If your doctor tells you that you have a big heart, they may not be referring to your bountiful generosity. As people age, their cardiovascular systems begin to transform and one of the changes is an enlarging ticker.
This occurs because the heart’s walls become thicker and its chambers grow slightly larger. Arteries and arterioles – the vessels that carry blood to the capillaries – also become less elastic.
When arteries and other vessels stiffen because of a build-up of plaque within them, they become less efficient at circulating blood. There are many tell-tale signs of poor circulation. If you have any of the following 15 symptoms and your doctor cannot find an underlying cause, it could be that your circulation is not optimal. You may want to raise the issue of circulation with your doctor if you suffer from one or more of these conditions:
- numbness in the limbs
- decreased cognitive ability
- loss of appetite
- unexplained digestive problems
- frequent exhaustion
- weakened immune system
- tightening of the chest
- slackened libido
- cold extremities
- skin discolouration
- dark circles under the eyes
- brittle hair and nails
- swelling of the feet and hands
- leg ulcers
- varicose veins.
With the body’s network of blood vessels estimated to be almost 100,000km long, the circulatory system works hard to ensure that oxygen and nutrients reach every cell. So, poor circulation means that some of your organs may not be receiving enough enriched blood.
Among the things you can do to improve circulation are to give up smoking, stay hydrated, exercise – doing squats is especially helpful – spend more time standing, eat less meat, brush all over with a body brush before showering, or take a relaxing warm bath.
If your doctor does diagnose poor circulation, they will want to treat the underlying cause, so be prepared to have a few tests.
Depending on what is causing your poor circulation, treatment can include compression socks, insulin for diabetes, laser or endoscopic vein surgery for varicose veins, medications to thin the blood or dissolve clots, alpha blockers and calcium channel blockers.
Have you been diagnosed with poor circulation and if so, what did your doctor recommend to fix it? Have you ever used a body brush?