A lot of circulation problems in the feet and legs may be symptomless, although there are a number of symptoms ranging from mild to relatively severe. Even mild symptoms may have fairly serious causes so if you can’t improve the symptoms through a few lifestyle changes, you may want to consider seeing your doctor.
Symptoms of poor circulation in feet:
Cold Feet: That’s right, if you’re experiencing cold feet, (other than because you’ve walked barefoot in the snow) it could be a result of a lack of blood flow.
Hair Loss: A lot of you might consider this as a positive symptom, but if you begin to lose hair without shaving or waxing from your feet or legs, it could indicate a lack of blood flow.
Tingling: Also known as pins and needles. It’s the same feeling as when you’ve fallen asleep on your arm. This happens when you’ve blocked the blood off and that’s essentially what’s happening here.
Numbness: If you experience a period lack of sensation in your feet and lower legs it is a fairly common sign of poor blood flow.
Cramping: If blood isn’t pumping well into and especially out of your feet you might experience cramping sensations in your legs and possibly your feet.
Aching Feet: This can often go hand in hand with the cramps and coldness. It is especially common when you’re standing still or sitting for too long and then you suddenly move about.
Swollen Feet: Often coupled with numbness or aches, this happens when fluid isn’t leaving your feet and instead pools there. If your feet are swelling up you’ll want to start treating it fairly quickly as it can be incredibly uncomfortable.
Fatigue: This is more felt in the legs but can also hit the feet. If your feet feel as if they are effectively falling asleep, not in the pins and needles way, but rather, that they are heavy and it feels as though you are having to drag them, it could be because of a lack of circulation to the feet.
Varicose Veins: These are typically found in older women, and although not often serious, they can be a source of both physical and mental discomfort.
More Serious Symptoms:
If circulation problems get really serious and are not improving, more severe symptoms can appear. Depending on the reason, the worst of these can result in amputation, physical impairment and even, in the worst case scenario, death.
Gangrene: This is an awful condition where the circulation is effectively cut off and no nutrients, including oxygen can reach the feet. This causes the foot to effectively starve and die, resulting in necrosis of the flesh that was once a healthy foot. Smokers beware, this is a common problem associated with smoking. Gangrene typically affects the extremities, such as the feet and hands but if untreated, it can lead to death.
Blot Clots: In the legs this is often known as deep vein thrombosis and can be an extremely dangerous condition. We get clots all the time but our body usually deals with them effectively. If however, you have poor circulation in your feet and legs, clots can form in your veins as a result of the lack of blood flow back to the heart. Once a clot has formed, it can grow and either block the vein completely, which can result in your leg or foot becoming somewhat paralyzed (See Hugh Lawrie’s character on House for example). If it dislodges the clot can travel up to the smaller veins in the head, and lungs, causing a stroke (burst blood vessel in the head) or a ruptured blood vessel in the chest. Often these types of clots result in death or disability.