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Leg & Hand Cramps
Old 06-09-2016, 08:41 PM   #1
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Leg & Hand Cramps

I've had leg and foot cramps most of my adult life, usually controlled by taking calcium supplements. The last couple months I'm getting cramps in my hands and the leg/foot cramps have returned. No slacking on the calcium, I drink lots of water, have a banana everyday. I started potassium tablets last week. Last night was a bad cramp just behind my right knee. Next week I'm having a total knee replacement on that knee and dread the thoughts of having to get up during the night and trying to walk the cramp out. Anybody have new suggestions? I'm 64. I've asked my doc, he doesn't know why I have them. My pre-surgery labs have all come back good.
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Old 06-09-2016, 09:09 PM   #2
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Sounds like you are getting plenty of calcium, but are you getting enough magnesium?

This is what I use when I tense up, and it REALLY relaxes my muscles. I'd give it a shot

Natural Calm Rasp-Lemon - Raspberry-Lemon (16 Ounces Powder) by Natural Vitality at the Vitamin Shoppe
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Old 06-10-2016, 12:09 AM   #3
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I also had leg cramps most all of my life.............until after mentioning it to an acquaintance at church and he also suggested magnesium. i started with a 400 mg tablet CVS store brand took it at bedtime.......cramps were very rare almost immediately, going from almost every other time I moved my legs in bed to maybe only once a week at most......even better the few cramps I did get were very easy to eliminate with gentle stretching of the leg did not even have to get up to walk on it to get rid of the cramp.....within a couple months the frequency of cramps has gone down to once every 2 or 3 months.....being cheap i eventually switched to the walmart brand which is like $4 a bottle........works just as well
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Old 06-10-2016, 12:22 AM   #4
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Magnesium could help. I like the Natural Calm mentioned above, but I get the unflavored variety.
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Old 06-10-2016, 02:12 AM   #5
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Potassium is the usual culprit for cramps. I've taught martial arts for decades, so cramps were a fairly common thing until I found an internist who pointed me to potassium citrate, which is a prescription med, instead of the CVS potassium gluconate. But I haven't had single cramp in at least a decade, so well worth the few bucks it costs me.
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Old 06-10-2016, 07:43 AM   #6
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I suspect magnesium supplementation may help. I would try 200 Mg of Magnesium Citrate 2x/day.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:12 AM   #7
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On the magnesium, spring for the chelated form, it absorbs easier and the citrate form can be very hard on your gut. It is more expensive but works much better for my DH and I.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:50 AM   #8
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+1 on the magnesium - ramp up the dose slowly as it can give you diarrhea if you are not used to it.
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Old 06-10-2016, 09:16 AM   #9
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+1 on the magnesium - ramp up the dose slowly as it can give you diarrhea if you are not used to it.
that's why we use the chelated form ..magnesium isn't always easy to incorporate into your daily food intake.
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Old 06-10-2016, 09:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by calico1597 View Post
I've had leg and foot cramps most of my adult life, usually controlled by taking calcium supplements. The last couple months I'm getting cramps in my hands and the leg/foot cramps have returned. No slacking on the calcium, I drink lots of water, have a banana everyday. I started potassium tablets last week. Last night was a bad cramp just behind my right knee. Next week I'm having a total knee replacement on that knee and dread the thoughts of having to get up during the night and trying to walk the cramp out. Anybody have new suggestions? I'm 64. I've asked my doc, he doesn't know why I have them. My pre-surgery labs have all come back good.
I was having some foot discomfort some months back and started doing a little foot exercise involving just curling my toes inward slowly. Just did this a few times a week. Seemed to help the issue I had. But a side affect was that my foot cramps at night (which were worse in cold weather) essentially disappeared.

I am wondering if some gentle stretching movements might help other cramp issues such as yours. Maybe combining gentle stretching with some overall exercise for the parts of the body that bother one. Just a thought.
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Old 06-10-2016, 10:27 AM   #11
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Caution is in order: There are many forms of Magnesium supplements. Most are "laxatives" -- think "Milk of Magnesia." Here are some resources to start your research that may prove helpful:

Magnesium - Whole Food, Whole You

Do You Need More Magnesium? 10 Signs to Watch For | Ancient Minerals

As always... the human diet is very complicated.
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Old 06-10-2016, 10:48 AM   #12
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Pickle juice. Get some. Try it.

Are the cramps from muscles tightening? Or some other kinds of cramp?
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Old 06-10-2016, 11:03 AM   #13
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I might eat some pickles but I wouldn't take a bunch of supplements unless I was already eating properly and still needed them.

The first thing I would try is doing squats with weights. Also do not use a lazy boy chair for an extended period of time especially right before bed.
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Old 06-10-2016, 11:55 AM   #14
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Pickle juice. Get some. Try it.
IF that works. Then any fermented food would work... i.e., yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchee. Or simply eat pickles. Wait! Isn't wine a pre-vinegar?
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Old 06-10-2016, 01:12 PM   #15
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One of the side effects of going to the gym every other day was that all cramps stopped. DW noticed it too.
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Old 06-10-2016, 02:17 PM   #16
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On the magnesium, spring for the chelated form, it absorbs easier and the citrate form can be very hard on your gut. It is more expensive but works much better for my DH and I.
Magnesium citrate is the chelated form.
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Old 06-10-2016, 02:31 PM   #17
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Actually the type I use says Glycinate Chelate . So I am not an expert but I had to step up to this to avoid an upset stomach. The one I used before had oxide I believe.

I don't actually see the word citrate anyway on my bottle.
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Old 06-10-2016, 02:59 PM   #18
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If the form you buy ends in '-ate' then it's the chelated form.

Citrate is the one generally encountered. Aspartate is another one commonly found. In your case it's glycinate.

It's also a good idea to check the dosage. Magnesium is only part if it -- the glycinate, citrate, or whatever other chelating agent is the rest, and the heavier part. So you want to look at what the magnesium content is. Since the recommended daily intake for magnesium is 400 mg, you can calculate the content by seeing what percentage of the RDI your pill provides.
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Old 06-10-2016, 04:08 PM   #19
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Caution is in order: There are many forms of Magnesium supplements. Most are "laxatives" -- think "Milk of Magnesia." Here are some resources to start your research that may prove helpful:

Magnesium - Whole Food, Whole You

Do You Need More Magnesium? 10 Signs to Watch For | Ancient Minerals

As always... the human diet is very complicated.
I learned something new today.
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Old 06-11-2016, 06:48 AM   #20
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I normally get up every night with leg cramps. I have Magnesium Oxide with Chelated Zinc in my vitamin pack which I forget to take more than I remember to take. Is this OK for the leg cramps?
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