Poor circulation is a problem that affects primarily the elderly and obese, but can manifest in anyone. It refers to the diminished flow of blood throughout the body, especially in the extremities. It may not seem like a serious condition, but, if left untreated, can lead to serious complications, from kidney damage to stroke. It is usually the result of obesity, prolonged high blood pressure, or age. The symptoms of poor circulation are fairly easy to identify, however, so treatment can begin early if it is observed developing.

Numbness and Cramping
Among the first symptoms of poor circulation to manifest in a form where they are noticeable are numbness and cramping in the extremities, particularly the legs.

Redness and Swelling
Examine the legs and feet for any signs of redness or swelling. To check for edema, or persistent swelling in the legs, press a finger firmly against the lower leg, about halfway between the knee and ankle, then pull it away. If the skin does not immediately bounce back and an indentation is left, the person is showing one of the first symptoms of poor circulation: edema.

Tired, Achy Legs
Another of the symptoms of poor circulation is the legs becoming tired and achy after prolonged periods of standing or inactivity, which is relieved by elevation of the legs and movement. When the legs are elevated, the built up fluids in the legs are able to drain back into the body, relieving the pain and swelling.

Diminished Mental Acuity
Mental capacity diminishes due to the reduced blood flow to the brain. This will generally manifest in memory loss, lethargy, and a general loss of mental acuity. A great deal of the body's blood is concentrated in the brain at any given time, so frequent headaches and dizzy spells may also be a symptom of poor circulation.

Loss of Libido
This may be a sore point for many people, men in particular because it is often a matter of pride. However, poor circulation will frequently lead to a loss of libido and ability to perform.

Slow Healing Wounds
When there is a loss of blood flow to the site of a wound or injury, it does not heal as well or as quickly. When searching for symptoms of poor circulation, determine whether there are any wounds that are taking an excessively long time to heal. These wounds can eventually grow into nonhealing ulcers, or, in extreme cases, result in amputation.