With your heart working to pump blood and oxygen throughout your body, good circulation is extremely crucial. A good, healthy heart can pump, on average, around 5 quarts of blood a minute. But, if your circulation is poor or slow, it may not be able to pump as much, which can lead to a number of different health problems. This includes a number of conditions that affect your heart.
What Affects Circulation to the Heart?
Your lifestyle plays a major role in how well your body’s circulatory system works. A lack of exercise, unhealthy eating, drinking, smoking, and sleeping habits can all have an effect on not just your circulation, but your overall heart health as well. These sorts of habits can cause things such as calcium buildups in the arteries, which can also hinder circulation.
«A good, healthy heart can pump, on average, around 5 quarts of blood a minute.»
Heart Problems That Lead to Poor Circulation
These are just a few of the most serious conditions which may occur when there is a problem with blood circulating through the heart.
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is one of the most serious and deadly of problems a person can be faced with in regards to heart problems. It is more commonly referred to as heart disease and affects 3 million Americans a year.
CAD happens when there has been a build-up of plaque- caused by cholesterol- inside the arteries, which can slow or block blood flow depending on how severe. With blood flow lessened or completely cut off, it can lead to heart attacks and strokes, both of which can be extremely dangerous and even fatal.
Another serious problem that can develop is Heart Valve Disease, which comes in two different forms and can develop before birth or later on in life. Valvular stenosis is when the valves of the heart are too stiff to fully open, which causes the heart to work harder to pump blood through the valves. This can lead to heart failure where the heart simply stops working properly, a problem that affects nearly 6 million Americans.
The other kind of Heart Valve Disease is known as valvular insufficiency. This can is also referred to as regurgitation, incompetence, or «leaky valve.» In this case, the valve may not seal up like it is supposed to, leading to some of the blood going back down the valve, rather than into the heart. This condition can worsen over time, causing the heart to have to work even harder pumping blood.
Cardiomyopathy, or Heart Muscle Disease, is another problem that can happen. With Cardiomyopathy, the heart is either abnormally big and may thicken or stiffen. Because of this, the heart’s ability to pump blood is weakened and can lead to heart failure. And can also cause blood to back up the lungs or other parts of the body.
Living With Poor Circulation? It might be time to talk with a specialist. We are here to answer any of your questions.
10 Heart-Healthy Habits That Also Improve Circulation
- The AHA recommends maintaining or losing weight as one of the best methods of keeping a healthy heart. Doing so will greatly decrease your risk of heart disease and strokes.
- A well-balanced diet is also highly recommended can help improve circulation. Foods should be rich in nutrients, but not contain too many saturated fats, cholesterol, or salt. These are all ingredients that can lead to a buildup in your arteries that will impede blood flow.
- Increase the amount of physical activity that you get. Being active encourages blood flow and oxygen production in the body, and will make your heart much stronger and healthier. That means you should do at least 30 minutes of physical activity 5 times a week, at the least.
- Manage your blood pressure, especially if you already have high blood pressure (HBP). HBP, according to the AHA is the «silent killer,» as it puts people at a much higher risk of developing a number of other cardiovascular problems. For those with a healthy blood pressure, it is recommended that you check it, at least, every two years. For those with HBP, blood pressure should be monitored annually.
- You should also reduce your blood sugar. People who have diabetes need to be especially aware of their blood sugar levels and heart health. This is because when the body struggles to create insulin, cells may not be able to get the energy they need which can eventually lead to damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and even the heart.
- Another good habit is getting a proper night’s sleep every night. An adult needs about 7 hours of sleep a night in order to be able to function properly. Anything less than that can actually lead to calcium buildup in the arteries, which can slow blood flow and is an early sign of heart disease.
- Smoking cessation is another thing that can help with heart health. Whether you smoke real or electronic cigarettes, the negative effects on your health are too significant to simply ignore.
- Talk to your doctor about starting an Aspirin regimen if you are not already on one. This is especially important for people who have already had a heart attack. For those who cannot take Aspirin, there are other options available.
- Visiting your doctor regularly may not be the most fun- but it is a great way to track your heart and overall health. They will be able to pick up on any changes that may be a cause for concern the more you go to see them, which lessens your risk of serious problems.
- Take medicines as prescribed. You may not want to take something for your HBP or diabetes, but it is important that you do otherwise you are risking your health, and it can cause a number of serious complications.
When your heart cannot perform at optimum health, you may end up feeling it throughout your body. It can also lead to some serious health problems as mentioned above. Talk to your doctor about the things you should be doing to ensure that your heart stays healthy and young for years to come.