problems to do with circulation. (Is the closed network of blood vessels in the body).
What to look for
Everybody may experience
circulatory problems infrequently. Many people, however, must cope with this sensation on
a daily basis. This condition, called intermittent claudication, is caused by lack of
blood to the affected area. This can be due to hardening of the arteries. There are many
other forms of circulation problems as well. Most circulation conditions can be treated at
home or with a doctors supervision.
Circulation starts with
vessels known as arteries which carry blood filled with oxygen from the heart to the rest
of the body; veins return blood with no oxygen to the heart. These vessels can become
blocked and this is when circulatory problems arise. These problems can start in a number
There is usually more than
one cause to circulatory problems. Hardening of the arteries can become more prolific with
age. Women are more likely than men to develop varicose veins. Hereditary plays a part as
does the type of lifestyles people lead.
Other risk factors for poor
circulation are smoking,
obesity, and prolonged periods of
sitting or standing. Women taking the contraceptive pill are more prone to circulatory
problems, as are people with
There is a great deal the
patient can do for themselves at home to improve circulation. If these do not succeed,
many other options are available to those who suffer from circulatory problems. Take the
time to learn about your options, then decide which treatment program will work best for
Of course the cause of the
circulatory problem will have to be diagnosed by your doctor before suggesting a
Normally a treatment
regular aerobic exercise
good balanced nutrition.
to lose weight if obesity
is the problem
and to stop old habits that
interfere with circulation such as smoking.
aspirin can also aid
For more severe cases,
treatment options range from drug therapy to surgery.
treatments for poor circulation attempt to strengthen and widen the blood vessels to get
more blood circulating throughout the system.
Treatments - Yoga - can help blood flow and help to alleviate the discomfort
caused by poor circulation.
Water Treatments -
A long soak in a warm bath, followed by a brisk rub with a towel dipped in
cold water, can ease general discomfort caused by poor circulation.
You might add a solution of
thyme leaves or larch needles to the bathwater for a
Soak cold feet in a warm
footbath for 15 minutes.
To promote circulation in the
legs, alternate hot and cold footbaths (1 to 2 minutes in hot water, 30 seconds in cold
water) for 15 minutes.
Herbal Therapies -
An extract of the small, thorny
(Crataegus oxyacantha) tree promotes circulation by dilating blood vessels, particularly
coronary arteries. And
biloba) has a
well-documented record of medicinal success.
Studies show that
concentrated extracts from the leaves of the ginkgo tree may help improve circulation by
dilating the arteries. If you have a blood-clotting disorder, consult a doctor before
using ginkgo, since the plant can, in some people, suppress the blood's clotting ability.
Ginkgo has also been shown to cause mild side effects, including excitability and
digestive problems. (see the section on herbs for more information).
Cayenne (Capsicum frutescens) and ginger (Zingiber officinale) may stimulate circulation by
dilating arterioles and capillaries near the skin's surface. Butcher's-broom (Ruscus
aculeatus) is believed to alleviate swelling and inflammation caused by many circulatory
disorders. Butcher's-broom can be prepared and eaten much like its cousin, asparagus, or
brewed into a tea.
Treatments - Taken orally,
(Centella asiatica) appears to benefit circulation.
As a general rule, your diet
should be low in fat and high in fibre. Eat more whole grains and fresh fruits and
vegetables. Avoid caffeinated drinks.
If you suffer from hardened
arteries, eat more fish. For dessert, try pineapple, it is very good for the circulation.
Healthful doses of certain
vitamins and minerals may also improve your circulation. vitamin C,
E, and niacin, all of which are believed to have a dilating effect on blood vessels,
may help to get the blood flowing and make walking less painful. However, consult a doctor
or nutritionist before using niacin, as it can cause uncomfortable flushing. Magnesium supplements also may help dilate the
vessels and alleviate arterial spasms.
If you are taking
birth-control pills, switch to another form of contraception.
Dress warmly in winter
especially keep your feet warm
When to seek further
you experience sudden and
you develop skin ulcers,
skin discolouration, or sores that dont heal.