1. Numbness in the extremities
If you are experiencing a tingling sensation in your hands and feet or the lower legs and forearms, it is a sign that you are not receiving adequate blood flow in these areas. If you suddenly feel this sensation in your left arm, this is a sign of a possible heart attack. Get medical help as soon as possible.
2. Cold hands and feet
Proper blood circulation maintains normal body temperature. However, when there is poor blood flow, the body cannot maintain its temperature, leading to cold hands and feet. This is caused by the inability of blood to reach the distal parts of the body well, such as toes and fingers. In this state, we can say the body has entered a “conservation mode,” which causes it to concentrate heat in its core to keep it alive.
The opposite can also happen, feeling excessive heat in your feet. This is because the blood does not return correctly and stays in these areas, which causes an increase in temperature. This symptom has a worrisome degree of severity.
3. Varicose veins
The appearance of varicose veins can also signify poor blood flow. They are enlarged veins that appear on the back of the leg. This condition occurs due to weak venous valves, which obstruct the flow of blood, burdening the veins. Therefore, pressure builds, which leads to the swelling of the veins. In addition, it will cause pain and discomfort around the affected area.
4. Swelling in the lower extremities
In most cases, swelling of the feet and ankles is harmless to health and resolves on its own within 24 hours. However, prolonged or recurrent swelling in the legs can be a sign of a poor circulatory system. This is because, since the legs are not receiving enough blood, they try to find balance with extra fluid. The swelling can be so intense that you experience symptoms such as pain, numbness, and even the legs turning black or blue. See your doctor if you have this complication.
5. Frequent and excessive fatigue
Physical exertion is a common cause of fatigue. However, frequent and excessive fatigue may also be a sign of poor blood flow to parts of the body. This is because a poor circulatory system does not provide the muscles with the oxygen and nutrients needed to maintain adequate energy levels. Therefore, as the metabolism slows down, you feel lethargic and slow.
Here, the body tries to adjust to a lower level of nutrition by entering a conservation mode. This is a mechanism designed to save energy during periods of scarcity. So when that happens, there is not enough energy to perform daily activities.
6. Weak immune system
The circulatory system and the immune system work together to fight diseases in the body. Therefore, with poor circulation, the body’s ability to fight diseases will also become weak due to a decreased supply of clean oxygen, adequate nutrition, and various other things carried by the blood.
In addition, white blood cells depend on the smooth running of the blood circulation system to detect and fight pathogens. That’s why when the circulatory system is in a bad state, the immune system will decline. As a result, you will be susceptible to disease, and the wound healing process will take longer.
7. Digestive System Disorders
Just like other organs of the body, the digestive or gastrointestinal system also requires a blood supply that is rich in oxygen to carry out various functions such as digesting food. When blood circulation is poor, the digestive system will experience a decline in function. As a result, various digestive problems will arise. Starting from stomach pain, diarrhea, colitis, and various other problems.
8. Skin discoloration or cyanosis
If the skin around your eyes, gums, and lips appear blue, it’s an indication of a poor circulatory system. The change in color is caused by the low level of oxygen supplied with the blood, which changes the color from bright red to dark.
9. Hair loss
Hair loss isn’t just a problem that affects men. It can happen to anyone who has poor blood flow. Strong hair needs nutrients. That is why when the circulation is not good, the hair will start to fall out on the head and other areas of the skin where it grows. Moreover, your hair does not just fall out, it also becomes very dry, and you suffer from split ends.
In addition, this condition will also affect your nail health by causing discoloration, slow growth, and thickening.
10. Impaired Cognitive Function
Improper blood flow can also affect your brain’s function. This is because the brain requires oxygen and nutrients to function properly. And to reach the brain, oxygen intake, as well as nutrients depends on the smooth running of the circulatory system. So, when there is poor blood circulation, various cognitive impairments will occur. Among them, difficulty in concentrating, memory loss, etc.
According to the Journal of Geriatric Cardiology, reduced cerebral blood flow, a drop in the amount of blood being pumped around the body, and changes in blood pressure are the main factors in cognitive deficit.
Although poor circulation can cause various signs and symptoms, many people remain largely asymptomatic until they reach an advanced stage. In addition, signs and symptoms can be easily ignored or attributed to another cause, since they develop gradually. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to your body and consult the doctor regularly for an accurate diagnosis.