“Cold hands, warm heart” is a cute saying that you may have heard many times if your hands are on the chilly side. However cute the saying is, though, cold hands can be a symptom of poor circulation, as can varicose veins – but is poor circulation really something you should be concerned about?
Signs of poor circulation
There are a few signs of poor circulation, beyond cold hands or feet and varicose veins. Light skinned people with poor circulation may find that their skin has a blue tinge. Other signs are dry skin, brittle nails, and hair falling out, especially on the feet and legs. Men may have trouble keeping an erection. Legs and feet may be swollen and achy. And, even a minor injury can take a long time to heal.
Causes of poor circulation
There are many possible causes of poor circulation, including being overweight and smoking. Other, very serious underlying causes can include atherosclerosis, blood clots, diabetes mellitus, and Raynaud’s disease, in which the blood vessels narrow dangerously.
Improving your circulation
There are many things you can do to improve your circulation:
- Stop smoking.
- See your doctor to check for high blood pressure.
- Don’t sit for hours at a time – try a standing desk at work, or just make sure you get up and walk around often.
- Drink lots of water.
- Exercise to increase oxygen in your muscles and lower your blood pressure.
- Eat lots of fruits and veggies and less meat and salt. Foods such as dark chocolate, dark berries, and foods with cinnamon and healthy fats can help you to maintain your weight and can help your blood circulation.
- You should also see your doctor, who may recommend a diet and exercise program or other treatment. He or she can also diagnose any problems causing poor circulation.
Cold hands may not just be an annoyance – they can be a sign of something more serious. If you are concerned about poor circulation, varicose veins, or other symptoms of poor circulation, Dr. Sammy A. Zakhary, in Glendale, Arizona, can help. Call (623) 258-3255 for a consultation today.