By Dr. James DiResta, DPM, MPH
November 10, 2020
Category: Foot Issues
Are you dealing with numbness, tingling, or muscle cramps in your feet? If so, you could be dealing with poor circulation. Your feet must be getting proper blood flow, as this can provide the tissue with the oxygen and nutrients they need to stay healthy. Unfortunately, as we get older, we’re more likely to deal with poor circulation. If you are experiencing symptoms of poor circulation in your feet, you must seek podiatry care from a qualified foot doctor.
Do I really have poor circulation in my feet?
It isn’t always easy to notice the warning signs of bad circulation. After all, it’s normal to feel a lack of sensation in your feet during cold winter days or to notice some aching and tiredness when standing for long periods of time; however, signs of poor circulation in the feet include:
- A “pins and needles” sensation in your feet
- Changes in the color of your feet
- Cold feet
- Numbness or tingling
If these symptoms persist or keep coming back, it’s time to see a foot doctor. While circulation issues may only cause minor problems, it can also cause dangerous complications. Seniors must really pay attention to these symptoms and seek proper podiatry care right away if these symptoms appear.
What causes poor circulation in the feet?
There are many reasons that people may develop poor circulation in their feet as they get older. Some causes can’t be helped but others are due to health conditions or bad habits. Causes of poor circulation include:
- Age: As we get older most people will deal with some degree of decreased blood flow.
- Inactive lifestyle: If you lead a sedentary lifestyle you are more likely to deal with blood flow issues, especially as you get older. We see this most often in seniors who have mobility issues and can’t stay active.
- Overweight or obese: Being overweight or obese also puts a lot of stress on the body, causing the heart to work harder to pump out blood to the rest of the body including the feet.
- Smoking: Smoking restricts blood flow, which makes it more difficult for blood to reach the feet. Smoking can also increase your risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and peripheral artery disease (PAD).
- Diabetes: Diabetes can increase your risk for inflammation, poor circulation, and even nerve damage in the feet (known as neuropathy). You must work with your doctor and a podiatrist to control your blood sugar to reduce your risk.
You must discuss your poor circulation with a qualified podiatrist, as these seemingly innocuous symptoms could be signs of an underlying problem that could require urgent medical attention.