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What Causes Lack of Circulation In Your Legs

leg cramping

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You know that feeling when you’ve been sitting in the same place for too long and your leg falls asleep? Or when you caught your leg in a weird position and the tingling feeling starts to set in?

We’ve all been there, and that feeling is not something one would describe as “comfortable.” Rather, it feels like pins and needles in your legs and is something we’d rather not experience. 

So why does this happen?

In short, your nerves have been pinched and your circulation has been restricted.

And when you have blood circulation problems, this tingling and uncomfortable feeling can happen more often than just when you sit in the same place for too long. For those that suffer from venous insufficiency, you may find yourself dealing with this feeling in your legs in addition to heaviness, aching, swelling, restlessness, and fatigue.

Because many conditions can cause poor circulation, it’s best to find out why circulation problems happen in the first place.

Why Are You Suffering From Poor Blood Circulation in Your Legs?

Circulation issues occur when blood flow to a part of your body (commonly legs) is reduced. Your circulatory system is what keeps blood, oxygen, and vital nutrients flowing throughout your body. 

So, it’s safe to assume that when your circulation is not working well, it’s not something you should ignore because it means that your blood isn’t flowing as well as it should be.

The first question you may ask yourself is: Why is this happening?

There are a number of reasons you could be suffering from bad blood circulation in your legs.

Varicose Veins

Vein issues are a reason you may find yourself suffering from circulation problems in the legs. If your veins are at all damaged, blood will not be able to flow through them with the ease it needs in order to keep your legs looking and functioning correctly. 

And this means circulation problems, possibly even blood clots if left untreated for too long. Varicose veins are found primarily in the legs, so pay attention to your circulation problems and what they could possibly mean. 

Blood Clots

A blood clot, or a thrombus, is a common cause of slowed or reduced circulation. Depending on the size and the location of the blood clot, blood flow can be impacted to varying degrees. Thus, blood clots have the potential to be very dangerous. If you have a blood clot in your leg and it breaks away, it can travel up to your lung or heart, which has the potential to lead to death.

However, if found early, blood clots can be treated.

Explore more ways to prevent the dangers of deep vein blood clots on our blog.

Obesity

Carrying extra weight on your body can open the door to a great number of health issues, but including vein and circulation problems.

This is due to the fact that extra weight puts additional pressure on your veins and hinders their ability to do their job of circulating blood back to the heart.

Obesity can mask the visible signs of venous insufficiencies, such as bulging veins. Thus, it is vital to manage your weight to lower risk and improve your overall health.

person standing on a scale

Diabetes

Diabetes is known for its effect on your blood sugar, but unfortunately, the problems do not stop there. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to issues with poor circulation due to a lack of sensation in your hands and feet.

And these are just a couple of problems you’ll experience with diabetes. It is best to make sure your health is on track if your provider has diagnosed you with diabetes.

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Numbness, tingling and pain in your thigh, hips, calf, and feet can happen because hardened and narrow arteries are limiting blood flow to your muscles in your legs. Typically, people feel these symptoms when walking, climbing stairs or exercising and symptoms are relieved with rest. Untreated PAD can lead to painful symptoms and increase your risk for a heart attack or stroke. Learn more about peripheral artery disease.

These are the leading causes of circulation issues in the legs and are things that you want to be paying attention to in order to avoid not only bad circulation but additional health problems as well.

Here are some of the main signs that you may have poor circulation in your legs because of venous insufficiency:

  • Pain
  • Cramping
  • Swelling
  • Throbbing
  • Heaviness
  • Itching
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue (tired feeling)

If you think you are suffering from circulation issues related to your veins, schedule an appointment with a Vein Clinics of America provider today. It is best to tackle vein disease as soon as possible as it will become worse over time.

Need to check your blood circulation?

Medically Reviewed by

Dr. Satish Vayuvegula
Dr. Satish Vayuvegula is the National Medical Director at Vein Clinics of America. Certified by the American Board of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine, Dr. Satish Vayuvegula is recognized as a physician who has met rigorous standards of knowledge and extensive training in phlebology, the diagnosis and treatment of varicose vein disease and related disorders. Dr. Satish also shares his passion and expertise by serving as a board member of the American Vein and Lymphatic Society, the predominant national organization for venous and lymphatic disease.

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