Bad circulation is a fairly common health issue. Peripheral arterial disease (PAD), one of the main types of poor circulation, affects around 6.5 million people older than 40 in the U.S. Many people overlook it and continue their lives normally. However, leaving it untreated may put you at risk of more severe health concerns like a heart attack or stroke. Here’s how to know if your circulation is not as good as you may think.
What Is Bad Circulation?
The blood carries oxygen from the heart to organs via arteries and vice versa via veins. Poor circulation can stem from narrow arteries (PAD), widened veins, blood clots, diabetes, and other serious concerns.
Swollen Legs Below the Knees
A sign of early venous insufficiency is if your legs below the knees often swell. Take caution if you notice marks on your legs where the socks and shoes are. This issue is common in those with high BMI.
Numbness in the Feet
The tingling “pins and needles” feeling in the legs, which leads to numbing, also indicates poor arterial circulation. Coolness and pale skin on the legs are additional symptoms of this health issue and can worsen when sitting.
Discoloration of the feet is a symptom of a long-term problem with circulation. It’s caused by oxidized iron from the blood getting stuck in the extremity and not returning to the upper body for a long time.
Muscle Pain While Walking
This symptom falls under more severe bad circulation concerns, requiring immediate attention from a specialist. Any pain in the extremities, which you may associate with bad circulation, indicates insufficient blood supply to nourish the muscles.
Circulatory problems in the upper extremities are not as common but can indicate an underlying problem. Cold hands may be due to being exposed to cold but can also indicate atherosclerosis or anemia.
When to Seek Medical Treatment
Each of these symptoms is a common sign of impaired circulation. If you experience any of these indicators for an extended time and notice they cause you trouble, consult a medical professional.