What causes circulation conditions

As we get older, numerous changes occur in the body which can lead to poor blood circulation. When blood flow is reduced in certain parts of our body, this is known as a circulation condition. Not only can these conditions cause pain or discomfort, but they can also lead to a variety of troubling health problems if not properly managed.

In older adults, circulation conditions are often related to an underlying medical condition. If you are having difficulties with circulation problems, it is important to follow the recommendations of your doctor. But there are also many lifestyle changes that older adults can take to improve their circulation without medication.

Here is an in-depth look at what causes circulation conditions along with some tips for improving your circulation and overall health and wellbeing.


Circulation conditions, or vascular diseases, are catch-all terms used to describe medical conditions which affect your circulatory system, or system of blood vessels. Circulatory and heart conditions affect over 7.6 million people in the UK.

As our bodies get older, our arteries and blood vessels begin to wear down. This is not limited to older adults. Changes to our hearts and blood vessels may begin as early as 20 years of age.

The body’s arteries are responsible for transporting oxygenated blood throughout the body. Over time, these arteries may narrow or become blocked by clots, deposits of fat, or inflammation. This puts an increased strain on the heart as it works harder to pump blood through these narrowed or blocked arteries.


Blood clots, plaque build-up, and narrowed arteries can all cause medical conditions that lead to poor circulation. There are several conditions that can lead to poor circulation including:

  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Blood clots
  • Varicose veins
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Raynaud’s disease

Many factors that predispose us to circulation conditions cannot be changed such as our gender, age, or pre-existing medical conditions. But there are certain lifestyle factors that also play a role in increasing your chances of having poor circulation:

  • Smoking: The chemicals found in cigarettes damage the body’s blood vessels putting you at a higher risk for heart disease, strokes, and atherosclerosis.
  • High blood pressure: When your blood pressure is high, your blood pushes against your blood vessels with greater force. Over time, this may weaken blood vessels making it harder for the body to pump blood through them.
  • High cholesterol: High cholesterol causes your arteries to narrow and can lead to strokes, heart disease, and poor blood circulation if not managed.
  • Inactivity: Regular movement can increase blood flow and lower the risk of thrombosis.


Poor circulation is often the first warning sign of other health conditions. Recognising the symptoms of poor circulation will help you understand when it is time to make some lifestyle changes. If you are noticing any of these symptoms for the first time, be sure to speak with your GP.

Some of the symptoms of poor circulation include:

  • Pale or blue skin colour.
  • Muscles that hurt or feel weak when you walk.
  • Veins that bulge.
  • Hair loss on your feet or legs.
  • A “pins and needles” or tingling sensation on your skin.
  • Cold fingers or toes.
  • Numbness.
  • Chest pain.
  • Swelling.

Be sure to keep track of any signs or symptoms of poor circulation and let your GP know if you experience any changes.


If you are diagnosed with poor circulation, your doctor will recommend the most appropriate treatment which may include medication. They may also recommend some of the following lifestyle changes:

  • Stopping smoking.
  • Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet.
  • Losing weight.
  • Increasing your physical activity.
  • Wearing compression gloves or stockings.
  • Reducing your stress.

Before undertaking any new lifestyle changes, always consult with your GP.


If you are living with a circulatory condition and it affects your ability to live well, our home care services can help. For over 75 years, we have been trusted by families to provide industry-leading home care. Our competent and compassionate carers are here to help you live happily and independently in your own home.

Our service is nurse-led and all carers are provided with the training they need to provide care and support for medical conditions such as circulation conditions. Each carer is supported by an experienced and dedicated registered nurse who provides clinical oversight and ongoing monitoring, so you can be reassured that you or your loved one is in the safest hands. The care we provide is highly personalised for every stage of life and is designed to evolve as your care needs change.

Our carers are there to help you with the everyday tasks that make life meaningful and enjoyable. If needed, our carers will help you maintain your health and wellbeing, provide discreet and sensitive personal care, or ensure that you take your medications on time.

Care at home can be provided from one to as many hours/visits throughout the day as you require to live happily and independently in your treasured home. For those that have complex care needs, our care can be provided 24 hours a day.


We are providing care and support to those needing cancer care in over 30 locations in the heart of communities across England and Scotland.  The fully managed service we provide is highly responsive and our experts local to you can put care packages in place quickly, working in collaboration with local healthcare professionals, multidisciplinary teams, therapeutic care providers and other community support services.  We know this holistic approach ensures our clients get the best out of life, for all of life.


Find out why our clients choose Prestige Nursing & Care for a high quality, responsive home care service.

Home Care FAQs

We are here to take your call and will provide impartial support and guidance – contact our friendly care experts today to discuss your care needs.

0808 239 1525


Find your nearest branch