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.
Cyclothymic Disorder: A Mood Disorder
The cyclothymic disorder, also known as cyclothymia, is a mood disorder milder than bipolar I or II. It is characterized by a successive series of hypomania and depressive lows. The highs and lows are mild, with the depressive lows never reaching major depression and the hypomania never culminating in actual mania.
However, since all mental illnesses are on a continuum, cyclothymia may also range from normal mood variations to severe functional impairment because of the disorder. Individuals with cyclothymia are at risk of developing bipolar or other severe mood disorders if they cannot manage the condition properly with the help of a doctor.
The high and low periods are irregular and unpredictable. The low periods may last several days or weeks, but the person may experience normal moods for more than a month between the high and low.
Symptoms of Cyclothymic Disorder
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) categorizes cyclothymia’s symptoms into depressive and manic symptoms.
Depressive related symptoms may include:
- Changes in appetite
- Chronic fatigue or low energy
- Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
- Inattentiveness and forgetfulness
- Insomnia or hypersomnia without fatigue
- Weight changes
- Low libido
- Tearfulness, sadness, or feeling empty
- Loss of interests in things that were once enjoyed
- Poor concentration
- Suicidal thoughts
The manic symptoms of cyclothymia may include:
- Extremely combative
- Extreme optimism
- When talking, they speak fast and excessively
- Having little or no sleep for days (without feeling tired)
- Increased anxiety
- Inflated self-esteem
- Irregular sleep cycle
- Lack of focus
- Racing thoughts
- Poor judgment and risky behavior
- High drive and a strong desire to achieve goals
- Restlessness and hyperactivity
Causes of Cyclothymic Disorder
The underlying causes of the cyclothymic disorder are unknown. However, there is a heredity aspect of it since it may run in families. Cyclothymia may also result from negative neurological changes of the brain caused by:
- Alcohol use disorder
- Alzheimer disease
- Brain aneurysm
- Multiple sclerosis
In the diagnosis of a cyclothymic disorder, your doctor may:
- Perform a physical exam which may include a lab test to find an explanation of your symptoms.
- Undertake a psychological evaluation, which entails talking about your thoughts and how they affect your feelings and behavior. The doctor may engage your family members and close friends to discuss your behavior but only with your express consent. Your doctor may also ask you to fill out a self-assessment questionnaire.
- Your doctor may require that you keep a journal recording your mood and sleep patterns.
According to the DSM-5, you may have cyclothymia if your doctor discovers that you have:
- Periods of elevated mood and depressive episodes lasting two years for adults and one for children and teens.
- You’ve not had a stable mood for periods not exceeding two months.
- Your symptoms significantly affect your social life, work, or school.
- There is no other explanation for your symptoms (such as substance abuse).
- Your symptoms do not meet the criteria for bipolar, depression, or other mental disorders.
Cyclothymic Disorder Treatment Options
People with cyclothymia need full-time medication to manage their condition, primarily because of the risk that the disease may progress into bipolar disorder if not treated. Whereas there is no medication specifically to treat cyclothymia, your doctor may rely on treatments used to treat other conductions such as:
- Anti-anxiety medication
- Antidepressants such as Prozac, Paxil, or Zoloft
- Anti-epileptic medication
- Anti-seizure meds
- Avoid alcohol and substance use or abuse
- Mood stabilizers such as lithium or lamotrigine
- Atypical antipsychotic medication
These medications can help manage the symptoms of the disorder and prevent the hypomanic and depressive cycles.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is another treatment option. Your doctor may recommend CBT combined with medication. It focuses on identifying negative thought patterns that lead to behavioral problems. CBT also imparts mechanisms to cope with stress. CBT is an effective form of psychotherapy that allows the patient to identify, avoid, or cope with triggers.
The other psychotherapeutic option is interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT). IPSRT supports the patient to achieve a daily rhythm of activities such as sleeping, waking up, and mealtimes. A predetermined and consistent routine is one way of guaranteeing a better mood. Your therapies may also recommend physical exercises and diet or connect you to a professional.