists, cardiovascular physician Majed Chane, MD, is devoted to helping you keep your heart and blood vessels strong and healthy throughout all phases of your life. Recognizing the warning signs of issues with your circulation is a proactive way to stay on top of your cardiovascular health.
Poor circulation doesn't usually occur all at once. Instead, circulation problems tend to develop gradually, which gives you an opportunity to catch issues early and receive treatment, including making lifestyle changes that improve blood flow. Here are six signs of poor circulation to look out for.
Cold hands and feet
If you find that your hands and feet feel cold when they shouldn’t, this could be a sign of poor circulation. You need proper arterial flow to regulate body temperature.
Good blood flow to the tips of your fingers and to your toes is necessary to stay warm. That's why chilly fingers and toes can be a warning sign of poor circulation that you should discuss with your health care provider.
Do you notice the appearance of bulging, twisted, discolored veins in your legs? These varicose veins are a sign that the one-way valves in your legs meant to keep blood flowing in one direction toward the heart aren't working as they should.
When vein valves in your legs weaken, blood can flow backward, pooling in your veins. Over time, the increased pressure can cause vein walls to weaken, resulting in the characteristic bulging varicose veins.
Varicose veins are more than an aesthetic issue. They’re a sign of compromised circulation. That's why treating varicose veins not only improves the appearance of your legs, but also improves vascular health. When bad veins are closed and eliminated, the body reroutes blood to healthy veins.
If you've ever taken off your shoes and socks at the end of a long day and noticed an indentation on your ankle where your sock compressed the skin, you may have poor circulation. Reduced circulation can cause your ankles to swell due to the effect of gravity.
When your veins aren’t working efficiently, waste products can build up, causing muscle cramps. This type of muscle cramping often affects the legs and commonly occurs at night. Tell your health care provider about any muscle cramps you experience.
Tingling and numbness
That pins-and-needles feeling in your toes may be trying to tell you something. Most people have experienced that sensation at some point in their lives, often related to sitting or lying in a way that compresses part of your body, reducing circulation. You might say your arm “fell asleep.”
However, it’s important to pay attention to any pins-and-needles sensation that occurs without explanation, as this may be a sign of poor circulation. Inadequate circulation may cause tingling and numbness in your legs, feet, arms, and hands.
Slow wound healing
If you have a chronic condition that affects your blood vessel health, it’s imperative to discuss it with your health care provider. Conditions such as diabetes can damage blood vessels and lead to poor circulation.
Delayed wound healing is a sign of poor circulation that you should never ignore, and it can have serious health implications if not treated promptly.
You’re on the right track if you’re concerned about your vascular health. It’s wise to seek professional evaluation. To get started, reach out to our Huntington Beach, California, office to schedule a visit with Dr. Chane, or book your request online today.