Poor circulation is insufficient circulation of blood to a particular part of the body or in the body as a whole. Poor circulation in hands and feet means there is not enough circulation of blood in the extremities which is required for healthy living of body cells and tissues. This can give rise to symptoms such as tingling numbness, feeling of pins and needles, cold fingers and toes, and cramps in the extremities.
The main function of circulatory system in the body is to transport oxygen and other nutrients to all the cells of the body. It also removes metabolic waste products from the tissues, and circulates hormones and other similar substances from one site to another. There are several causes of poor circulation in hands and feet.
What Causes Poor Circulation In Hands And Feet?
The important reasons for poor circulation in the hands and feet include;
- Peripheral artery disease: blockage of peripheral arteries can give rise to poor circulation. Peripheral arteries are blood vessels situated in the extremities. They get blocked or narrow due to atherosclerosis. Due to this blood is not able to flow at its full capacity.
- Raynaud’s disease: it is defined as episodic constriction of blood vessels as a result of exposure to cold temperature. Due to constriction, the blood flow decreases giving rise to numbness, coldness, in the fingers. They often turn pale or blue.
- Heart problems: coronary artery disease, heart arrhythmia, can cause less supply of blood to the extremities.
- Drinking alcohol during winter months.
- Trauma to upper or lower extremity can give rise to poor circulation to that part.
- Improper kidney and lung function can also give rise to poor circulation in the extremities.
- Person suffering from certain diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, can also suffer from poor blood circulation in hands and feet.
- Blockage of blood vessel due to clot or compression by a growth.
- Excessive smoking.
Symptoms Of Poor Circulation In Hands And Feet
- Tingling and numbness in hands and legs.
- Pain and cramps in hands and legs.
- Edema in lower leg.
- Cold and clammy hands and feet. Finger and toes are cold when touched.
- Non healing ulcers in the legs due to poor circulation.
- Finger nails and toe nails become brittle.
- Sensory loss in the extremities.
- Finger and nails turn blue or pale.
- Varicose veins.
- Itching in hands and legs.
- Cramps in gluteus and legs.
- Irregular heartbeats.
- No strength in hands and legs.
- Claudication in legs. Person finds difficulty in walking as a result of poor supply of blood in legs.
Home Remedies To Increase Blood Circulation
Poor circulation in hands and feet needs a combined treatment protocol. Conventional medicine to treat the underlying condition, followed by lifestyle changes and use of certain home remedies can prove effective.
Conventional medications such as blood thinners are prescribed by physicians. Revascularization of blocked vessel surgically or angioplasty may be useful procedure, but they are invasive as well as expensive. Use of circulation socks is also effective in the treatment of poor circulation.
Some of the home remedies also work well.
- Massage with essential oil. Dilute lavender essential oil in base oil such as coconut oil. Massage it gently on the legs and hands.
- Herbal tea made up of ginger and yarrow root is known to improve circulation in the extremities.
- Quit alcohol, and cigarette. They both are known to cause constriction of blood vessels.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise is known to improve blood circulation. A brisk walk for 40 minutes regularly is the best exercise. Other exercises such as aerobics and cardio, also improves the circulation.
- Garlic is useful in keeping your blood thin. It prevents plaque formation and to some extent delays atherosclerosis process to take place. Thus a useful solution for poor circulation. However, you have to eat 1 or 2 cloves of garlic regularly. You can also include it in your food preparations.
- Eat foods that contain vitamin E and C. Both the vitamins maintain good elasticity of the blood vessels.
- Eat foods that contain pigment called lycopene. Tomatoes, strawberry watermelon are rich source of this pigment. Lycopene scavenges free radicals that are responsible for poor circulation of blood in limbs.
- Avoid cold temperature and cold climate.
- Avoid fatty and fried foods.
- Eat flax seeds which contain omega 3 fatty acid.