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Do you suffer with circulation problems?

Posted by Eamonn Brady on


We often hear people say they have “poor circulation”. There are many different causes of poor circulation and many conditions that can lead to poor circulation. Symptoms of these conditions can include “cold hands”, pins and needles in hands and feet, numbness, varicose veins, leg cramps, a heavy feeling in the limbs and swollen ankles. Serious and even life threatening conditions that can occur include leg ulcers, gangrene, kidney failure and brain aneurisms. We have 100,000 miles of blood vessels in a complex network throughout our body.


Poor circulation is medically referred to as Vascular Disease. Vascular Disease includes any condition that affects your circulatory system including diseases of arteries, veins and lymph vessels as well as blood disorders that affect circulation. These include Peripheral Artery Disease, Renal Artery Disease, Varicose Veins, Venous Blood Clots, Aneurysm, Raynaud’s Disease, Peripheral Venous Disease and Erectile Dysfunction. I have discussed each of these conditions in more detail in the Westmeath Topic in the past. Check for these articles or you can ask a Whelehans member of staff for a free copy.


“Teflon versus Velcro”

Healthy arteries are flexible and elastic and blood runs through the veins as if they were lined with a nonstick surface that enhances blood flow like “Teflon”. As we age, this “Teflon” coating starts to get sticky, like “Velcro”, and this leads to many health risks. When arteries stiffen, they are more likely to clog with fatty substances such as cholesterol and cause heart attacks and strokes. Measuring the stiffness of your arteries can identify your risk of cardiovascular disease. Whelehans pharmacy in Mullingar now have a consultant in store who uses a BPro Cardio Device which identifies the flexibility of your arteries and provides critical information that can help you identify problems before they become life threatening. Book an appointment by calling us at 04493 34591. It now only costs €35.



Atherosclerosis occurs when arteries become clogged up by fatty substances, such as cholesterol. These substances are called plaques or atheromas. This build up of plaque is the root cause of various vascular diseases such as varicose veins, erectile dysfunction and Raynauds Disease. It also causes cardiovascular conditions such as angina, heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.



Certain factors increase the risk of atherosclerosis. These are mainly lifestyle related and include:

  • smoking (the single biggest cause of most vascular diseases)
  • a high-fat diet
  • a lack of exercise
  • being overweight or obese
  • having either type 1 or type 2 diabetes
  • having high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • having high cholesterol

Over the course of years and decades, plaque build up narrows the arteries and makes them stiffer. This makes it harder for blood to flow through them. Clots may form in these narrowed arteries and block blood flow


This can be achieved by making lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthier diet, increasing exercise, stopping smoking. There are several medications available to treat many of the underlying causes of blood vessel narrowing and hardening, such as a high cholesterol level and high blood pressure. Antiplatelet medication such as aspirin thins blood so helps prevent clots. In some cases surgery may be required to widen or bypass a section of a blocked or narrowed artery.

I have a more indept information on each of the main vascular diseases mentioned above on our website,,


Can L’arginine benefit your heart?

L-arginine is best known for its cardiovascular benefits and can relax blood vessels. Research shows it reduces stress on the heart, improves circulation and lowers blood pressure. L’Arginine can increase blood flow without the side effects associated with some prescription vasodilators such as headaches and flushing. Reduced blood pressure may be seen within a few days of commencing L’Arginine. The benefits of l-arginine was part of the research that lead to three American scientists winning the 1998 Nobel Prize for Medicine. However, as of yet, research has not shown that L’arginine supplementation reduces the risk of heart attack. By naturally dilating blood vessels, it can also benefit many of the vascular diseases mentioned above.   L-Arginine Plus is a supplement containing L’arginine, now available through Whelehans Pharmacy. From experience of our customers, we have discovered many of those who have tried L-Arginine Plus had a positive effect for their circulatory disorders.


How old is your heart?

Our arteries age due to their elasticity. Unfortunately, for some people due to many reasons their arteries may age prematurely. This may be due to genetic reasons or lifestyle factors such as smoking, lack of exercise, excess alcohol intake, poor diet and obesity. BPro Cardio Screen measures cardio pulse wave which determines the health of your arteries for your age based on their elasticity.  In simple terms, it measures the “age of our heart”.


What is our BPro Cardio Screen Service?

Whelehans now has a cardiovascular health check called BPro Cardio Screen. This test measures the stiffness of your arteries to help identify risk of blockages and your risk of cardiovascular disease and circulation problems. BPRo is placed like a watch on your wrist and is completely pain free. A pulse wave reads and calculates a wave signal that indicates the elasticity of large, small, and peripheral artery walls as well as tests for stress, central blood pressure, heart rate, and more. It is now only €35 (was €50); it only takes about 15 minutes to get checked. Our next clinic is Thursday February 11th from 9am to 5pm. Book by calling Whelehans at 04493 34591.


To be continued…next week I will discuss atherosclerosis in more details


Arginine or BPro Cardio Screen is not meant as a substitute for proper medical assessment with your doctor and should not replace prescription medication


For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans, log on to or dial 04493 34591.


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