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.
Cystic Fibrosis in Adults
One of the most common autosomal recessive diseases is cystic fibrosis (CF). It occurs in 1 in 2,500 to 3,500 newborns. Does this illness sound familiar? If it does not, do not worry. In this article, you will learn about cystic fibrosis in adults, including symptoms and how it affects different organs in the body.
What is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis is an inheritable disease. In order for the disease to manifest, two copies of the abnormal gene must be present. Mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene (a gene that encodes a chloride channel) causes problems in the CFTR protein, which leads to imbalances in the salt and water inside the cell. This imbalance leads to the body producing thick and sticky mucus. Mucus is ideally fluid and runny so that it can act as a lubricant in the body, but for people with CF it tends to clog tubes, putting you at risk of other health concerns.
Cystic fibrosis is also a multi-organ disease, as its effects are seen in different organs, such as the lungs, pancreas and the other gastrointestinal organs, the sinuses and sweat glands.
1. Symptoms in Lungs
Mucus in the lungs normally helps in the lubrication and trapping of foreign substances and microorganisms. The increased viscosity of mucus brought about by cystic fibrosis leads to mucus plugging of the bronchial passages and small airway ducts. This leads to obstructive lung disease and inflammation. It also provides a good habitat for the growth of bacteria, leading to pulmonary infection. Because of its effect on the lungs, people with this condition have significant respiratory problems leading to extreme difficulty in breathing over time.
2. Symptoms in the Gastrointestinal System
Normally, the pancreas secretes enzymes that empty into the small intestine to help with the digestion of food. For patients with cystic fibrosis, this is impaired because the thick mucus secretion blocks and clogs the pancreatic ducts, leading to pancreatic insufficiency. The release of pancreatic enzymes for digestion is compromised too. The impairment due to cystic fibrosis causes greasy stools and difficulty of absorption of nutrients, especially the fat-soluble ones (vitamins A, D, E and K).
Not only that, but because the pancreatic enzymes are not released, it results in inflammation within the pancreas which can lead to destruction of pancreatic tissue and eventually pancreatic failure. Further damage of the pancreas can lead to complications that are similar to type 1 diabetes mellitus.
Duct obstruction also affects the gallbladder and liver, leading to liver cirrhosis and gallbladder disease, with an increased risk of gallstone formation.
3. Symptoms in the Sinuses and Sweat Glands
Obstruction in the sinus passages leads to increased inflammation. Cilia, which are hair-like structures that line the sinus passageways, are impaired. Cilia are part of the respiratory system’s defense and trap potentially-harmful substances, including bacteria that can lead to increased bacterial growth and sinusitis. Dysfunction also occurs in the sweat glands, and it causes the sweat in skin to have a higher salt concentration. In severe cases, this can lead to dehydration.
How is It Treated?
Cystic fibrosis can be diagnosed at birth through newborn screening tests. Because it can be detected early, treatment can also be started early and optimized. Treatment is also multi-factorial and patients are usually managed by a team of specialists.
The main goal in the treatment of cystic fibrosis is to ensure that all the organs affected by the disease are not damaged and function optimally for as long as possible.
Because cystic fibrosis has a significant impact on the lungs, one of the goals of treatment is to maintain lung function and avoid further impairment by controlling infection and inflammation.
Antibiotics are given to control infection and adequate oxygenation is provided by bronchodilators. Anti-inflammatory medications are given to control inflammation. If there are signs of respiratory distress, oxygenation and breathing are supported by using devices such as nasal cannulas or a bilevel positive airway pressure. Nutritional support is also important as malabsorption of important nutrients can lead to poor weight gain and weaker immunity. By addressing all these concerns, treatment is not only multi-factorial, but also holistic.
While many people believe CF is limited to the lungs, this is not true. Cystic fibrosis in adults can occur in other areas of the body, affecting the sinus cavities and digestive tract. If you believe you are at risk, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.