Peripheral Blood Circulation
Peripheral blood circulation refers to the blood flow in the legs and arms. Since people usually do not suffer from any problems related to blood circulation in the arms it is clear that when we discuss problems with peripheral circulation we actually discuss problems with circulation in the legs.
Impaired peripheral circulation is accompanied by numerous symptoms and signs. Well experienced doctor can set the correct diagnosis after questioning the patient, performing physical examination with particular attention of the lower extremities. Several more tests and imaging methods may help in conformation of the condition and can help in visualizing the actual cause of impaired peripheral blood circulation.
Symptoms and Signs of Impaired Peripheral Blood Circulation
The blood from the heart normally reaches all the body organs and organ systems. But, the legs are last supplied. Furthermore, legs carry the weight of the entire body and are under lot of stress and pressure. This all have consequence on blood circulation in the legs. Veins are the most susceptible and they are easily affected by the process of inflammation and structural changes. Improper functioning of the veins leads to inadequate return of the blood to the heart. The excess of blood leads to further damage of the veins leading to formation of varices and the process finally results in permanent problems with peripheral blood circulation. Apart from problems with veins in some people arteries are affected by certain inflammatory processes which results in inadequate supply of the legs with the blood.
The initial symptoms of poor peripheral blood circulation are numbness and cramping in the feet and lower legs. The patients may also complain about tingling sensation in the feet and toes. Tingling sensation is generally a consequence of nerve damage.
Swelling is another sign of poor peripheral circulation. The presence of swelling can be easily tested by pressing of the lower legs with a finger. If the impression stays for a certain time one definitely suffers from swelling. Swelling may also be accompanied by increased or reduced temperature of the affected skin. The temperature of the skin basically depends on whether one is suffering from poor venous or arterial circulation. Inappropriate elimination of the blood from the legs leads to reddening of the skin and other discoloration.
People suffering from poor peripheral circulation also feel tired and they complain about ache particularly after standing or sitting for a long period of time. The discomfort can be partially alleviated if one elevates the legs above the level of the heart. This leads to passive elimination of excess of blood and fluids from the legs and relieve the pain.
And finally, in advanced stage of the disease and neglected cases the skin may suffer serious damage due to insufficient peripheral circulation and one may develop skin wounds and ulcers. These people also have difficulties when it comes to wound healing. The process of healing is prolonged and requires special care and additional medical help. These wounds and ulcers are also highly susceptible to infections which additionally cause even more problems.