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What is Circulation in the Body?

March 27, 2019 in Circulation

what is circulation in the body

What is Circulation in the Body?

The human circulatory system is responsible for circulating blood and nutrients such as oxygen, amino acids and hormones through the cells to keep our organs and tissues healthy. Proper circulation also works to build our immune system. Because it plays such a major role, it's worth asking: what is circulation in the body, and how does it work? Read on to learn about the circulatory system, certain issues that can arise and what you can do to improve this vital bodily function.

How Does the Circulatory System Work?

As our heart beats, blood vessels (otherwise known as arteries) carry blood away from the heart whereas veins carry blood back to the heart. This blood vessel system is complex, and its structure roughly resembles a tree. The main artery, known as the aorta, is considered the “trunk” of the tree, which branches into increasingly smaller vessels which carry blood around the body to the various tissues that need it.

What is circulation in the body

Source credit: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279250/

Humans have two connected blood circulatory systems. The first, known as systemic circulation, provides blood to the body’s organs, tissues and cells. This allows the body to receive oxygen and other vital nutrients. The second is known as the pulmonary circulation system. This system allows for the entrance of oxygen we breathe in and the release of carbon dioxide.

What are the Symptoms of Poor Circulation?

There is a wide range of symptoms that can be associated with poor circulation. If you notice any of these symptoms, it's always best to consult your doctor.

Common symptoms of poor circulation include:

  • Numbness, tingling, coldness, and swelling in the extremities (hands, feet, ankles)
  • Fatigue
  • Cramping in the muscles and joints
  • Changes in skin coloration
  • Varicose veins
  • Leg or feet ulcers

What Causes Poor Circulation?

Poor circulation is typically caused by restrictions against proper blood flow. If you’re experiencing issues with poor circulation, it's very likely caused by any of the following:

Blood clots

Clotting in the blood vessels restricts blood flow, and in some cases, completely blocks blood from flowing properly. A blood clot can occur in any part of the body and lead to serious health concerns. Blood clots can be treated if they are monitored properly.


Obesity can put dangerous stress on the circulatory system if it is allowed to get out of hand. This added weight also increases the risk of high blood pressure and varicose veins.


Diabetes does affect circulation. If you experience high blood glucose levels for a long period of time, your blood vessels can become damaged and plaque is likely to build up. It's very important for those with diabetes to properly maintain correct levels of blood glucose levels, blood pressure and cholesterol for healthy circulation.


Smoking can have very negative consequences for circulation, as it can damage the blood vessels and cause a buildup of plaque on the vessel wall.

Raynaud’s disease

Those who suffer Raynaud’s disease have to contend with poor circulation. This is because the condition causes spasms in the blood vessels which leads them to narrow. As a result, those with the condition will feel pain, numbness and tingling in the extremities.


This condition is one of the major causes of blood circulation issues. It occurs when plaque builds up in the blood vessels, causing them to narrow and harden.

Tips for Improving Circulation

It's very important to treat poor circulation according to its symptoms and cause. Consult with a doctor to create the best treatment plan for you.


Maintaining a healthy body weight through healthy eating is one of the most important steps anyone can take towards improving circulation. Steering clear of excessive amounts of salt and saturated fats can help you manage your body weight, blood pressure and cholesterol. Be sure to discuss any diet with your doctor to make sure you are getting the nutrients you need.



Your daily habits can also affect your circulation. If you sit or stand for long periods during the day, you may experience issues with your blood flow. Avoid staying in one position for too long. Similarly, keeping up with your exercise is very important for your circulatory system. Regularly performing a cardiovascular activity such as jogging helps improve your body’s ability to take in oxygen and improve overall circulation. It also helps to stretch on a regular basis, or perform yoga if you are comfortable with it.

circulation exercise

A Circulation Promoting Machine

Devices like DR-HO'S Circulation Promoter can improve circulation. This device is very effective in helping with circulatory issues in the lower body. It's powered by the Pain Therapy System and improves circulation by stimulating the muscles in the lower limb to contract and release. This action allows the muscles to pump fluid up into the rest of your body, improving circulation and muscle oxygenation.

circulation promoter

Drink More Water

Drinking lots of water can keep your body hydrated, which helps keep systems such as blood circulation functioning properly. Staying hydrated is even more crucial for people with diabetes because water can dilute the high blood sugar levels in the bloodstream.

Better Circulation is Possible!

Healthy circulation is something that we should all take very seriously. If you're suffering from poor circulation, take consolation in the fact that are ways to address it. Understanding how circulation in the body works and how it can be improved is a major step towards living a healthier lifestyle. If you have any further questions about your circulation, consult with your doctor regularly.

what is circulation in the body

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