Reduction of Blood Flow

Reduction of Blood Flow

Reduction of blood flow in the body can occur due to various medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease. When the body’s circulatory system malfunctions and restricts blood flow, organs become deprived of the oxygen and nutrition they need to perform vital functions. On a long-term basis, this can lead to serious health issues.

Common Causes of Reduced Blood Flow

A few of the most common causes for the reduced blood flow in the body include:

  • Atherosclerosis - A build-up of cholesterol and fats other substances, such as calcium, can form a plaque that clogs arteries, narrowing them and reducing blood flow.
  • High Blood Pressure - When the walls of the arteries become thickened due to high blood pressure, they are less able to carry sufficient oxygenated blood.
  • Peripheral Artery Disease - This is caused by plaque build-up, blockages, or scar tissue which reduce the amount of blood flow to the extremities.
  • Venous Disease - Hardening and thickening of veins, or a narrowing of the ability of valves to push blood back to the heart reduce arterial pressure.
  • Heart Disease - Poor functioning of the heart valves or a weak heart muscle can reduce the amount of blood available.
  • Diabetes - Issues related to diabetes can reduce arterial health, resulting in a reduction of blood flow.
  • Lifestyle - Those who drink excessive amounts of alcohol or smoke cigarettes tend to experience reduced blood flow, as both activities contribute to plaque build-up in the arteries.

Signs and Symptoms of Reduced Blood Flow

Some of the more common signs of reduced blood flow are:

  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headache
  • Cramping in the limbs
  • Reduced vision
  • Numbness or tingling in the fingers or toes
  • Slow wound healing
  • Changes in skin color

Treatment of Reduced Blood Flow

Treatment for reduced blood flow depends on the condition that caused the problem. Some treatments may include medications, such as blood thinners or cholesterol reducing agents; lifestyle changes, such as weight loss and smoking cessation; or, in more serious cases, medical procedures, such as angioplasty.

It’s important to speak with a doctor if any of the above signs and symptoms of reduced blood flow are experienced. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to prevent damage to organs and bodily systems, and can improve overall quality of life.