Symptoms of Poor Circulation In this article, we will focus on the symptoms of poor circulation and when you should seek medical help. Signs of Poor Circulation 1. Varicose Veins If the valves in the veins of the legs are damaged, your blood will find it difficult to get back to the heart. This results in engorged veins and will eventually cause varicosities in the legs. Varicose veins are more common to those who regularly stand for long periods. 2. Painful Muscle Cramping The most common symptom of poor circulation is claudication, described as muscle discomfort or painful cramping, particularly in the legs. This is felt when you exercise or walk and usually disappears after resting your legs. The muscles that are most involved are the hips, thighs or calves. Claudication happens if there is a hindrance to the normal blood flow. For example, in atherosclerosis, where there is a buildup of cholesterol plaques in the blood vessels, the muscles cannot get enough blood during physical activity. The cramping pain is the muscle’s way of warning you that it is not getting enough blood during exercise to meet its increased demand. 3. Numbness or Weakness Reduced blood flow to different body parts may cause slow and irreversible damage to the nerves, which may be felt as tingling, numbness or weakness in that area. This is particularly alarming because having numbness on the extremities decreases your skin’s sensitivity to pain. As a result, there may be instances where your skin has already been damaged or wounded, but you cannot feel it. 4. Temperature Differences in the Extremities Poor circulation can lead to fluctuations in your skin’s temperature regulation. For example, reduced blood flow to your hands or feet may make them colder than the other parts of your body. To assess the temperature of your skin, you can use the back of your hands for a more accurate assessment. 5. Wounds That Do Not Heal or Heal Slowly Wounds heal by the different components and cells delivered through the bloodstream to the affected area. When blood flow is compromised, the healing process takes much longer and may even lead to infections. Even the slightest break in the skin may lead to catastrophic changes that could lead to amputation, especially in people with diabetes. 6. Change of Skin Color When there is insufficient blood flow, the skin may appear pale or blue (cyanosis). The change of color in the skin indicates that the oxygen-rich blood is unable to reach those tissues. The commonly affected body parts that may have this symptom are the toes, fingers, palms, soles and lips. [youmaylike] 7. Poor Hair or Nail Growth Hair and nails need the nutrients in your body to keep them healthy. Nutrients are delivered to the hair and nails through the blood. Therefore, any blockage or hindrance of the normal circulation of blood may affect the growth of healthy hair and nails, which can lead to hair loss or poor nail growth. 8. Shiny Skin on Legs Shiny skin on the legs can indicate that the skin stretched due to excess fluids in the legs. Poor circulation can cause blood pooling in the legs, resulting in fluid leakage from the blood vessels to the surrounding tissues. In turn, the skin will stretch, giving it a shiny appearance. 9. Weak Pulses When blood flow is restricted, the usual, brisk pulses on the extremities become weaker. Doctors usually include this in their physical examination to rule out any peripheral arterial disease. 10. Erectile Dysfunction in Men The penis is made up mostly of blood vessels. Penile erection happens because the arteries of the penis are filled up with blood to elongate and stiffen the organ. When there is poor circulation, blood cannot fill up the blood vessels in the penis. Most cases of impotence are a complication primarily of the arterial system. What is Poor Circulation? Poor circulation is not a condition in itself, but having any of its symptoms may indicate more serious conditions, such as: Peripheral artery disease (PAD). Uncontrolled diabetes. Blood clots. Atherosclerosis (buildup of fatty deposits in the vessels). Heart conditions. Having poor circulation may not be apparent initially. Still, whether you experience symptoms or not, it is important to be aware of them early on to help detect the underlying cause. For example, smoking, a sedentary lifestyle and obesity are all factors that increase the likelihood of a person experiencing poor circulation symptoms. In Review The symptoms of poor circulation may vary for each person. In general, conditions that cause poor circulation are easier to treat when your doctor detects it early. If you experience any of these symptoms and suspect that it may be caused by a dysfunction in your normal blood circulation, it is essential that you see your doctor for assessment and treatment right away.
Cold and Flu Remedies to Help Symptoms
Feeling congested when you have a cold or the flu can make you feel miserable. Between the body aches, coughing and sneezing, you might not feel like yourself for a week or so.
When it comes to the common cold and the flu, there is good news and bad news. The bad news is there is no cure. The good news is most people feel better within a week or two. In the meantime, there are several things you can do that may help you feel better.
Consider the following cold and flu remedies to help alleviate your symptoms.
Prescription antiviral medication is available to treat the flu. It is not prescribed for a cold. Common medications include Tamiflu and Relenza. Antiviral medications do not cure the flu, but they may help you get over the flu faster, and symptoms may be milder.
The drugs work by preventing the flu virus from continuing to multiple. Antiviral flu medications must be taken within the first 48 hours of developing flu symptoms to be effective.
Antiviral flu medications can have side effects, such as nausea, vomiting and a headache. Although they may be prescribed to anyone, antiviral drugs might be needed most for people that are at high risk of developing complications, such as the elderly or people with lung disease.
Zinc lozenges may help decrease the duration of a cold. Although research is mixed on their effectiveness, the theory is it might help prevent the rhinovirus from multiplying.
One study published in the journal JRSM involved seven clinical studies with 575 participants. The study indicated that participants who took 75 milligrams of zinc daily decreased the duration of their cold symptoms by 33%.
Zinc is available as a lozenge, syrup or tablet. It can have side effects, such as nausea and stomach pains. As with any supplement, talk with your doctor before taking zinc.
Decongestants help reduce common nasal stuffiness, which is typical with a cold and can also occur with the flu. Some decongestants are combined with other medications, such as a pain reliever or an antihistamine.
Side effects can include increased heart rate, nervousness and problems sleeping. Decongestants are typically not recommended for people who have heart problems, uncontrolled hypertension or are pregnant.
Honey is thought to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties, which might help fight viruses and bacteria. Honey may also be soothing for a sore throat and might help reduce coughing.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a few studies indicate honey was as effective at suppressing a cough as some over-the-counter cough medications. Take a teaspoon of honey or add it to warm tea to soothe coughing or a sore throat.
However, do not give honey to children under the age of one. It’s possible for honey to contain botulism spores. Adults and older kids who ingest botulism spores have a developed immune system that prevents them from getting sick. But an infant’s immune system is not as mature, and they are at a higher risk of contracting botulism after ingesting spores.
Gargling with Salt Water
Gargling with salt water may decrease a sore throat, which is a typical cold and flu symptom. Salt water may reduce inflammation and help loosen mucus from the throat. Plus, there are virtually no side effects of gargling with salt water. So even if it does not provide a lot of relief, it won’t hurt.
To do a salt water gargle, dissolve about a half teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water. Gargle three or four times a day.
Nasal irrigation involves rinsing out the nasal passages to remove mucus. It can help decrease congestion and may make it easier to breathe.
Nasal irrigation is done using a neti pot, bulb syringe or a squeeze bottle. It should only be performed using saline. Over the counter, premixed packets of saline are available at most drug stores. Do not use tap water since it can introduce bacteria into the nasal cavity and lead to a serious infection.
To do nasal irrigation, tilt your head to one side while leaning over a sink. Use the neti pot, bulb syringe or squeeze bottle to pour the saline into the nostril. Let the solution pour out of the other side of the nose. Repeat on the opposite side.
Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can reduce fever, aches and pains that may occur with the flu or a cold. Acetaminophen is considered an analgesic, which is a pain reliever.
Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are available over the counter and also larger dosages by prescription. Both types of medication can have side effects, including nausea, stomach pain and headaches.
Combining some of the remedies above may work best to get the most relief from a cold or the flu. But use caution when taking medications. Even over-the-counter medications may be contraindicated for certain people depending on their medical history.
In most cases, cold or flu symptoms will gradually get better over a week or two. If symptoms persist longer or become severe, it’s best to see a doctor to prevent complications.