Do you suffer from poor blood circulation? Do you experience symptoms like low energy and tingling, numbness and pain in your limbs? If you have poor circulatory function, it is important to learn how to improve circulation for the state of your overall health and well-being.
There are a number of potential causes for poor blood circulation and considerable benefits to achieving good blood circulation.
We have curated a special guide for you with all of this information and more, including 10 home remedies for how to improve circulation you can start today.
Causes of Poor Blood Circulation
Why It Matters
One cause for poor blood circulation is peripheral artery disease. This disease causes bad circulation in the legs and other extremities as it it makes your arteries and blood vessels thin and tighten. Atherosclerosis is a related condition where plaque in the blood vessels and arteries causes stiff arteries. If you continue to have poor blood circulation to your arms, legs and feet, you can experience everything from numbness and tingling to tissue and nerve damage. If allowed to go unattended, insufficient blood circulation and plaque buildup in the carotid arteries could lead to a stroke.
Peripheral artery disease is usually seen in individuals over 50, but it can be present at a younger age. Smoking is a habit that increases your risk of having peripheral artery disease at a young age.
Varicose veins are engorged veins resulting from valve failure. When they become varicose, the veins look twisted and can be seen particularly on the back of the legs. Because of the impairment of these veins, poor circulation can occur. Varicose veins are genetic; so if a member of your family has them, this increases your risk for developing them down the line. Women are more prone to varicose veins than men as are overweight or obese individuals.
If you have blood clots, these can cut off proper blood circulation partly or completely. Blood clots can pop up almost anywhere, but the ones that appear in your legs or arms are the ones that could cause circulation issues. Blood clots have a variety of contributing factors, but they can pose a real threat to your body if left unattended. For instance, if a blood clot in your leg separates, it can travel throughout your body to areas, like your lungs or heart. This increases risk of stroke. If dealt with early through methods like how to improve circulation, you can dissolve blood clots effectively.
Individuals who are overweight or obese may be prone to poor blood circulation. Unhealthy, extra weight taxes the body and may also lead to other associated conditions, like blood vessel issues and varicose veins.
If you have diabetes, this could cause poor blood circulation. Diabetes can lead to pain and aches in the thighs, legs and buttocks region. You might notice the discomfort increasing if you engage in physical activity. Individuals in advanced stages of diabetes might have trouble recognizing poor circulation when it is present because diabetic neuropathy can cause numbing in your arms, legs and hands.
If you continuously experience cold hands and feet---a sign of poor blood circulation, you might be dealing with Raynaud's disease. This condition makes the tiny arteries in your hands and toes tighten. This narrowing makes it problematic for the arteries to stimulate blood flow, causing poor circulation. You will usually notice signs of Raynaud's disease if you are in a cold area or feeling stressed and anxious. It could also affect areas of the body, like your nose, ears and lips. Women are more prone to have Raynaud's disease than men as are individuals who live in chillier climates.
Reaching a Diagnosis
If you think you have poor blood circulation and want to know how to improve circulation, there are several ways to reach a diagnosis. As poor circulation indicates various health issues, getting diagnosed is the best way to ensure you are treating any conditions that could be present before they get out of hand. When meeting with your doctor, let him or her know if your family has a history of bad circulation and associated conditions. This will enable your doctor to identify your risk factors and pinpoint the best diagnostic tools to use.
Besides a routine physical to check for swelling and pain, your doctor could order an ultrasound or CT scan, a blood sugar test for diabetes and an antibodies blood test to check for inflammatory diseases.
Benefits of Good Blood Circulation
For Your Overall Health
By learning how to improve blood circulation, you can heighten the blood flow throughout your blood, strengthening your arteries, muscles and heart. When you have proper blood flow, your extremities will also receive the oxygenic nutrients they require.
Cell Development and Organ Performance
Another key benefit of knowing how to improve circulation is enhancing cell development and organ performance throughout your body.
Your cells and organs need sufficient blood flow to grow and flourish. You will also experience improved lower blood pressure when increasing circulation because your heart will pump regularly,
causing your pulse to lower and erasing tension in your heart muscles.
Your outward appearance will also benefit from learning how to improve circulation.
When your skin is healthier because of enhanced blood flow, it can better ward off bacteria and other environmental threats.
Your skin will have a healthy glow to it and could even feel warm when you touch it.
How to Improve Circulation: 10 Home Remedies You Need to Try
Try Drinking Tea
The first home remedy to try is to drink tea. White, green and black teas are all good options, packed with antioxidants such as catechins, polyphenols and flavonoids. Tea works wonders to open your arteries to enhance blood flow.
Consume Iron-Filled Foods
Consume more iron-filled foods. Iron is a key element in your blood that stimulates the flow of oxygen throughout your body. If you are iron deficient, it is important to get your levels back to normal immediately. If you have low iron, besides an iron supplement, eat iron-containing foods like red meat, leafy greens, whole grains and lentils.
Start Eating Super Fruits
Super fruits are an easy and tasty home remedy. Citrus fruits especially are great for conditions like blood clots because they help thin your blood. Consuming fruits with significant amounts of fiber can fortify your capillaries and improve circulation.
Another great remedy is to exercise often. Running, walking or any other form of exercise increases your heart rate and enhances blood flow. Even 20 minutes a day is a good place to begin if you do not have a regular exercise regimen.
Wear Proper Clothing
If you have poor circulation, you might cut off blood flow with the wrong clothing. If you are familiar with compression clothes, you know they reduce circulation for long periods. Well, tight clothes like skin-tight shirts and jeans can serve as unwitting compression aids, which is bad news if you have circulation problems. Pay attention to the clothes you wear, and try to wear looser clothing that will not cut off proper blood flow.
Try a Rosemary Oil Massage
Doing a self massage with an essential oil like rosemary is a valuable method. You can do a massage a few times throughout the week as you desire on the affected area. Increase the benefits of your massage by combining carrier oils, like almond oil or coconut oil, with the essential oil.
Try Ginkgo Biloba
While you may never have heard of this herb before, it is effective in fighting conditions, like Raynaud's disease, that cause poor blood circulation. If you want to know how to improve circulation, you can try taking ginkgo biloba to open your blood vessels and enhance blood flow.
Remember Your Spices
Using strong spices, like cayenne, is another approach as they open your pathways for better blood flow. Not only that, cayenne increases your metabolism, decongests your sinuses and tastes great.
If you work behind a desk all week long, the restricted movement can cut off proper blood flow to your legs. Try to stand up at least once every hour when at work, move around and stretch.
Our final home remedy for how to improve circulation is body brushing. It may surprise you that using a loofah brush before you shower helps increase blood flow and the overall health of your lymphatic system. Brush with long, forceful strokes from the heart outwards.
Learning how to improve circulation is imperative, not only for the sake of your heart and arteries but for the function of cells, organs and healthy skin.
You can use any of these 10 home remedies today to achieve better blood flow.
If you are concerned that a more serious medical condition is causing your poor circulation, speak with your physician at once so you can pinpoint the best course of action.
Alice grew up in Los Angeles and currently lives in California, though she likes to visit home frequently. She graduated from a marketing specialist degree and worked at the core of outreach teams for more than 5 years.