Poor Circulation: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention
Poor circulation, also known as venous insufficiency, can lead to various discomforts such as varicose veins, swelling, and heaviness in the legs. Dr. Jesús Álvarez García, an angiologist and vascular surgeon at the Vithas Málaga Hospital, explains that this condition occurs when the venous system is unable to effectively drain “dirty” blood from the limb.
Symptoms of Venous Insufficiency
- The appearance of varicose veins
- Swelling in the legs
- Changes in skin color (brownish or whitish)
To prevent poor circulation, it is important to avoid a sedentary lifestyle and maintain a healthy weight. Prolonged sitting or standing can hinder effective blood drainage, while excess weight can make abdominal drainage difficult.
One highly recommended method to improve leg circulation is the use of compression stockings. According to Álvarez García, “Compression stockings can help protect the venous system from increased pressure during periods of immobility.”
Treatments for Venous Insufficiency
When venous insufficiency occurs, there are several treatment options available. Surgery can be performed to disable insufficient veins and remove varicose veins. Alternatively, compression and venotonic treatments aim to alleviate discomfort.
According to Álvarez García, the treatments with the most scientific evidence include sulodexide, purified micronized flavonoid fraction, Venoruton, and Venosmil.
Additionally, there are home remedies that can help relieve symptoms:
- Contrast baths: Alternating immersion of the legs in hot and cold water can reduce pain, inflammation, and improve blood circulation.
- Cold effect tights: These stockings can reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and improve blood circulation, especially in hot weather.
- Elevating legs on a pillow: Raising the legs can improve blood circulation and reduce swelling.
- Wearing loose clothing: Tight clothing, crossing legs, and certain positions can worsen discomfort. It is recommended to wear loose clothing and comfortable shoes with a slight heel.
- Moisturizing cream such as aloe vera: Applying aloe vera cream in circular motions can relieve tingling and promote blood flow in the legs.
- Using cold gel: Cold gels like Venaliv Refresh are recommended by Dr. Antoni Puig, an angiologist, vascular surgeon, and member of Doctoralia, to treat venous insufficiency and relieve congestion and burning sensations in the legs.
- Using compression or rest socks: These socks improve blood flow, reduce swelling, and provide support to the leg muscles, reducing pain and fatigue.
- Herbal solutions: Preparations containing horse chestnut, ruscus, and ginkgo biloba can improve circulation. Horse chestnut is commonly used to treat circulatory and venous problems, ruscus improves circulation, and ginkgo biloba enhances blood flow.
In summary, to prevent poor circulation in the legs, it is recommended to wear compression stockings, engage in regular physical exercise, maintain a balanced diet, and avoid direct heat on the legs.
Pregnant women and older individuals should pay special attention to leg circulation as they are more susceptible to hormonal changes. It is advisable for them to avoid prolonged periods of standing or sitting.
Lastly, prevention, early detection, and regular check-ups with an angiologist are crucial for addressing venous insufficiency and achieving optimal results.
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