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Leg cramps & Metformin?

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by viviennem, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. viviennem

    viviennem Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    At about 03:30 this morning I was idly thinking about leg/foot cramps while hopping about the bedroom on one leg :shock: .

    I was diagnosed Type 2 in April 2010 (when very stressed) with an HbA1c of 6.5 and a fasting BG of 9.0. I started testing in December 2010 and the highest reading I have ever seen was 11.7, that Christmas, 2 hours after an experimental mince pie.

    Of course I have always had the occasional muscle cramp - what some people would call a "Charley Horse" - haven't we all? But the cramps I get now feel more like tendon cramps (if there is such a thing) than muscle cramps, and they tend to twist my feet to unnatural angles, or twist my toes together and across each other. They happen when I'm in bed, or when i have my feet up, or (in my toes) when I'm driving.

    Now, my BG levels are well-controlled (never over 6 for about 12 months) and my HbA1c has been in the 5s since Sept 2010. The only thing I am doing differently since my pre-diabetic days is being less mobile - and taking Metformin!

    I don't think cramps are a listed side-effect of Metformin - but could it be that which is causing the cramps?

    I'd be interested to hear from Type 2s on Metformin with their experiences of cramps; also those of any type, NOT taking Metformin, as to whether they have these cramps as well.

    Maybe someone who knows how could help me devise a box-ticking survey? Could be interesting!

    Viv 8)
     
  2. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

    Hi Viv,

    The general population suffer from cramp so I am wondering if yours is related to the spinal stenosis you suffer from?
     
  3. borderter

    borderter Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I too got bad cramp with met as did my sister on them too
     
  4. llandudno1960

    llandudno1960 · Active Member

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    hi i too get very bad leg cramps worse in the evening and middle of the night i am on metformin i wonder if there is a connection will be interesting to hear of anyone else with cramps :?
     
  5. tree-peony

    tree-peony · Well-Known Member

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    I get really bad leg ache and pains. My GP says it's the Metformin.
     
  6. viviennem

    viviennem Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies :D

    I had wondered about the stenosis connection too, Catherine; that affects only my right leg at present but I get cramps in both! Much more often than I would consider "normal". And I'm not short of salt. Could be that the stenosis is getting round to the left one as well, even though I don't have the tingling and nerve pain in that - yet! Oh joy :roll:

    I'll ask my GP next time I see him, Treepeony. Intersting that yours blames the Met for your leg aches & pains. When I had those (not cramps, just aches & pains) it was the SImvastatin. They've gone since I stopped the statins.

    Please keep posting, people. Anyone NOT on Met get the leg cramps?

    Viv 8)
     
  7. tree-peony

    tree-peony · Well-Known Member

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    I think they make it up as they go along! One interesting thing tho is that I seem to have worked out what was contributing to Metformin giving me such bad gastric probs. Even on 2 a day it would still cripple me some days. Then I realised that it ONLY happened when I was at home, and not when I was away working. So I had a think about what I was eating and the main difference is that when I'm away, lunch tends to be cheese/cooked meats/a pear, whereas at home it would be salad with LOTS of lettuce. I stopped the lettuce and VOILA, the gastric probs have gone. I've even increased to 3 x 500mg with no ill effects :D

    Just goes to prove every one is different :)
     
  8. kerryseacadets

    kerryseacadets · Member

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    Had severe leg cramps could be metformin or the simvastatin, now have quinine sulphate for cramps so tablets for side effects of other tablets more to the monthly carrier bag full
     
  9. BaliRob

    BaliRob Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Dear kerry, for your long-term health's sake check out the FDA's report of 1999 on Quinine Sulphate and my many posts here regarding leg cramps, Quinine Sulphate and kidney damage
     
  10. christinaa

    christinaa · Member

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    hi, I am now on 4 mets a day, getting leg cramps/pains also tum upsets and feeling very sick at times particulary first thing in mornings :D no not pregnant. Do not know bloods etc as only have a blood test once or twice a year if I can get them
     
  11. BaliRob

    BaliRob Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Dear Christina,

    Could be the Metformin (Glucophage) see my posts of today viz; "Legs on fire" and "Glurenorm". However, we must not be too quick to disparage Metformin which I and others have used for many years without very bad side effects except for stomach probs until used to it. I had the worst leg cramps in the world before diagnosis which was probably as a result of very high blood sugar readings.
     
  12. viviennem

    viviennem Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes BaliRob, even if I was 100% sure that metformin was involved in the leg cramps I would not stop taking it - I've settled with it well, after a few exciting weeks, and I like it for its stroke/CVD/ possible cancer protection.

    I Googled round after I first started this thread and came across a lot of comment on other fora about Met and leg cramps - also different makes of Met, some causing worse gastro problems tham others. Mostly from the USA. So maybe it is involved. Many people recommended a small glass of original Tonic Water before bed to help with the cramps - there is some quinine in that but apparently less concentrated than the Quinine Sulphate.

    Besides, leaping out of bed to jump up and down on a cramped leg at least gives me some exercise! :wink:

    Viv 8)
     
  13. BaliRob

    BaliRob Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello Viv,

    Be careful about the jumping up and down in the middle of the night - I stood up with severe cramp in one leg at 2.15am which progressed into the worst possible pain which caused me to go unconscious. I fell face down onto a chair - blood everywhere - and did not come to for 5 hours. Problem was that I am sure that the doctor thought I had been drinking which I don't ha ha ha
     
  14. Squire Fulwood

    Squire Fulwood Type 2 · Expert

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    This thread has got my attention. For three years various statins were tried but each of them had severe side effects. Two of them cramped my legs to the point that in each case I could not walk properly for a month. I am no longer prescribed statins because of the trouble.

    I now have what I have assumed to be a residual effect in that when I walk my stamina is limited. I have to stop occasionally to let the legs rest because they feel like they are going to cramp any second.

    Now you say that Metformin might be the culprit. I am still taking Metformin.
     
  15. phoenix

    phoenix Type 1 · Expert

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    Recurring episodes of leg pain/cramp in the calves or perhaps in the thigh that are triggered by walking really should be mentioned to your doctor. They may be some sort of residual problem from the statins or even the met but you can't assume that.
     
  16. BaliRob

    BaliRob Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Intermittent Claudication could possibly be the culprit in Squire's case - just a thought
     
  17. xyzzy

    xyzzy Other · Well-Known Member

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    I mentioned the same thing happens to me a few months ago. I've always had the problem on and off but it got significantly worse as I got my BG's back under tight control. I have solved by drinking a tumbler of slimline tonic before bed, the doc said that was a nice easy treatment rather than Quinine Sulphate when I asked about it. Shame I can't get the tonic via prescription :lol: Have no idea what the cause is apart from maybe it occurs more on colder nights.
     
  18. borofergie

    borofergie Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    With or without Gin? Sounds like a Grazer solution to me...
     
  19. xyzzy

    xyzzy Other · Well-Known Member

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    Mostly without :)
     
  20. phoenix

    phoenix Type 1 · Expert

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    Xyzzy,
    I think I'm right that your cramps came on at night whereas the Squires come on with walking.
    They are different situations so may not have either the same cause or cure.
     
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