What You Should Know About Blood Circulation Problems
Blood circulation problems can arise when the blood vessels, responsible or carrying the blood supply to all the parts of our body, are damaged or become diseased. Since any body organ can be affected due to a reduced blood supply, the symptoms of circulation problems can be many and varied.
Blood circulation problems rarely if ever happen overnight, but most generally happen over a period of years, sometimes over a lifetime. Except when caused by disease, younger people seldom encounter circulation problems, such problems becoming more common the older we get.
The Extremities - One area where poor blood circulation often manifests itself is in the peripheral parts or extremities of our body. Lack of blood can cause numbness or tingling in the fingers, or in the toes and feet. In fact, the more common symptoms of a circulatory problem are usually first felt in the legs and feet. This particular situation is called peripheral vascular disease (PVD) and is usually a result of hardening of the arteries. Problems in the legs and feet are far more common than similar problems in the arms or hands. Numbness may be experienced in the feet or toes, the feet may often not only feel cold but actually be cooler to the touch, the skin may become paler, and almost bluish, and pain or cramping in the calf muscle may become a chronic condition, as may pain in the legs in general. In addition, as blood circulation is important in the healing process, circulation problems in the legs and feet may result in slower healing of wounds and infections.
The Brain And Heart - Somewhat less common than experiencing poor blood supply to the lower extremities would be circulation problems affecting the brain. Where numbness might be felt in the legs or feet, the mental equivalent of that numbness would be experienced in the brain. The brain will function in a sub-optimal fashion, with memory and mental clarity affected, often accompanied by a general feeling of lethargy. A severe disruption of the blood supply to the brain often results in a potentially fatal stroke.
We probably worry most about circulation problems in terms of how they may affect the heart, and for good reason. Deprived of an adequate blood supply, and correspondingly deprived of sufficient oxygen, heart disease can develop, and in extreme cases portions of the heart muscle may die, which we will experience as a heart attack.
Diet And Exercise - Circulation problems are preventable, and the best way to go about prevention is to lead a healthy lifestyle which includes a healthy and balanced diet. Since unhealthy practices are a major cause of blood circulation problems, it only makes sense that by eliminating such practices, the problems can be avoided. Exercise helps as well, and the combination of a proper diet and keeping fit should keep circulatory disorders away. Disease can of course bring on circulatory problems, but a healthy lifestyle will help prevent diseases as well.
Food types that are very helpful in preventing circulatory issues from developing include those rich in vitamins, flavonoids, and lycopene. Nuts and seeds, especially pumpkin seeds, are rich in vitamins E and B3 (niacin). Citrus fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent cardiovascular disease and the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels. Lycopene also is effective in preventing plaque buildup and is found in melons.
There are numerous medications and supplements that can help prevent or help to manage circulation problems, but prevention should first and foremost be based upon healthy living rather than upon medications or supplements.