Poor circulation to the feet and legs, also known as peripheral vascular disease, most often stems from the thickening and hardening of your arterial walls. This hardening is often the result of diseases like diabetes, a lack of physical activity, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. The most common symptoms of poor circulation are cramping in the calf muscles, numbness and coldness in the foot and changes in skin color.
Your doctor or vascular surgeon can treat poor circulation in a variety of ways. If you are diabetic, controlling blood glucose levels is very important since consistently high blood sugar can damage nerves and limit blood flow to the legs and feet. Your doctor may also prescribe medicines designed to prevent blood clots. These medicines will thin the blood and make flow easier in thickened arteries. If your doctor decides to treat blockages in the arteries, he may use angioplasty to widen them or, in severe cases, use a vein from another part of the body to bypass it.
Simple lifestyle changes can help you cure circulation problems to your feet and legs. Engaging in physical activity such as walking or swimming can both help your blood flow and reduce blockages in your arteries. A diet with less fat and more fiber can also help thin your blood, making it move easier through blocked arteries. Reducing stress and quitting smoking are also key ways to cure poor circulation, as smoking builds up plaque in the arteries and stress limits the flow of blood to the body’s organs.
Foot and Leg Care
The proper foot and leg care can go a long way in curing circulation issues. A daily exercise of laying on your back and elevating your feet will help freshly oxygenated blood flow through your legs. Also, a daily soak in warm water will help alleviate symptoms. Poor circulation can make the healing of sores and cuts difficult in your feet. You want to be extra careful not to cause any trauma to your feet if you have poor circulation. Make sure you wear the proper footwear and, in some severe cases, see a doctor to help you cut your toenails.