10 Surprising Signs of Poor Blood Circulation

blood circulation signsHealthy blood circulation is necessary for the body to function correctly. This is because our blood carries oxygen and other essential nutrients that fuel all our organs and cells. Without proper blood circulation, we can start to experience declining health.

One of the first signs we think of to spot poor blood circulation is cold feet and hands, but because our circulatory system travels throughout our entire body, symptoms can occur in all areas.


Here are ten symptoms that reveal poor blood circulation that you may not have known of.

10 Signs of Poor Blood Circulation

Chest pain: If the heart isn’t getting enough blood, we can experience chest pains as a result – this is why chest pain is one of the most common symptoms of a heart attack as well. Chest pain due to poor circulation is known as angina and is often a symptom of another disease such as coronary heart disease (CHD). If you feel a squeezing pressure on the chest, see your doctor right away.

Dry skin: Poor blood flow can cause the skin to appear decolorized due to lack of oxygen. If you use moisturizer and drink enough water but are still finding your skin to be dry, it could signal poor circulation.

Leg cramps: In some cases, leg cramps could be a sign of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), which occurs when a blood vessel is blocked. This results in pain when you exert yourself. PAD can contribute to heart disease and stroke as it can block blood flow to the heart and brain. Risk factors for PAD include smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

Also read: Leg cramps, calf muscle pain causes, prevention, and home remedies

Poor memory: Poor blood flow to the brain means the brain can’t get enough oxygen, which can impede on memory, balance, and speech. Furthermore, oxygenated blood helps to remove waste and toxins from the brain. Without this maintenance, we can experience brain and memory issues.

Shortness of breath: Sudden shortness of breath could be a sign of a pulmonary embolism (PE), which is a blood clot in the lung. A blood clot in the lung prevents proper blood flow, which stops the lungs from functioning properly. Other symptoms related to PE include a cough and fatigue. If you notice you become fatigued quicker when performing simple tasks, keep an eye out for pulmonary embolism.

Swelling of the legs: If the heart is unable to pump adequate blood throughout the body, it can cause fluid to accumulate in the legs and trigger swelling. This is a sign of heart failure and should not be ignored.

Cold hands and feet: Cold hands and feet typically mean that blood is unable to reach these far extremities.

Slow healing of wounds: If you find a papercut, scratch, or another injury is taking far longer to heal, it could be a sign of poor circulation. Red blood cells are necessary for wounds to heal, but lack of circulation means fewer blood cells are available for repair and healing.


Loss of appetite: Eating less because you don’t feel as hungry as you usually do could be because your stomach isn’t giving your brain signals of hunger. These signals may become weaker due to lack of poor circulation.

Bluish nails: Lack of oxygen in the blood causes bloody fingernails and typically occurs when your hand or foot is exposed to very cold temperatures, causing blood vessels to constrict. Color should return once you are warm, but if not, see your doctor as you could have a blood vessel problem.

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Author Bio

Mohan Garikiparithi got his degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade before he shifted his focus to the field of health communications. During his active practice he served as the head of the Dept. of Microbiology in a diagnostic centre in India. On a three-year communications program in Germany, Mohan developed a keen interest in German Medicine (Homoeopathy), and other alternative systems of medicine. He now advocates treating different medical conditions without the use of traditional drugs. An ardent squash player, Mohan believes in the importance of fitness and wellness.



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