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
Are Diet Sodas Bad for Your Health?

Ideal Breakfast for Diabetics / Ideal Breakfast for
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Healing Foods Links /  Foods That Shrink Your
Waist
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/ Foods That Reduce Blood
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Herbs made from the
hawthorne berry plant help to
improve blood flow.