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Leg Cramps

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by Fallenover, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. Fallenover

    Fallenover · Member

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    Hey, for the last few years ive suffered from very painful leg cramps, ive asked my doctor about it and she said it was normal, but its got to the point now that i wake up during the night screaming in pain and then once the cramp has gone im still in so much pain that i can't walk and even the slightest pressure on my legs causes me to scream and break down in sobs. its both legs now and its making life so very difficult. Saying that the other night i woke up to go to the loo and put one foot down and had pain running through my calf, i didn't think much of it at first, but then yesterday i got up in the morning and the other calf was the same, i don't remember having a cramp in either leg, but the pain is very simiular to the after pain of a cramp, ive been back to the doctor and she still says its normal, surely not everyone suffers from this? I can't walk for more then 5 mins with out crying becuase of the pain..does anyone else suffer from anything like this? I have a good diet and have low cal, i also have low blood pressure, but i do cut out salt from all my food, so maybe that could be the cause?? Any ideas would be helpful.
    Also my blood sugars are pretty high, so also maybe a factor. :?:
     
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  2. graham64

    graham64 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    Are you on statins :?: I was on simvastatin And like you ended with terrible pains in my calf muscles to the extent that I was struggling to get out of bed. The statins also affected my shoulders and neck gave me nightmares and brought on depression, since stopping simvastatin I stll get aches in my calf muscles but no were near as bad,the rest of my symptoms disappeared.Hope this helps.

    Best of luck Graham
     
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  3. IanD

    IanD Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    If you are on statins, they are the probable cause. At 19 I don't suppose you need or take them, though.

    I had very similar symptoms - very painful to get out of bed - I had to lift one leg by hand. The Dr won't warn you about muscle pains from statins, but they can be debilitating. The pains went within a week of stopping, & my Dr then confirmed the side effect.

    That was two years ago. The pains came back with a rise in blood sugar earlier this year (not with statins) & I thought my active life was over. Reduced carb has reduced my blood sugars & cleared the pain.
     
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  4. Fallenover

    Fallenover · Member

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    Hey, no i don't have statins, so that isn't the cause. I cut out salt becuase i hate the taste, if i taste any on my food i end up being sick, so can't really add salt to my diet. As with the low BP, i don't know how to raise that. I've always had low BP, even when i was pregnant and in labour i had to have tablets to raise it. I've heard drinking tonic water before bed helps stop cramps, is this true?
     
  5. DiabeticGeek

    DiabeticGeek · Well-Known Member

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    An extremely low salt diet can cause various problems - leg cramps being the most obvious. If you ever exert yourself in a hot climate it can also make you far more vulnerable to heat exhaustion - which can be dangerous. Many people avoid salt because of its supposed risks, but these are largely theoretical - there isn't a lot of evidence that dietary salt causes any health problems, whereas you are experiencing what happens when you have too little. I suggest that you try, one way or another, to get more salt into your body. If you really hate the taste and can't find any acceptable way of eating it then you could always get it in tablets.

    You mentioned that your BG was high - how high? I suspect that your main problem is the salt, but a very high BG can also cause cramps, so this might be compounding the problem. Before I was diagnosed, I used to get leg cramps quite often - especially after exertion in hot weather. I blamed electrolytes, and drank a lot of salt (and glucose) rich "sports drinks". Ho hum...
     
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  6. manxangel

    manxangel · Well-Known Member

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    I had exactly the same thing!!!!! killer cramps in the legs, as soon as my BG levels got lower (under 10) i have never been bothered by it again (fingers Crossed)

    So it is Diabetes that does it! i've been having this for years!
     
  7. fergus

    fergus Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, there's a strong link between leg cramps and abnormal blood sugar.
    For me, it's a certain sign that my bs has dropped too low.

    All the best,

    fergus
     
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  8. sugarless sue

    sugarless sue · Master

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    Tonic water contains quinine which is what helps the leg cramps.
     
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  9. iHs

    iHs · Well-Known Member

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    Hi

    Tonic water can help with leg cramps. My father in law was told to drink some every night before going to bed. I think someone else on this forum has mentioned the use of quinine too.

    I was also wondering if you eat a lot of bananas during the day at all? Bananas can give rise to potassium and can deplete sodium stores if eaten too much. I once had low sodium levels as a result of eating too many lol.
     
  10. Dannii

    Dannii · Member

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    Hi
    yea ive just started getting leg cramps recently like 1 or 2 a night - absoluetly kills :cry:
    isn't excersice meant to help? and a low salt diet? by doctor has just told me to do this but i dont want to if it means ill carry on getting leg cramps. sounds stupid but i found for the last couple of nights if i curl my legs up when i sleep and not stretch them out i dont have any cramps, because i can tell if im about to get a cramp if i stretch my legs out when sleeping so try not to at all.

    Dannii
     
  11. DiabeticGeek

    DiabeticGeek · Well-Known Member

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    Quite the opposite. One common symptoms of a salt deficiency is leg cramps, and if you sweat a lot during exercise then you will loose more salt - potentially making things worse. The body needs some salt to function - it is just that there is so salt much in so many foods, that you have to work quite hard to become deficient. Many doctors advocate a low salt diet, because it is claimed that it causes high blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease. However, there isn't actually very much evidence that this really is the case - it is mostly based on theory. Even if this is true, you still need some salt. If your cramps coincide with reducing salt in your diet, then you might have overdone it - try eating a bit more salt. Cramps can also be caused by many other things, including high blood glucose, but a low salt diet is hardly likely to help this.
     
  12. Fallenover

    Fallenover · Member

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    Hi, my blood sugars are were usually around 10 -15, but i am seeing the doctors monthly to get them lower, its more like 7-8 at the moment. but its only been like that for the past few weeks. I also sleep with my legs curld up. My legs are still hurting, but i think il try tonic water and try getting some salt tablets. Thanks for all the help :D
     
  13. igbandy

    igbandy · Newbie

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    Tonic Water can help, as can Bitter Lemon and Irn Bru, as they both also contain Quinine. I am not sure if it works, but if I dont have a drink containing Quinine for a couple of days my cramps come back. If I keep on top of it they are no where no so bad.
     
  14. manxangel

    manxangel · Well-Known Member

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    Quinine is wicked for getting rid of cramps, but it does have a lot to do with the way you sleep. Most ppl sleep with their llegs bent and toes pointing slightly down, that triggers cramp in some cases.
    I read that the best way to stop it is to sleep on your front with your toes/feet off the end of the bed, apparently the mucles can't cramp when they are in this position.

    Or a good cure is, to hold your foot down with your hands or something and try to push your toesand foot up this tricks the muscle into releasing.

    I used to suffer so badly i tried every trick i read, i honestly used to wake up screaming in the middle of the night, these tricks worked for me, that and the trusty Tonic water.

    Fingers crossed i hvan't had any for a while now.
     
  15. Cointreau

    Cointreau Type 1 · Member

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    Yes it is sooo painful and yes I do cry and oh do I feel sorry for myself! It is good to know that it isn't just me - I am so tired and I knew before I went to bed I was going to get cramp and you just lie there frightened to move incase you bring the cramp on. I haven't got any tonic water but I will buy some tomorrow and make sure I drink some every evening. Do you think it is safe to go back to bed now!?!
     
  16. IanD

    IanD Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    For a time I slept on my back with a pillow under my legs to keep my legs bent slightly to try to prevent cramps. I think that was when I was on statins. I don't need to now. Reducing BS by reducing carbs is the best answer for me.

    I don't add salt in the cooking, apart from a share in an OXO cube or other gravy stock.
     
  17. Trinkwasser

    Trinkwasser · Well-Known Member

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    I'd ask for your electrolytes to be checked. The problem may be too little sodium - sometimes salt helps - or it may be a problem with potassium or magnesium instead.

    Technically, some people's high BP is salt sensitive but for most of the population it seems to make little difference, I don't recall the actual proportion for which this is true.

    I went through a period of getting leg cramps principally in the calves when I fisrt started getting my BG down, then it wore off. Had another batch which seemed to reduce by taking more magnesium and potassium (lo-salt).

    Just for the hell of it one of my toes went off on one last night. Not sure what set it off.

    Circulation may also be an issue, intermittent claudication.
     
  18. bremma123

    bremma123 · Newbie

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    Hi there, my name is Emma, im from new zealand. i have type 1 diabetes andn it is very out of control. I try hard to do everything right and i cant. Im very depressed about my diabetes and lack lots of motivation to do anything eg, doing my injections, regularly checking my sugar levels and eating the right things. I really need help because i get cramp alot and bad things happen to me like ending up in hospital for lancing boils and getting kidney infections due to cramps. I am only 17 years old and feeling like this is too much for me to go through. Im scared to live my life with this disease. Im the first inmy family for generations to ever have this and it really makes me feel down about myself. i feel restricted to everything i try to do.

    Please help me,
    Scared
     
  19. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
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    Have you tried potassium, magnesium or more salt as recommended in the previous post even though it dates from 2008? For me, magnesium works.
     
  20. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

    Hi bremma and a warm welcome to the forum.
    The forum is usually quiet at weekends so you may have to wait for a constructive reply to your post.
    I suggest that you post in the Type 1 forum as your post is more likely to be seen there by other Type 1's.
     
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