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.
How to Treat a Headache
Headaches are very common, and you’ve likely had them at some point in your life. A headache refers to pain in your head, face, or the upper part of your neck that feels like either a dull ache, sharp pain, continuous pain, or throbbing pain. Some headaches can be severe enough to disrupt your daily activities and interfere with work. Don't worry though, we are here to talk about how to treat a headache. Thankfully, they can be managed through the use of medications and lifestyle adjustments.
Although there are over a hundred types, headaches can be broadly classified into two categories: primary and secondary. Primary headaches are headaches that do not arise as a result of an underlying medical condition. Examples include:
- Tension headaches
- Cluster headaches
- New daily persistent headaches (NDPH)
Secondary headaches, on the other hand, occur as a side effect of an underlying medical issue, including but not limited to:
- High blood pressure
- Trauma to the head
- Tumors involving the head and neck
How Are Headaches Different From Migraines?
Migraines are a type of primary headache which are more intense and accompanied by symptoms. They are usually one-sided, involving the ear or eye on the affected side. Before the onset of the migraine, some symptoms, often referred to as “auras,” may occur. They include:
- Stomach pain
- Seeing flashes or spots
- Altered sensations of smell or touch
- Reduced mental alertness
These auras can occur from ten minutes to two days before the migraine sets in. Although auras are common, not all migraines are accompanied by them. The throbbing one-sided pain in the head that can be severe enough to disturb daily activity characterizes the pain as a migraine.
What Causes Headaches?
Headaches occur in response to your body’s nerves, sending pain input to your brain. These nerves can be triggered by several factors, which then send signals to the pain centers in your brain. Some of these factors include:
- Emotional and physical stress
- Strong scents from perfumes and other chemicals
- Alcohol use
- Alterations in sleeping or eating patterns
- Foods such as chocolate, cheese, and coffee
- Inhalation of smoke
- Bright lights or noise
- Poor head positioning or posture
- Exposure to allergens
Some headaches, especially migraines, have been said to be hereditary. Children of people who have migraines are up to four times more likely to have them than someone without a genetic link.
To treat headaches, you must first determine what your trigger is. The easiest way to know what your trigger could be is by recording when and where you typically get headaches, frequency durations, and any symptoms that present before it. Your doctor may request an MRI or CT scan to rule out tumors or other abnormalities within your brain in the case of a secondary headache.
The treatment of headaches can vary according to the type and trigger. Some may require simple behavior modification, while others may respond to only medication. There are a variety of treatment options available for the treatment of headaches.
Not all headaches require the use of medication. Some can be managed by therapy and lifestyle modification. This is particularly true for headaches which are mild and often caused by stress. Employing stress management techniques, relaxation exercises, and breathing exercises can be of benefit in relieving headaches. Applying hot or cold head compresses, meditating in a serene environment, getting a massage, avoiding noisy environments, and switching off the lights could significantly improve your health.
Several natural remedies can help to treat and decrease headaches. Increasing your daily intake of water, limiting alcohol, and avoiding foods like fish, cheese, and beer, which are high in histamines, are just some of the natural ways to get rid of headaches. Peppermint and lavender essential oils and herbal remedies such as butterbur and feverfew are said to relieve headaches in children and adults.
Sometimes, medications are used to treat headaches. Some of them include triptans, which are typically used to treat migraines and can be taken when you begin to feel an aura. Others are given to treat symptoms linked to the headache, including NSAIDs (e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen), acetaminophen, and antiemetics.
You can get most of these medications without a prescription. However, some of them may require one. These medications are most effective when used in conjunction with other non-medication recommendations.
When to See a Doctor?
In most cases, headaches are not life-threatening, and with knowing how to treat a headache, you can handle it at home. But, should you begin to experience any of the following symptoms, they may be an indication of a more serious underlying condition:
- Slurring of speech
- A sudden, persistent headache
- Eye or ear pain and neck stiffness
- Headache that occurs after trauma to the head