Poor Circulation in Feet – Signs & Treatment

February 25, 2020
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Do your feet and legs often feel cold? It is the sign of poor circulation in feet.

For proper functioning of the body parts such as feet and legs, it must adequately receive nutrition and oxygen. The circulation system of the body handles this responsibility very efficiently till the time it is obstructed or crippled in some way.

You can prominently see the effect of poor blood circulation in the body parts, like hands and legs, which are farther away from the heart. The underlying cause for such poor performance of the circulatory systems needs to be analyzed and rectified.

The most common manifestation of poor circulatory function is on the legs, which results in swollen or cold feet. And the most common causes are obesity, arterial blockages, and bad postures.

What are the signs of poor circulation in the feet?

There are specific apparent symptoms which point to circulatory disorder in the feet like:

Swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet

This condition is known as edema of legs. The swollen part, when pressed by a finger, leaves indents. This can be because of fluid accumulation in the legs. The stagnant blood collected in these areas forces fluid from the tissues to accumulate. The skin around the swelling feels taut and warm and could also be painful sometimes.

A perceptible feeling of numbness and tingling

Poor circulation in feet may make the leg go numb accompanied by tingling sensations.

Cold feet

The feet and legs can feel colder than other body parts. This is because the heat management of the circulatory system is out of gear.

Cramps

The joints and muscle cramp may set in. Lack of nutrients is the reason for this.

Varicose veins

The veins, blue-green in color, stands out very prominently.

What are the causes of poor circulation in the feet?

The underlying cause for poor circulation in feet could be

Atherosclerosis

Plaque gets deposited on the inner walls of the artery. As a result, the internal passage of the artery gets constricted, and the supply of blood is restricted. It is also termed as peripheral artery disease (PAD) and is a prevalent cause.

Diabetes Mellitus

In this disorder, too, the inner walls of the blood vessels get thickened.

Overweight

Excessive body weight also stresses the circulatory system, and the blood supply may not be adequate, resulting in swollen feet.

Raynaud’s Phenomenon:

The blood vessel itself starts narrowing down, resulting in constricted blood supply.

Smoking

It is also a reason for poor blood flow through the body.

Standing a long time

Standing continuously for a long time or sitting in the same position for a long period of time are also the causes of poor blood circulation.

How can I improve my foot circulation?

To permanently solve the problem of poor circulation in feet, it is imperative to find out the exact underlying cause.  

If it is some lifestyle cause, like smoking or wrong posture or standing/sitting for a long time, remedial action has to be taken by you.

Quit smoking immediately.  Seek medical help and counseling to ditch this habit forever.

If your work involves continuously sitting in one place, do get up every half an hour and move around a bit.

For other reasons, undergo diagnostic tests to determine the exact cause and get treated for it.

Diagnosis of poor feet circulation

Generally, the following diagnostic test will be able to determine the root cause.

  1. Get the Blood sugar test done if diabetes is suspected. With a doctor’s help, control diabetes through medication and diet.
  2. To rule out inflammatory conditions, you will have to undergo a blood test.
  3. To check for blocked blood vessels and constrictions, undergo CT imaging.
  4. Get ankle Brachial index performed to check for PAD

What are the treatments for poor circulation in feet circulation?

Once the above test determines the underlying cause, you should avail of proper medical treatment. It will help eradicate the cause and eliminate the symptom of the swollen leg.

Try to lose weight. Apart from the swollen leg, a fit body will prevent the onset of other maladies too.

Compression stockings are elastic and hold on to your leg tightly. They are knitted of nylon, spandex, cotton, or blend of fibers. You can select the material that suits your skin. Wear these in the morning, and you have to keep them on till bedtime. Remove the stockings before going to sleep.

Compression stocking eases out the swelling, and it relieves pain too. It is suitable for your feet and ankle also.

Foods that help poor circulation in legs and feet

Particular foods are known to aid blood circulation. Include them in your diet. It is a natural remedy to improve blood circulation, with no harmful side effects.

Green Tea

Made out of Camellia sinensis leaves and buds; it acts as an antioxidant. You can have 3 -4 cups of green tea without sugar and milk, and this will gradually remove the plaque from the blood vessels and improves the blood flow

Ginkgo Biloba

Also known as maidenhair and is found in China. It improves blood circulation, and because of this, the brain receives more blood. Hence it is also used as a brain tonic.

Orange

They thin out the blood. Thinner blood flows smoothly through the blood vessels.

Watermelon

Have lots of watermelons. It contains lycopene, which improves blood circulation

Nuts

Consume a handful of nuts every day. They contain vitamins A, B, C and E, magnesium, and iron. They improve the quality and circulation of blood.

Dark Chocolate

These have high concentrations of cocoa. The flavanols in the dark chocolate release nitric oxide, which relaxes the artery, and subsequently, the blood circulation improves.

Cayenne Pepper

It has a sharp taste, but it lowers the high blood pressure, and the nitric oxide released by it relaxes the nerves.

Pomegranate

The juice of this fruit improves blood circulation in the legs.

Additionally, cinnamon, garlic, and onion are also known to help the blood movement in the body.

Conclusion

Poor blood circulation in the legs and feet is a relatively common disorder these days. But understanding the reasons behind it and taking necessary precautionary and therapeutic measures you can relieve yourself from this and lead a normal and healthy life.

Never ignore poor blood circulation. It may aggravate and lead to severe consequences if not attended to in good time.

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