• Chamith Abeyratne

Matters of the Heart

Do your feet and hands often feel ice cold? Are you experiencing swelling or cramping in your feet and legs? Do you experience difficulty walking more than 100 meters without pain in your calves and legs? These symptoms may indicate poor circulation.

The constant movement of blood throughout the body is known as circulation. This life-supporting blood enables your heart to beat, your body to move, and your brain to perform. When this natural blood flow is interrupted it can lead to various symptoms throughout your body.

Poor circulation is known to be a silent killer as symptoms often go unnoticed or are dismissed until serious problems arise. This is why it is imperative to learn how to listen to your body, recognize signs and seek early diagnosis.

As we grow older our circulation begins to work less effectively than it once did due to the general wear and tear of ageing, becoming less active and certain medical conditions.

Symptoms of poor circulation include:

- Changes in skin temperature

- Muscle cramps

- Numbness or tingling sensations

- Skin discoloration

- Slower nail and hair growth

- Swollen feet

Causes of poor circulation:

- Diabetes

- Smoking

- Lack of regular exercise

- High blood pressure

- Improper diet

- Obesity

Build up of plaque within the bloodstream can potentially restrict the volume of blood flowing through your arteries. Although we cannot feel plaque building up in our arteries, it is happening and poor health choices can make it occur sooner. Poor circulation in your feet is a serious issue that is detrimental to your​​ health.

Techniques to improve circulation:

- Periodic assessment of your circulation

- Massaging legs to stimulate circulation

- Regular exercise

- Avoid long periods sitting / standing

- Cease smoking

- Elevate your legs

You may consider it strange associating heart disease with your podiatrist; but believe it or not your feet can provide indications to what is going on with your heart. Therefore it is important to ensure you examine your feet regularly and pay close attention to any discomfort in your legs. Our feet are one of the most vulnerable parts of the body, yet are commonly overlooked. If and when you notice changes in your feet, let your podiatrist know. Here at Step Forward Podiatry we aim to educate and alleviate associated symptoms as early as possible by monitoring and preventing further complications and implementing treatment plans that can add quality and years to your life.

Keeping your feet healthy throughout the winter months will ensure that they are well equipped to enjoy in the warmer weather when it approaches.

#bloodflow #circulation #heart #feet #poorcirculation #diabetes #cold #winter

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