Your circulatory system is the body’s great delivery system. Arteries and veins are the roads by which all of your cells receive shipments of oxygen and nutrients. Not only does this ensure the cells are “fed,” but also that they can fight disease and maintain your body temperature and chemistry.
Poor circulation can cause problems throughout the body, but feet are especially vulnerable. Here, blood vessels are especially thin and far from the heart. That means that when circulation slows, feet are often the first place you begin to notice the symptoms. This also places them at the greatest risk for complications. Potential problems include:
- Loss of sensation in the feet. Nerves that don’t get the nutrients they need may begin to degrade and misfire, leading to tingling, pain, or even complete numbness.
- Muscle cramping in the feet and legs. Also known as “intermittent claudication,” it’s usually triggered by walking or other forms of physical activity.
- Muscle weakness and loss of coordination, which can lead to tripping and other accidents.
- Feet that feel cold or change color.
- The formation of sores and ulcers that will not heal. Because low circulation impairs your healing and immune responses, even small cuts or scrapes can fail to heal, and your body may fail to fight off an infection. Without treatment, the infection can spread and become quite serious, potentially even forcing an amputation.
- At the extreme end, tissues in the toes and feet may begin to die (necrosis or gangrene) due to lack of oxygen.
Most medical conditions that cause poor circulation are progressive and difficult to fully reverse once begun. Furthermore, in addition to foot problems, they greatly increase your risk for problems such as heart attack and stroke.
That’s why you should take the signs and symptoms seriously and seek treatment as early as possible. We can help you manage the existing symptoms so they cause less disruption in your life, and we can also help you slow or stop the progression in order to protect you against the most serious complications. To schedule your appointment with Dr. Levine in Las Vegas, please call (702) 839-2010.