When you are told that you are suffering from poor blood circulation, this in almost every case refers to what is known as peripheral circulation, or the reduced flow of blood through the lower extremities, namely the legs and feet. There are many different reasons why this may develop. Most of the time, it is the result of a lifetime of choices, namely a sedentary way of life and prolonged obesity, though it can also be the result of old age. However, most people do not even realize that they are developing them or even know how to recognize the symptoms of poor circulation until it has already begun to advance. The reason for this is that the symptoms of poor circulation develop very gradually, rather than coming on suddenly.
While these problems will grow over time until they affect your entire health, they actually begin very mildly. The first thing you will probably notice is edema, which is the swelling of the lower legs. This will usually be accompanied by discoloration. Even though the cosmetic problems are the first that people usually notice, they fail to realize that there are far worse consequences down the road, some of which can be life-threatening.
Following the initial puffiness and discoloration, there are varicose veins. V aricose veins are raised veins that usually occur on the lower legs, and can be a very unattractive deep purple color. Aside from being ugly, they are a warning sign for other problems, such as deep vein thrombosis or blood clots. After varicose veins, if poor circulation is still left to advance without any sort of treatment, the skin begins to break down and eventually results in ulcers, referring to open wounds that do not heal. These unhealing wounds are almost guaranteed to become infected due to the body’s reduced capacity to heal them. As time goes on, that infection can worsen and spread, and eventually result in the need for the limb to be amputated in order to keep that infection from spreading into the rest of the body.
When you combine poor blood circulation and diabetes, you have accounted for the majority of lower limb amputations that are performed. If you start developing circulation problems, it is important that they be attended to right away. Even though you will probably notice cosmetic concerns before anything else, prompt treatment is necessary if you want to prevent any more serious complications from occurring, up to and including leg amputation. Your health, not to mention your legs, need to be protected. Take care of them, especially when there are so many easy ways to improve leg circulation.