Cold All the Time? Blame Blood Circulation Problems

When the temperature drops, it’s normal to have cold hands and feet. However, if you’re constantly cold, this could point to a more serious blood circulation problem.

It’s not at all unusual to have several people within assisted living communities with circulation problems.

It’s important to remember that poor circulation is not a diagnosis—instead, it’s an indication of another health issue. Relieving the symptoms will not fix the underlying problem. That’s why your doctor is your best source of information on what might be at the heart of the matter.

We’ll take a look at what causes circulation problems, what you can do about it and why you should talk to your doctor.

Blood Circulation Problems: What Are the Symptoms?

In general, you’ll want to be on the lookout for symptoms such as:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Pain in your limbs
  • Cramped muscles

However, it’s important to remember that poor circulation is often an indicator of another health problem.

What Causes Poor Circulation in my Legs and Feet?

There are several different causes of circulation problems. These include:

  • Diabetes

Circulation problems are a common problem among diabetics. This disease narrows and hardens the blood vessels in the foot and leg. This makes foot problems much harder to heal and places diabetics at greater risk of non-healing wounds, according to information from the American Diabetes Association.

  • Obesity

Obesity and the complications that surround it can lead to problems within the circulatory system. Being overweight can lead to chronic inflammation, which can affect your circulation, according to information from the U.S. Library of Medicine.

If you’re overweight or obese, speak to your doctor about developing a diet and exercise plan to help you.

  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD)

PAD can also have a dramatic impact. PAD occurs when a blockage in the leg arteries affects circulation. Roughly 8 to 12 million Americans have PAD.

If you smoke, you are at a particularly higher risk for developing PAD.

PAD also causes:

  • Pain
  • Cramps
  • Ulcers
  • Sores
  • Leg fatigue
  • Skin color changes

According to the Cleveland Clinic, PAD can be dangerous. If not treated, it can result in:

  • Strokes
  • Narrowing of the artery providing blood to the kidneys
  • Mini-strokes (TIA)
  • Amputation (especially in those with diabetes)

Symptoms of PAD can include cold, tingling and numbness in the legs or feet.

  • Blood clots

Blood clots can limit circulation to various parts of your body. They are dangerous because if part of it breaks away, it can cause a stroke. Therefore, it’s vital to get treatment for this as soon as possible.

  • Varicose veins

When the walls of blood vessels weaken, they can cause swollen blue or purple veins. These are varicose veins. Because the blood vessels cannot operate properly, poor circulation results.

  • Raynaud’s Disease

This disorder occurs when certain parts of your body become numb and cold. This is not only in response to cold temperatures, but it can also be due to stress. It’s due to the narrowing of smaller arteries that deliver blood to your skin.

It’s more common in women and in those who live in colder parts of the country. While it can have an impact on your quality of life, in many cases, it’s not a disabling condition, according to information from the Mayo Clinic.

How Can You Fix Poor Circulation?

The best way to fix poor circulation is to follow your doctor’s instructions for treating the underlying cause. The following tips are also useful:

  • Exercise or walk regularly to improve blood circulation in your legs.
  • Get chronic health conditions—such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure– under control. This may mean diet and exercise with a combination of medication.
  • Maintain a healthy diet.
  • If you have diabetes, make sure it’s well-controlled.
  • If you’re overweight or obese, make an effort to lose weight.
  • Stop smoking, which can narrow blood vessels. 

Assisted Living at Cedar Cove

At Cedar Cove, we provide the best in assisted living communities by providing a relaxing atmosphere that features compassionate care from a friendly staff. We realize some of our residents may have problems with circulation, and we provide access to health care professionals who can help them.

We invite you to see what sets us apart from other assisted living homes. See why our residents love living at Cedar Cove.