Circulatory weakness - causes and therapy

Circulatory weakness - causes and therapy

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Circulatory problems with low blood pressure

Circulatory weakness is a common side effect of low blood pressure and can manifest itself in various symptoms. Sufferers often complain of dizziness or blackening in front of their eyes, at the same time as a general feeling of weakness. In many cases, the causes are unknown, but mostly circulatory weakness is harmless and no further treatment is required. Simple measures and behaviors can still help against possible complaints. Naturopathy and holistic medicine can also provide versatile support here.

Brief overview

  • How does a circulatory weakness manifest itself? Circulatory weakness is usually a short-term circulatory disorder with typical symptoms such as dizziness, weakness, tremors, blackening in the eyes and cold sweat. If this circulatory problem occurs chronically, it can also lead to general fatigue, concentration problems or irritability. With a light form, the affected person may not notice anything about their circulatory weakness.
  • Circulatory weakness - what is behind it? In most cases, poor circulation is harmless. The main cause is low blood pressure (hypotension), often with an unknown cause. Serious underlying diseases, such as the cardiovascular system, are less likely to be behind the problems with the circulatory system.
  • Circulatory weakness - what can you do? Often, no special treatment is necessary for those with poor circulation. However, if those affected feel stressed, changes in everyday exercise and eating habits as well as other simple measures can help to improve their well-being. Naturopathic treatments or holistic approaches can also help those affected to strengthen their circulation. These include, for example, various applications from the field of phytotherapy.

Definition: circulatory weakness

Circulatory weakness is a circulatory disorder in which various physical complaints arise due to low blood pressure (hypotension). The term weakness is often used in this context.

One speaks of a circulatory weakness in a drop in blood pressure without loss of consciousness; mostly accompanied by dizziness and blackening in front of the eyes. The brain is supplied with less oxygen, which leads to weakness with various symptoms. In contrast, loss of consciousness and loss of consciousness occur with a very pronounced drop in blood pressure with shock states (circulatory shock), but they are not general symptoms of circulatory weakness.

Whether a low blood pressure or a circulatory weakness has a disease value depends in principle on the symptoms and a possible underlying disease. It is not uncommon for mild circulatory weaknesses to not be treated further, while various treatment options are advised for more severe impairments.

Cardiovascular system

The circulatory system (cardiovascular system) - consisting of the heart and blood vessels - is a transport system that sends blood through the whole body and thus supplies it with oxygen and nutrients. But metabolic end products and carbon dioxide are also carried away via the bloodstream in the cardiovascular system (blood circulation).

Blood circulation: body circulation and pulmonary circulation

The entire blood circulation consists of two circuits connected in series, the body circulation (large blood circulation) and the lung circulation (small blood circulation). The body circulation has the task of supplying the entire organism with oxygen-rich blood. The pulmonary circulation resumes the used, oxygen-poor blood and enriches it again with oxygen for the body circulation.

The blood vessels represent the actual transport system. These include the arterial system (away from the heart) with the aorta, other arteries, arterioles and capillaries and the venous return flow (towards the heart) via the veins, venules and capillaries. The vessels and the heart are connected to a dynamic unit that controls the processes in the organism. Above all, the heart's pump function and blood pressure influence this dynamic, but the hormone and nervous system are also involved.

Circulation regulation using blood pressure

The blood flow is driven by pressure differences in the circulatory system. The blood flows with high pressure from the heart and areas close to the heart into the peripheral vessels - such as in the arms and legs - where there is less pressure. The flow rate is influenced by the blood pressure and the resistance of the vessels. Blood pressure is therefore an important component for circulatory regulation. It represents the pressure of the blood on the vessel walls, so to speak, and is dependent on the respective blood volume, the peripheral resistance (resistance of the vessels outside the heart) and the cardiac output (cardiac output).

For example, blood pressure changes when people lose large amounts of blood and the blood volume is reduced. Narrowed or enlarged vessels also influence blood pressure by changing the vascular resistance. Cardiac output is the amount of blood that the heart pumps into the body at a given time. If this volume changes, so does the blood pressure.

Symptoms of poor circulation

Circulatory weakness usually arises due to low blood pressure (hypotension) and can be seen as a symptom or complex of symptoms of this cardiovascular disease. All in all, the symptoms of a circulatory weakness are a rather mild symptom of hypotension. Depending on the severity, those affected may be only slightly impaired or may experience a relatively high level of suffering due to different symptoms.

In most cases, a sudden or short circulatory weakness manifests itself in the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness,
  • Blackening before the eyes or flickering before the eyes,
  • cold sweat,
  • Feeling weak,
  • Tremble,
  • slight drowsiness,
  • A headache,
  • Tinnitus,
  • Nausea.

If there is permanent (chronic) hypotension, circulatory weakness can also manifest itself as general tiredness, difficulty concentrating and rapid irritability and other symptoms.

Cause of circulatory weakness: hypotension

The reason for circulatory weakness - too low blood pressure - can have a variety of causes and is accordingly divided into different forms.

The primary or essential form of hypotension occurs most frequently and cannot be assigned to a specific cause. An inherited component can play a role here. This form occurs especially in young, slim women and endurance athletes who are otherwise in good health. The low blood pressure often remains here without symptoms.

In the secondary or symptomatic hypotension Various basic diseases are possible as triggers. Often it is heart and vascular diseases that lead to low blood pressure. But hormonal disorders as well as diseases of the kidney or thyroid gland can also be the cause. It is also important to take into account a lack of fluids and a lack of salt, which often affects older people. Serious illnesses are rare.

Side effects of various medications can also lower blood pressure. For example, certain psychotropic drugs, vasodilators (vasodilators) or diuretics (laxatives).

Another form is that orthostatic hypotension (also orthostatic dysregulation), in which the blood pressure suddenly drops after a change of position - for example when getting up after sitting or lying down for a long time. A systolic blood pressure drop of at least 20 mmHg or a diastolic pressure of at least 10 mmHg within three minutes after getting up is meant in a longer lying position compared to the previous value.

The reason is a disturbance in circulatory regulation, which occurs particularly in the elderly. Here, too, undesirable medicinal side effects play a major role. However, lack of fluids and other neurological and internal diseases can also be the cause of the disease.

In addition, in connection with a change in the weather and a particularly warm weather (weather sensitivity) or during pregnancy, blood pressure fluctuations and corresponding circulatory problems can occur.

Diagnosis: low blood pressure

Affected people who have a doctor's visit due to the corresponding symptoms are first interviewed in detail with regard to their individual complaints and possible previous illnesses, lifestyle habits and medication intake. The following is a clinical examination in which an accurate blood pressure measurement is an essential part of the diagnosis.

Blood pressure values ​​and blood pressure measurement

Blood pressure is first measured at rest. However, this is not sufficient for an accurate assessment. For this, blood pressure measurements must be carried out several times at different times of the day. Long-term blood pressure measurements over a period of 24 hours are also common diagnostic methods.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline, hypotension is present if the resting blood pressure is below 110/70 mmHg (men) or below 100/60 mmHg (women). The higher value is the systolic blood pressure. It stands for the pressure created by the contraction of the heart and the emptying of the left ventricle to bring the blood into the body. The lower, diastolic value, on the other hand, stands for the blood pressure that exists in the arteries during the relaxation phase of the heart when blood flows into the heart.

The unstressed systolic pressure is normally in the range of 110-130 mmHg, the diastolic pressure between 80-89 mmHg. All values ​​in this range are considered normal values.

As a rule, the pulse is also measured, because it also plays a decisive role in the pressure conditions in the blood vessels. A normal resting heart rate in adults is at a heart rate between 60 to 100 per minute. The exact value depends on age, gender, physical activity and other long-term physical stress (e.g. pregnancy).

Schellong test

The so-called Schellong test can be used to detect orthostatic hypotension. Blood pressure and pulse are measured repeatedly every minute for ten minutes to determine fluctuations. Before the measurements, a lying position must be maintained for ten minutes, from which the patient then moves to the stand.

If hypotension is diagnosed, it is important to identify or rule out a possible secondary form. For further clarification, it may then also be necessary to consult specialist medical reports.

After all examinations and depending on the personal feeling of the person concerned, a medical assessment can be made as to whether treatment measures are necessary for an existing circulatory weakness or not.


In general, a less symptomatic circulatory weakness is not considered to be in need of treatment. Generally, general health measures are sufficient to alleviate mild symptoms. It is important that those affected do not feel restricted or sick.

Medicines only in exceptional cases

However, if stressful symptoms occur, certain therapy options may be useful. Medications will only be postponed in serious cases. On the contrary: If side effects of medication cause poor circulation, these drug therapies should be changed.

Medicines that are considered in exceptional cases to strengthen the circulation and raise blood pressure are so-called sympathomimetics. Mineral corticosteroids can also be prescribed to reduce the excretion of water and electrolytes so that blood pressure rises.

However, if there are serious illnesses that justify secondary hypotension, appropriate therapeutic measures must be taken. Successful treatment then usually leads to stabilization of the circulation.

Weak circulation: what to do?

If the circulation suddenly goes limp, a first simple measure is to lie down flat and put your legs up. Cooling the forehead with a damp cloth is also helpful. Before you get up, you should drink a large glass of water and, for example, you can also eat a handful of walnuts to reactivate the circulation.

In general, poor circulation is not a threatening health problem. In order to counteract mainly slight manifestations, generally healthy behavior makes sense. Above all, this includes regular exercise - preferably in the fresh air. Moderate endurance training is the best way to strengthen the circulation.

You should also ensure that you have sufficient fluids (two to two and a half liters of still water daily) and a healthy diet. You shouldn't drink too much coffee and black tea - it's better to enjoy green tea. A diet rich in salt and a diet rich in minerals and vitamins are particularly beneficial. Refraining from nicotine and excessive alcohol consumption is advisable.

If you are dealing with a weak circulation, you should avoid getting up quickly and standing too long. If a long standing cannot be avoided, it is possible to keep the circulation going by tapping the ball of the toe or clawing the toes.

In order to maintain and maintain a strong circulation in the long term, it is recommended, for example, to climb stairs instead of elevator in everyday life and to install weekly saunas and daily changing showers.

Naturopathy and holistic medicine for poor circulation

Various naturopathy and holistic medicine procedures can have a positive effect on hypotension and the associated circulatory weakness in some sufferers. They are often an effective addition to the above-mentioned rules of conduct. Experience reports have shown that various rejection methods, such as cupping and Baunscheidt therapy, can help to improve vascular tone.

Certain medicinal plants can also have a positive effect on the circulation in various forms of application. Vegetable bitter substances, such as wormwood, centaury and gentian, are known for their stimulating effects on the circulation and digestion.

Complex agents that contain several plants and their active ingredients are often available for the treatment of circulatory weakness. The following medicinal plants are just a few effective options:

  • rosemary - contributes to the increase in blood pressure,
  • Fighter - strengthens the circulation,
  • Hawthorn - supports the heart and its performance,
  • ginseng- is considered a general tonic.

Tea with rosemary, for example, is a proven home remedy. To do this, pour a quarter liter of boiling water over a teaspoon of fresh or dried rosemary leaves and let the covered infusion steep for five minutes before straining.

Rosemary in particular can also be used as a kind of emergency aid: putting a few drops of rosemary essential oil on a handkerchief and inhaling the scent can be a valuable help in the case of acute circulatory weakness. Alternatively, so-called emergency drops (rescue drops) according to Dr. Bach (Bach flower therapy) can be used.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the causes of low blood pressure are mostly attributed to malnutrition or kidney weakness. A distinction is made here between symptoms such as headache, dizziness and general well-being. TCM uses various herbs and treatment methods, including acupuncture, to strengthen the kidneys, spleen and stomach.

The healing power of water is particularly noted in Sebastian Kneipp's applications. Special hydrotherapy, regular water treading or Kneipp watering can ensure a strong circulation.

Homeopathy can also help with circulatory problems. The main medicines associated with various types of circulatory disorders are aconite, arnica, camphora, carbo vegetabilis and veratrum album.

Prognosis in case of circulatory weakness

Generally, poor circulation combined with low blood pressure has a good prognosis. If there are no underlying illnesses, in contrast to high blood pressure, hypotension is often assumed to increase life expectancy. Nevertheless - especially in old age - the increasing probability of orthostatic hypotension should not be underestimated. Symptoms associated with circulatory weakness can lead to balance problems and falls and pose a health risk from serious injuries. (sw, cs)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


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ICD codes for this disease: I95ICD codes are internationally valid encodings for medical diagnoses. You can find yourself e.g. in doctor's letters or on disability certificates.

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