Signs & symptoms of poor circulation

Updated March 23, 2017

Poor blood circulation in the body can be a temporary condition, such as from leaving a leg in one position for too long, or the sign of circulatory system problems. When arteries are blocked or if there other problems, the result can be a potentially life-threatening case of poor blood circulation, especially when accompanied by heart disease or diabetes. There are a number of symptoms associated with poor blood circulation.


Tingling, burning or numb sensations in the body are major signs of poor blood circulation. These usually happen in the hands, arms, feet and legs.

Emotional Signs

Memory problems and low enthusiasm or energy accompanied by some of the other physical symptoms could be indicative of poor blood circulation.

Poor Healing

A sign of poor circulation is wounds that are not healing properly, especially in the arms, feet and legs.

Colour Changes

Poor blood circulation can lead to an appearance of blueness or waxy pallor in one's complexion, according to the Mayo Clinic. In severe cases of poor circulation, part of limbs can become purplish or black.

Breathing Issues

Shortness of breath and irregular heartbeat can also accompany other signs of poor blood circulation.


Increasing exercise, losing weight and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol under a doctor's supervision can alleviate poor blood circulation, according to Foot Smart.

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About the Author

Stephanie Mojica has been a journalist since 1997 and currently works as a full-time reporter at the daily newspaper "The Advocate-Messenger" in Kentucky. Her articles have also appeared in newspapers such as "The Philadelphia Inquirer" and "The Virginian-Pilot," as well as several online publications. She holds a bachelor's degree from Athabasca University.