What are the Signs and Symptoms of Poor Circulation?

Smooth and Pink Skin is an indication of Good Circulation


What are the Signs and Symptoms of Poor Circulation?

Poor circulation can result from a range of reasons. It could be due to diseases which cause circulating blood volume, or may be due to problems of the heart, infections or due to hormonal problems.

Causes for Poor Circulation

The reasons for poor circulation can be listed as

  • Loss of fluid and blood from the body either due to internal bleeding or due to external bleeding, burns, excessive diarrhea and vomiting
  • Damage to the heart muscle from a heart attack, infections of the heart, failure of the heart or some other diseases affecting the heart can result in poor contractility of the heart. If the heart does not pump effectively that can result in poor circulation
  • Severe infections (sepsis) of the body some bacteria like Escherichia Coli and Klebsiella Pneumoniae can result in extensive dilatation of the blood vessels resulting in decreased circulating blood volume and poor circulation
  • It can happen also due to our exposure to some allergens like some food items (to which the person is allergic) or some drugs. Sudden severe anaphylactic reactions to these allergens can also lead to wide spread dilatation of blood vessels and poor circulation
  • Poor circulation can also result from injury to the spinal cord when there is extensive dilatation of blood vessels below the level of injury.
  • Conditions like Cardiac tamponade, Tension pneumothorax, Massive pulmonary embolism , Aortic stenosis, Pericarditis which compress the heart from outside will result in an obstruction to the flow of blood and poor circulation
  • There are some hormonal imbalances which cause poor circulation. For example hypo or hyperthyroidism in its severe stage can lead to poor circulation
  • Diseases affecting the blood vessels of the hands and legs also can result in poor circulation. For example, chronic smokers can develop blocks in the blood vessels of their legs. In extreme conditions, it can even lead to gangrene of the affected parts.

What are the Changes in Skin due to Poor Circulation?

A healthy skin is smooth, glossy and warm to touch. The warmth and color of the skin is obtained from good blood circulation. The colour and temperature of the skin change with poor circulation.

If the person is anemic, the skin and mucous membrane become pale. Pallor is a very important indication of poor circulation. In some diseases poor circulation will be so severe that there will be bluish discoloration of the skin (cyanosis).

The skin will be warm to touch if there is good circulation. If the skin feels cold to touch that indicates poor circulation. If you have ever touched a dead body you can very easily understand this.

Wounds heal very slowly if there is poor circulation. So a person with poor circulation might be having a lot of rashes or sores on the skin.

Improve Poor Blood Circulation

What are the Changes in Abdomen due to Poor Circulation?

There can be abdominal pain or nausea due to poor circulation of the intestines. Digestive process may be delayed or impaired which may lead to a feeling of bloating.

Poor circulation to the kidneys will be reflected as a decrease in urine output.

What are the Changes in nervous System due to Poor Circulation?

The person may appear as sick or ill. He/she may not be alert and may have an altered mental status in severe cases. Brain cannot tolerate poor circulation for a long time. So if the condition persists or if it is very severe the person may become unconscious and may develop other complications.

What are the Changes in the Lungs and Heart due to Poor Circulation?

In the heart poor circulation or blood supply may lead to a decrease in its pumping ability and as a result there can be the development of complications like heart attack or other abnormalities in the rhythm of the heart. Blood pressure may be low and the heart rate may be very high.

In the lungs again poor circulation may lead to a decreased functioning of the lung primarily an alteration in the ventilation perfusion. It will be reflected as a decreased oxygen concentration of the blood. Poor circulation also can lead to infections of the lung which may not heal easily.


Poor circulation is a relative term and the causes are very many. It can be due to a localized problem in any part of the body or may due to a systemic reason. Since the reasons for poor circulation are varied so are the treatment options.

Poor Circulation Of The Legs and Feet

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Comments 20 comments

thumbi7 profile image

thumbi7 18 months ago from India Author

Hi georgialgal

Happy to know that you are doing well now

Take care..

georgialgal1984 profile image

georgialgal1984 18 months ago from United States

I dealt with hypothyroidism in the past and my circulation got pretty bad. Garlic and cayenne did wonders for my circulation! Great article, take care~ :)

thumbi7 profile image

thumbi7 18 months ago from India Author

Hi anglnwu

Thanks for the visit and comment

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 18 months ago

Very comprehensive coverage of poor circulation. Rated up.

thumbi7 profile image

thumbi7 19 months ago from India Author

Hi Suraj

You need not worry about that. That phenomenon is temporary. Sitting cross legged is helpful provided you don't have any problems with knees.

I am glad that I could be of help.

suraj punjabi profile image

suraj punjabi 19 months ago from jakarta

thumbi7 I never realized that nerves and veins are two different things. Thank you for your answer it was very helpful. As you know in hindu temples we sit on the floor crosslegged and whenever my feet get numb i get worried that my blood circulation is poor. Thank you.

thumbi7 profile image

thumbi7 19 months ago from India Author

Hi Suraj

It does not indicate poor circulation. You get numbness when your nerves get compressed; not veins. In fact sitting cross legged will help in improved venous return to the heart.

Hope the answer is helpful

suraj punjabi profile image

suraj punjabi 19 months ago from jakarta

Hey thumbi7 great article. I wanted to ask, if you sit down crossed legged on the floor does the amount of time it takes for your leg to become numb indicate the state of your blood circulation? For eg: if it gets numb fast is it a symptom of poor blood circulation? Thank you.

thumbi7 profile image

thumbi7 19 months ago from India Author

Hi peachpurple

Thanks for the visit

peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 19 months ago from Home Sweet Home

thanks, my parents have these symptoms, poor blood circulation is the cause

thumbi7 profile image

thumbi7 2 years ago from India Author

HI rebeccamealey

Thanks for the visit and comment

rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

You explained this so well! I suppose the skin is the story behind what is going on inside. Thanks for a very helpful post!

thumbi7 profile image

thumbi7 3 years ago from India Author

Hi DaveOnline

Thanks for the visit . It is very much appreciated. I am happy that you have taken care of your health problems

DaveOnline profile image

DaveOnline 3 years ago from Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Thanks for the information you give here. I have had some problems with anemia at times as well as stomach problems and high blood pressure. Nowdays I go for fast walks, try to have a healthy diet and take blood pressure tables.

thumbi7 profile image

thumbi7 3 years ago from India Author

Hi suzettenaples

I am glad that this hub could of use to you

suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM

You share some great information here. I have thyroid problems and it does affect the texture of my skin. Thanks so much for explaining all this. I found this very interesting and helpful.

thumbi7 profile image

thumbi7 3 years ago from India Author

Hi JPSO138

Thanks for stopping by

JPSO138 profile image

JPSO138 3 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

Great hub. We should be aware on this considering that circulation is very crucial for our body. If the circulation is hampered, all organs will be affected and obviously may cause big problems later on. Up for this hub!

thumbi7 profile image

thumbi7 3 years ago from India Author


Thanks for the visit

DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Poor Circulation? Interesting about blood circulation such factors should be taken into consideration

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