Your Cold Feet May Not Necessarily Be a Sign of Anxiety
Around the body in 60 seconds
BLOOD is life; without it, we die. Our body has a vast system of blood vessels made up of arteries, veins, and capillaries over 100,000km long that carry blood to almost every part of our body. That’s enough to circle the world 2.5 times! Despite this long distance, it takes a mere 60 seconds for our blood to make the round trip back to the heart, less if we are exercising!
This constant movement, called our blood circulation, is like the highway network of our circulatory system, and its continuity and smoothness are absolutely critical to our health and life.
Functions of our blood circulation
- Primary role is to transport key nutrients and oxygen to cells and molecules for proper functioning, growth, and repair
- Collects carbon dioxide and metabolic waste from cells for removal
- Transports hormones produced by the endocrine system
- Transports white blood cells to fight against infections as well as platelets to help blood clot during injuries
- Regulates and maintains the temperature of the body by increasing or decreasing blood flow to the skin surface
- Controls the pH balance and the level of water and salt required by our body cells
- Regulates blood pressure
What happens in poor blood circulation?
Good health and an active lifestyle depend on a good circulatory system. Unfortunately, our ‘highway’ can encounter ‘traffic jams’, congestion and even develop ‘potholes’ over time. Poor blood circulation may have many underlying causes, of which the most common is atherosclerosis, or the hardening of blood vessels.
Atherosclerosis often starts off with the accumulation of plaque on the inner walls of blood vessels. Plaque is often made up of cholesterol, fat, and cellular waste. As the plaque accumulates on the inner walls of blood vessels, they can restrict blood flow or block it altogether.
This results in impaired blood circulation that can stop our cells from receiving nutrients and eliminating waste. Over time, it results in the hardening of our blood vessels and can lead to a host of problems, some of which are potentially life-threatening.
Did you know?
- Impotence or erectile dysfunction, is estimated to affect 10% of the male population. Above the age of 40, it affects nearly 52% of men!
- The total deaths from heart disease is 250% higher than all cancers combined 1 in 4 women in Malaysia die of heart failure.
Tell-tale signs of poor blood circulation in our body
Heart disease: Where do you stand?
One of the major concerns of a poor blood circulation is heart or cardiovascular diseases (CVD). CVD is the #1 cause of death worldwide. Almost 50% of heart attack patients are between 40-60 years old. Malaysians develop heart attack at a younger age than people in the US, Europe, Australia, Canada, Thailand, and China. Individuals as young as in their 20s have been diagnosed with heart disease.
Personal Assessment for Heart Health (Are you at risk of heart disease?)
a) BMI < 25
b) Overweight – BMI 25-29.9
c) Obese – BMI ≥ 30
BMI is measured in your weight (kg) divided by your height in metres squared, e.g. 68kg (weight) and 1.65m (height).
2. Blood Pressure
a) ≤120/80 mmHg
b) 120/80 – 139/89mmHg
c) ≥140/90 mmHg
3. Total Cholesterol
a) < 5.2mmol/L
b) 5.2 – 6.1mmol/L
c) ≥ 6.2mmol/L
4. Fasting Blood Glucose
a) 3.9 – 5.5mmol/L
b) 5.6 – 7mmol/L
c) ≥ 7mmol/L
5. Waist Circumference for men and women
a) < 37 inches ≤ 30 inches
b) 37.0 – 40.0 inches 31.5 – 34.6 inches
c) > 40 inches > 35 inches
a) Not exposed at all
b) Exposed to second-hand smoke
c) Occasional/Daily Smoker
7. Physical Activity
a) 20-30 minutes ≥ 3 times a week
b) 20-30 minutes once or twice weekly
c) No regular exercise
8. Family History of Heart Disease
b) Yes, in members aged ≥ 55 years
c) Yes, in members aged < 55 years
• Lower Risk
As & ≤ 2Bs
• Medium Risk
As, Bs & Cs
• High risk
As, Bs & ≥ 3Cs
Common risk factors of heart disease
- Obesity: Heart disease is present 10 times more often in obese people
- High Blood Pressure: 3 out of 4 people with chronic heart failure have high blood pressure
- High Cholesterol: People with high cholesterol are 2 times more likely to develop heart disease
- Large waist circumference: Normal-weight women with a waist of 35 inches or higher have 3 times the risk of heart disease, compared to normal weight women with smaller waists.
- Smoking: Smokers are 4 times more likely to die from heart disease & have heart attacks at a much younger age.
- Sedentary Lifestyle: Inactive people are nearly 2 times as likely to develop heart disease as those who are active.
- Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Excessive drinkers are 2 times more likely to have a fatal heart attack.
- Poor Diet: People with a high diet of saturated fat are 30% more likely to develop heart disease.
- Diabetes: People with diabetes are 2 times more likely to develop heart disease