Poor blood circulation in the legs
Blockages that can develop in the arteries supplying blood to the legs and feet causing aching in the calves or buttocks when walking, a painful burning sensation in the feet, especially in bed at night, and in some severe cases gangrene. It is more common in diabetic patients.
• Physical examination includes checking the pulses in the legs. Blood tests and more specialized blood flow tests, ECG, and sometimes ultrasound and angiograms of the leg arteries can also be performed.
o Surgery: sometimes it is possible to bypass the blockage with a graft made from a vein or other tissue.
o Angioplasty and stents can sometimes be effective in opening blocked arteries.
o Drugs: aspirin and cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) are often used but there are no drugs which help open the arteries.
o Amputation may be necessary if symptoms are too severe or if gangrene develops.
Chelation therapy can be very effective in improving the circulation. Because amputation is so destructive to quality of life, NO PATIENT should ever have a leg amputated for poor circulation without having a trail of chelation therapy.
• If you have diabetes, make sure your blood sugar is well controlled.
• Look after your feet, and treat infections and cuts very carefully.
• Regular walking is helpful but stop when the pain occurs and then restart when it has gone. This encourages the development of natural bypasses, called collaterals.
• If your feet hurt or you have a burning sensation in bed at night, even though they may feel cold, take the blankets off your feet to keep them cool. It is heat which causes the pain.
These are very important because with reduced blood supply, nutrition to the feet is reduced.
• A good multivitamin/multimineral make sure that the legs and feet have all the nutrients and minerals they require.
• Omega 3 fish oils, 1-2 grams daily, help the blood flow through the arteries and improve tissue healing.
• Calcium and magnesium, 800-1,000mg/day, can relax the muscles in the artery wall and may improve circulation.
• Ginkgo Biloba, an ancient Chinese herb is the only therapy which has been shown in a reputable trial to improve circulation to the legs.
• Grape seed extract is a powerful antioxidant and can be protective of the tissues which have a poor circulation.