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.
What is Crohn's Disease?
Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) characterized by mild or chronic inflammation of parts of the digestive tract. It is estimated that 780,000 U.S. citizens have Crohn’s disease. These statistics cause concern because researchers have yet to identify the causes of the disease, or a cure.
Although Crohn's disease is not life-threatening, it can cause fatal complications.
Causes and Symptoms of Crohn's Disease
There are common ecological, heredity, and immune system factors found amid patients with IBD.
People living in developed nations, urban, and northern climates are more likely to have IBD compared with the people in underdeveloped, rural, and Southern climates.
Research shows that Crohn's disease is common in families with a history of IBD. Up to 20% of patients with IBD have a parent, child, or sibling with Crohn's or an IBD type of disease.
A healthy person's immune system pushes white blood into the gastrointestinal tract to launch an attack on bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. During the attack, the immune system spares the beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. Inflammation occur in periods when the immune system is on the defense.
However, with IBD patients, the immune system does not differentiate between harmful and beneficial bacteria. Further, the inflammation that occurs during the immune response does not subside. It becomes chronic and causes ulcers and the intestinal walls thicken.
The most common symptoms of Crohn's disease include:
- Blood in the stool
- Unexplained weight loss
- Abdominal cramps
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Frequent diarrhea
Smoking, poor nutrition, and stress increase the severity of Crohn’s symptoms.
Because of frequent inflammation, scar tissues that form in the intestinal wall cause the intestines to become narrow and consequently form strictures. Repeated inflammation and scarring of the small intestines may cause the scars to rupture.
The main characteristic of Crohn's disease is an inflamed intestinal lining. The inflammation causes changes to the intestinal lining, the mucosa, and the thickness of the intestinal walls, which leads to ulcers. Inflamed stomach, mouth or intestinal walls make eating and feeding very hard for the patient.
Fistulas and Anal Fissures
Fistulas and fissures are among the severe symptoms of Crohn's disease. Fistulas are connections or holes between an organ and the intestines. At the same time, fissures are painful tears in the anal tissues, which can expose the patient to other infections or lead to fistulas.
How is Crohn's Disease Diagnosed?
Doctors diagnose Crohn's through a process of elimination. A doctor will use several tests to diagnose and rule out likely causes of your symptoms. These tests range from stool tests to look for blood in your gut, colonoscopy, imaging tests like MRIs and CT scans, biopsy, or endoscopy.
By looking at the gut inside out, the doctor can then rule out other causes of symptoms and confirm Crohn's disease.
How is Crohn's Disease Treated?
There is no cure for Crohn's disease, but doctors can manage the disease through various ways such as administering antibiotics, steroids, immunosuppressant drugs, and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Doctors may also take other surgical measures depending on the severity symptoms, the extent of flare-ups, and the damage left in the intestines.
These measures include:
- Abscess drainage
- Colostomy or ileostomy
- Bowel resection (removal of some bowel sections with fistulas)
- Reconstructive surgery
To reduce flares and mitigate the severity of Crohn's doctors advise a change in diet. It's essential that you make an appointment with a registered dietitian capable of advising on the best foods to eat and foods to avoid.
It is also vital to keep a food diary and take note of your trigger foods or any information likely to be useful during follow up doctor appointments.
You should also be sure to take note of any prescription or over the counter medications you ingest. A diary helps the doctor trace the cause of a flare. For instance, aspirin in medications causes fire in the gut for people with gastro-intestinal issues.
As a start, increase your water intake and limit excessive fats and dairy in your diet. Look at the spices you use to cook. Chances are if your intestines are inflamed, some spices will make the pain more intense.
Talk to your doctor or dietitian regarding which supplements are best for you. Having an inflamed gut means absorbing fewer nutrients, hence the weight loss. It's essential to have alternative sources of nutrients to ensure to keep up with the body's needs.