What Causes Poor Circulation in Legs?

Written by jennifer lanier
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Poor circulation exists when oxygenated blood cannot make the complete circuit of the body without restriction. Poor circulation may be an early warning of cardiovascular disease.


Poor circulation of blood in the leg arteries can cause burning pain, aches, and fatigue in the legs.

Blood Clot

Pulmonary embolism is caused by a blood clot. Sudden shortness of breath is often the only warning sign of this potentially life-threatening condition.


Smoking is believed to significantly increase a person's risk of developing Buerger's disease, a circulatory condition that affects the foot or lower portion of the leg.


Arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, is caused by the build-up of fatty material and plaque in the arteries, which eventually causes a narrowing of the arteries. According to James F. Balch, M.D., arteriosclerosis is responsible for most heart attack deaths.


Poor circulation can eventually become a serious health risk if left untreated. When symptoms of poor circulation are present, it is best to see a doctor for a medical evaluation. A doctor may recommend compression hosiery, elevation of the legs, drug treatment, or changes in diet or lifestyle.

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