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How to Fix Bad Circulation in the Hands and Feet: My Experience

I was shocked when my doctor told me I had poor circulation. Upon reflection, however, I realized I've had this issue since childhood.

If you have red blotchy hands or feet, you may have bad circulation.

If you have red blotchy hands or feet, you may have bad circulation.

Are your hands, feet, or legs red (or even purple) and blotchy? Do they sometimes feel numb and tingly? You may have bad circulation. This was the case for me—but luckily, it's fixable.

I had a wake-up call at the doctor's office today. I showed my primary care physician my red and blotchy legs and asked her what was wrong with me. She quickly inspected me, poked at my thigh with her finger, and said "There, see?" Um, no, I thought. She showed me how my skin is red until you push it, then it blanches, and then it quickly regains its original red color. She explained that this is the surefire way to tell if you have circulation problems.

So today, I learned that my circulation is bad. I'm 5'9", I have a big frame, and on top of that I am overweight. However, I am pretty sure that I've had poor circulation since I was very young. I can remember always complaining to my mother about the pins-and-needles feeling in my legs and feet. If this is all sounding familiar to you, you might have this condition, too. In this article, I will share what I've learned about the symptoms and treatment.

Symptoms of Poor Circulation

You might also have poor circulation and not know it. Here are some symptoms to look out for that may help you diagnose whether you have bad circulation:

  • Numbness and/or tingling in the hands and feet
  • A change in skin color (red, purple, and blue in extreme cases)
  • Temperature change in body parts (cold feet or hands)
  • Skin infections, cuts, or sores not healing as well or quickly as they should
  • Muscle cramps

If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor right away. If left to fester, a severe case of bad circulation can result in having limbs amputated, varicose veins, heart failure, stroke, and so on. Don't wait.

Massaging the affected areas can help with bad circulation.

Massaging the affected areas can help with bad circulation.

Treatment

After receiving this shocking news at my doctor's office, I continued to poke at my red flesh and wondered what I needed to do to fix the problem. Later, as I do with any ailment or problem, I turned to Google—but I was really disappointed with the lack of quality information online.