Posts for tag: poor circulation
Do I really have poor circulation in my feet?
It isn’t always easy to notice the warning signs of bad circulation. After all, it’s normal to feel a lack of sensation in your feet during cold winter days or to notice some aching and tiredness when standing for long periods of time; however, signs of poor circulation in the feet include:
- A “pins and needles” sensation in your feet
- Changes in the color of your feet
- Cold feet
- Numbness or tingling
What causes poor circulation in the feet?
There are many reasons that people may develop poor circulation in their feet as they get older. Some causes can’t be helped but others are due to health conditions or bad habits. Causes of poor circulation include:
- Age: As we get older most people will deal with some degree of decreased blood flow.
- Inactive lifestyle: If you lead a sedentary lifestyle you are more likely to deal with blood flow issues, especially as you get older. We see this most often in seniors who have mobility issues and can’t stay active.
- Overweight or obese: Being overweight or obese also puts a lot of stress on the body, causing the heart to work harder to pump out blood to the rest of the body including the feet.
- Smoking: Smoking restricts blood flow, which makes it more difficult for blood to reach the feet. Smoking can also increase your risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and peripheral artery disease (PAD).
- Diabetes: Diabetes can increase your risk for inflammation, poor circulation, and even nerve damage in the feet (known as neuropathy). You must work with your doctor and a podiatrist to control your blood sugar to reduce your risk.
Are you experiencing numbness, tingling, or discolorations in your feet?
Even though poor circulation isn’t a condition, if you are experiencing poor circulation in your feet this is often a symptom of a much larger issue. This is why it’s important to understand the warning signs of poor circulation and when to see a podiatrist, as many of these conditions can be serious or cause further complications to your health.
Causes of Poor Circulation
There are many reasons why someone may have poor circulation. The most common conditions include:
1. Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
This causes poor circulation in the legs due to a narrowing in the arteries and blood vessels. Over time this condition can cause damage to nerves or tissue. While this condition can occur in younger people, particularly smokers, it’s more common for people over 50 years old to develop PAD.
2. Blood Clots
A blood clot causes a block or restriction in blood flow and can develop anywhere in the body. The most common places for a blood clot include the arms or the legs, which can lead to symptoms of poor circulation. In some cases, a blood clot can cause serious complications such as a stroke.
While this condition does affect blood sugar levels, it is also known to affect circulation within the body. Those with circulation issues may experience cramping in the legs that may get worse when you are active. Those with diabetic neuropathy may experience nerve damage in the legs and feet, as well as numbness or tingling.
4. Raynaud’s Disease
A less common condition, Raynaud’s disease causes chronic cold fingers and feet due to the narrowing of the arteries in the hands and toes. Since these arteries are narrow it’s more difficult for blood to flow to these areas, leading to poor circulation. Of course, you may experience these symptoms in other parts of the body besides your toes or fingers, such as your nose, ears, or lips.
Warning Signs of Poor Circulation
You may be experiencing poor circulation in your feet if you are experiencing these symptoms:
- Pain that may radiate into the limbs
- Tingling (a “pins and needles” sensation)
- Muscle cramping
If you are experiencing symptoms of poor circulation that don’t go away it’s best to play it safe rather than sorry and turn to a podiatric specialist who can provide a proper diagnosis and determine the best approach for improving circulation. Don’t ignore this issue.
Want to keep your kids in the loop on foot health and safety this summer? Though it’s almost time to go back to school, it’s never too early (or too late!) to get started. Did you know that physically active kids are especially vulnerable to injuring their feet or ankles between the ages of 12-15 years? During this time, most children and young adults are still finishing up the development of some bones in their feet. There is even a bone in their heels that forms a protective plate which isn’t done fully forming until around 15 years of age. At Family Foot & Ankle Center, it’s never too early to get smart about being active.
Think about what kind of sports or other activities your kids are into. Do they run track? Play lacrosse? Maybe they’re on the cheerleading squad or in the band at school. While sports like track and lacrosse involve more frequent high-impact than sports or activities like cheerleading and band, a vulnerable foot is a vulnerable foot!
Here’s a quick and easy way to assess your child’s foot and ankle health: check in with them after a long day of activity. Ask your child if anything on their body hurts today. You could introduce the question by saying “Wow, you must be sore today after all that running around!” If they ever hint that their feet or ankles are experiencing any aching pain or discomfort, it’s time to talk about their shoes.
When was the last time you bought your child a new pair of shoes? If it’s been over 6 months, you may want to take a closer look at the pair they wear most often. Because of how fast kids grow and how active some kids will be throughout the year, their shoes may wear out quickly and need to be replaced more frequently. In the long run, this investment in new shoes and custom orthotics is worth it - you could easily be preventing your child from developing foot and ankle related problems later in life like bunions, plantar fasciitis, flat arches, poor circulation, and weak ankles.
Now that you’ve checked in with your child about their foot and ankle health, it’s time to take the next step! Get them started on the right foot by establishing care early on in life with a trusted podiatrist. Call us today at (408) 732-0033 and schedule your next appointment with Dr. Alan J. Discont at our location in Chandler, Arizona!