Four Causes of Poor Circulation

Four Causes of Poor Circulation

The blood vessels in your legs have to fight both distance and gravity to circulate blood back to your heart, which means your lower limbs are often the first to show signs of poor circulation. There are many factors that can contribute to poor circulation, and understanding these is the first step toward helping your blood flow more freely.

To help, board-certified cardiologist Dr. Ariel Soffer and our team at Soffer Health Institute pulled together four of the more common causes of poor circulation in your legs, which we explore here.

Poor circulation explained

Before we study the possible causes of poor circulation in your legs, it’s important to note that the condition is typically a byproduct of another problem. In other words, poor circulation isn’t a standalone condition, but rather the result of a pre-existing medical issue or risk factor.

To give you an idea of the some of the symptoms you may experience as a result of poor circulation in your legs, be on the lookout for:

Now that we better understand poor circulation, let’s take a look at some of the underlying issues that lead to the problem.

1. Cardiovascular conditions

The most common cause of poor circulation in your legs is peripheral artery disease (PAD). With this condition, fatty deposits in your blood accumulate inside your arteries causing them to narrow, which makes your heart work harder to push the blood through.

Over time, this accumulation of fats in your blood vessels can lead to plaque buildup (atherosclerosis), which further hampers your circulation because your blood vessels harden.

Outside of the issues we describe above (PAD and atherosclerosis), there are other cardiovascular problems that can lead to poor circulation in your legs, such as:

In fact, it’s safe to say that most cardiovascular diseases can have a direct or indirect effect on your circulation.

2. Obesity

The human body is designed to carry a certain amount of weight, so when you add to this, it can tax many of your systems, including your vascular health.

Carrying extra weight requires your cardiovascular system to work harder in order to circulate blood, which can not only lead to less-than-ideal circulation, but also to conditions like hypertension.

3. Diabetes

When you have diabetes, your body doesn’t produce enough insulin and/or it becomes insulin-resistant. Insulin is a critical hormone that regulates the levels of glucose (sugar) in your blood.

These higher-than-normal levels of glucose can compromise your blood vessels and lead to peripheral neuropathy, which is nerve damage, in your lower limbs.

4. Lifestyle factors

There are several lifestyle factors that can affect the circulation in your legs, chief among them:

Each of these lifestyle habits can play no small role in how well your blood flows.

If you suspect you may have poor circulation in your legs and you want to take the necessary steps for better vascular health, contact one of our offices in Hialeah, Aventura, or Weston, Florida, to schedule your vein evaluation.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What to Expect at Your Vein Evaluation

The human body contains a whopping 60,000 miles of blood vessels that circulate oxygen and nutrients to every cell in your body. Given their importance, you want to make sure your blood vessels are functioning properly.

What Causes Spider Veins?

Your once-smooth legs have developed tiny, spider-like veins across the surface, and you want to not only know how they developed but what you can do to get rid of them. We answer both questions here.

How to Work Out When You Have Vascular Problems

The blood vessels in your body aren’t functioning optimally and you want to do all that you can to help them. Exercise is one of the best ways to improve your circulation and, here, we review which types.

I Have Poor Leg Circulation. Now What?

Your legs are often the first areas of your body to develop poor circulation since they battle both distance and gravity in relation to your heart. Here, we explore a few tips for improving the circulation in your lower extremities.

Three Tips for Managing Restless Legs Syndrome

You fall into bed exhausted, and you’re ready for a good night’s sleep. Your legs have other plans as they tickle, itch, or need to move, keeping you awake and frustrated. Here are some tips to help with restless legs syndrome.

Habits That Support Your Vascular Health

Whether we’ve already found a problem with your vascular health or you want to take action to avoid cardiovascular issues down the road, these habits will go a long way toward a healthy future.