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Vascular Surgery

Easy bruising and lack of circulation in arms

10/13/2005

Question:

I have a few problems that may involve my circulation. I am a 51 year old woman. My father, who is diabetic has advanced vascular and heart disease. I am not diabetic but I have recently developed hypertension and I take 80 mg of diovan each day. It seemed odd to suddenly have this problem and it was quite high. I notice I get popped blood vessels for no aparent reason in my arms on occasion that cause a large bump. Today I seemed to get this from carrying a bulky object up a flight of stairs. I also sometimes pop vessels in my fingers if I do something strenuous, but I never actually injure myself--they just seem to happen to easily Is this something serious? Is it related to hypertension? Also for many years I notice very poor circulation in my arms. I am unable to keep them elevated without them feeling as if they are about to fall asleep. I also get swollen hands when I go walking briskly for a few minutes--I thought that might be a circulatory problem as well. Any ideas for me?

Answer:

I would ask your primary care physician to check blood pressure in both of your arms and consider ordering upper extremity vascular lab studies to further assess blood flow and possible plaque build up which can diminish your circulation. If these are normal, you may want to have your neck evaluated for cervical stenosis.

There are no simple answers for easy bruising - often a condition related to diminished skin integrity as we age. Fortunately this is typically not a serious problem.

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Response by:

Amy B Reed, MD Amy B Reed, MD
No longer associated