DIET AND FITNESS:

Bad Circulation --Top 10 Causes
and Remedies
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May 4, 2010, last updated June 24, 2014

By Rory McClenaghan, Contributing Columnist and Health
Editors

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of Doctors and
Registered Nurses
, Certified fitness trainers and other members of our
Editorial Board.]



Bad circulation affects an incredible 20 million Americans,
according to the National Health Institute. Sufferers, often
over the age of 50, complain of numbness in their hands,
feet, or legs, a
cold feeling in their limbs, cramping, and an
inability to heal after infections. These symptoms at best
make life uncomfortable and at worse are dangerous to your
long-term health.

But, as ever, knowledge is the key. Knowing the causes of
bad circulation will help you eliminate risk factors and make
you less likely to suffer from the condition. Just what are the
causes of poor circulation? Are there any foods that help to
improve your circulation?  Are there exercises that help to
remedy bad circulations?

Here are the top 10 causes of bad circulation and the
remedies that help:

























1.
Diabetes Causes Poor Circulation

Bad circulation and the associated pains in your hands and
feet are some of the symptoms of diabetes, as spelled out in
Diagnosis and Management of the Metabolic Syndrome: An
American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung, and Blood
Institute Scientific Statement (Grundy et al, 2005).

If you feel you have bad circulation your first port of call
should be your physician, who will test for diabetes. If you
test positive, he will work with you to control it through
medication and changes to your diet and lifestyle. This
should stop your circulation problems. Here is a
recommended meal plan for diabetics.

2.
Varicose Veins Impede Circulation

Often caused by standing or walking for long periods,
varicose veins occur when the valves, particularly in the
veins of the leg, stop working. This allows blood to flow
backwards and causes a build-up in the veins, making them
stretch. The circulation of the blood is therefore hindered.

Although serious cases of varicose veins can be treated by
surgery there are simpler methods that will help.
Compression stockings are widely available and have been
shown in studies, such as the one conducted By Dr. S.B.
Curry in France in 1989 to be effective (Changes of
cutaneous microcirculation from elasto-compression in
chronic venous insufficiency). Here are some of the most
effective natural remedies for varicose veins.

3. High Blood Pressure Makes Circulation Worse

Although it is often symptomless, high blood pressure is
often either the cause or an effect of other conditions which
lead to bad circulation, according to an important report on
blood pressure, "Essential Hypertension Part I: Definition
and Etiology, University of Alabama School of Medicine,
Birmingham, 2000". A regular check-up with your physician
will include a blood pressure check.  Changing your diet to
include
foods that lower blood pressure also helps of course.

4.
Arteriosclerosis Leads to Poor Circulation

This means the hardening of your arteries. When the
passages that blood flows through narrow, tissue and
muscle is starved of oxygenated blood and the classic
symptoms of poor circulation come rushing in close behind.
In its most serious form, arteriosclerosis can lead to heart
attacks.

The main culprit in the narrowing of the arteries is
cholesterol. That's why the American Heart Association
recommends a diet avoiding trans fats. These unsaturated
fats are found in fast food, fried food and baked goods. So
the key is to eat a healthy diet. (Read more about
natural
remedies for stiff arteries.)

What can you do? One of the best ways to lower cholesterol
is to change your diet. Eating foods high in omega-3 fatty
acids may seem paradoxical to you if you want to lower
cholesterol. After all, cholesterol is fat. But, omega-3  fatty
acids have the special ability to raise the amount of good
cholesterol in your blood (HDL) while lowering the amount
of bad cholesterol (LDL).  Try eating at least 2 to 3 servings
of fish a week. (Read more about
foods that lower
cholesterol.)

Hawthorn is an herb used to improve blood flow. Hawthorn
relaxes and dilates the smooth muscles of your artery walls,
according to several studies, including a 1999 study led by
Dr. William Craig of the Department of Nutrition of Andrews
University in Missouri. Dr. Craig summarized a previous study
in which patients with chronic heart disease who were given
600 milligrams per day of hawthorn had lower blood
pressure, heart rates and experienced less shortness of
breath than patients who were not given the herb.

5.
Obesity Causes Poor Circulation

Just one of the myriad symptoms of being overweight is
poor circulation (Obesity: Impact on Cardiovascular Disease,
1998). A high-calorie intake combined with a lack of exercise
leads to more weight than the body can deal with, so it's no
wonder your heart has trouble getting blood to it. There's
no magic fix for this one. The key is
reducing obesity is
exercise and a healthy diet, including plenty of fruit and
vegetables and avoiding trans fats at all costs.

6.
Deep Vein Thrombosis  Is One Cause of Poor Circulation

Deep vein thrombosis, "DVT", is often associated with
long-distance air travel, but can be caused by any long
period of inactivity. For example, when recovering from an
operation.

DVT is when a blood clot forms in a deep vein. The clot stops
circulation and leads to pain and swelling in the effected
limb, usually a leg. Just as with varicose veins, compression
stockings can help lower the risk of getting DVT.

Also helpful are anti-inflammatory medicines such as aspirin,
or ibuprofen, which thin the blood and makes clotting less
likely (Prevention of pulmonary embolism and deep vein
thrombosis with low dose aspirin: Pulmonary Embolism
Prevention (PEP) trial, published in Lancet, 2000)

7.
High Salt Intake Hardens Your Arteries

High salt intake can lead to both a hardening of your arteries
and high blood pressure. Salt is a major cause of poor
circulation. In a 2009 report on salt intakes around the
world  from The Imperial College of London, salt was found
to have a profound impact on public health.

People often get confused about how to lower their salt
intake. Simply not adding extra salt to your food is not
enough.

You need to examine the
salt content of the food you eat.
We all know potato chips are salty, but less obvious food
stuffs like processed meat, soups, ketchup, soy sauce and
frozen pizza are loaded with salt.

The United States Dietary Allowance recommends taking less
than 2,400mg of salt everyday, so make sure you check the
salt content on food packaging.  (Read more about
foods
that lower your blood pressure.)

8.
Your Posture Affects Your Circulation

Continue reading  page 1  page 2




Related:
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Standing Up --Top 10 Health Benefits
How Much Is Too Much Salt?
Sugar-The Disease Connection
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Herbs made from the
hawthorne berry plant help to
improve blood flow.