Complications of Poor Circulation

Blood circulates oxygen and nutrients to every part of your body so your organs and systems can function properly. It also carries important hormones and antibodies to fight infection. Poor circulation prevents enough blood from reaching your tissues, which can cause complications.

Board-certified cardiovascular physician Majed Chane, MD, and the team at CA Heart and Vein Specialists provide top-quality care to help you keep your heart as healthy as possible. Poor circulation can cause serious complications and should never be overlooked. With the right care, you can reduce the risk of complications and improve your circulatory health.

Symptoms of poor circulation

Some people who have poor circulation are unaware of it, making it important to know the signs and symptoms that point to problems with circulation. Some of the most common issues to look out for:

Patients who visit CA Heart and Vein Specialists with symptoms of poor circulation receive a comprehensive evaluation. Dr. Chane may perform a physical exam to check for swelling and pain and order blood and image testing as needed. 

Causes of poor circulation 

Poor circulation has various causes. Due to the effects of gravity, poor circulation often affects the legs and feet. Age-related changes make it make older adults more likely to experience poor circulation. Obesity, venous insufficiency, smoking, and leading an inactive lifestyle are other factors that contribute to the development of circulation problems.

Narrowing of the arteries due to a buildup of fatty substances that harden, creating a plaque is one of the most common causes of poor circulation. The symptoms you may experience vary based on which arteries are affected.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD), for example, occurs in the arteries that carry blood to your legs and arms. Plaque buildup causes arteries to harden and narrow, reducing blood flow to your extremities. Coronary artery disease (CAD) affects the arteries that carry blood to the heart muscle.

The narrowing of any of your arteries means certain parts of your body lack adequate blood flow. 

Complications of poor blood flow

Not only can poor circulation cause leg pain and cramping, if left unchecked, it can also lead to complications, some of which are life-threatening.


Slow-healing wounds (ischemic ulcers) are the most common complication of poor blood flow to the legs. These wounds can result from a minor bump or bruise that develops into an open wound. Without adequate blood flow, the wound can grow and quickly become a large open sore that takes a long time to heal. 

Serious infections

A lack of blood flow puts you at risk for serious infections. Any slow-healing open sore is at high risk of infection. It’s crucial to act quickly at the first sign of an ulcer.

Dr. Chane has extensive experience helping patients with poor circulation manage leg ulcers to prevent complications such as infection. Without prompt treatment, any infection can progress, and tissue death can occur. 

Impaired mobility 

Poor circulation can significantly impact your mobility. Lack of blood flow reduces your endurance and can cause you to feel tired after walking only a short distance. Without prompt and adequate treatment, poor circulation can reduce your ability to carry out your regular daily tasks and have a major impact on your quality of life.

Acute limb ischemia

Acute limb ischemia (ALI) is a rapid drop in blood flow to the lower limbs. Sudden leg pain, numbness, and coldness are warning signs. ALI is not only a vascular emergency, it’s life-threatening. Prompt treatment is necessary to prevent the need for amputation. A blood clot in an artery supplying blood to the lower limbs is the most common cause of ALI.

Treating circulatory issues

Managing poor circulation requires the skill and knowledge of a vascular health professional. If you have poor blood flow, an effective treatment plan is key to reducing complications. The team at CA Heart and Vein Specialists offers a no-drugs approach to treating circulatory problems.

To discuss your vascular health and all of your cardiovascular needs, call 657-206-8491 to schedule an appointment, with Dr. Chane, or request a booking online.

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