A mineral deficiency of calcium
and/or magnesium is probably the most frequent cause
of night leg cramping.
Cramps are often caused by a lack of potassium,
resulting in an electrytic imbalance. Strenuous exercise with sweating
and diarrhea or other bowel disease may cause loss of potassium and
other important minerals. It is very important to replace them with
supplements. Some people get leg cramps at night for no apparent reason.
This is called restless legs syndrome.
Another cause may be a deficiency in hesperidin,
one of the bioflavonoids (sometimes called vitamin P), naturally occurring
nutrients usually found in association with vitamin C. These bioflavonoids,
including Hesperidin, Citrin, Rutin, Flavones, Flavonals, Calechin and
Quercetin, were found to be essential in correcting the night
Wine induces stomach cramps in some people.
To ease the cramps or perhaps eliminate them altogether, take some
olive oil before imbibing. Try some oil on bread, or on a salad.
Milk and other dairy products
can cause abdominal cramping, bloating, gas and discomfort in some women.
If you are eating dairy products to get calcium, try switching to yogurt,
lentils, broccoli, cabbage, tofu, collard and other greens, turnips,
rhubarb and almonds.
Gastroenteritis, caused by a virus
that has entered the digestive tract or contaminated food or water,
causes inflammation, cramping, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Severe
cases can lead to dehydration, so be sure to drink fluids and balance
your electrolytes (take Pedialyte for young children and the elderly,
and sports drinks for everybody else.)
Diarrhea caused by intestinal parasites is the third leading
cause of illness. If you have a number of the following symptoms: gas,
diarrhea, chronic constipation, bloating, fatigue, skin rashes, nail
biting, mood swings, insomnia, dry skin, brittle hair, hair loss, weight
gain, bad breath, and muscle cramping, you should be tested for parasites.
To stop leg/foot cramping, firmly press in on the upper lip. This is the meridian which is connected to the legs and feet.
Take a hot shower before going to bed,
letting the water run down the part of your leg that gets cramps.
Or, if you get cramps in the night, take a shower then. Get the water
as hot as you can stand it, as this will help relax the muscles.
If you are in bed when you get a leg cramp, stretch
your leg straight out and bend the toes back toward your
head. Hold in this position for 30 seconds, relax, and repeat until
the cramp is gone.This will stretch out your calf muscle. You may
also do this standing up - push your heel onto the floor and bend
your toes upward. This forces the calf muscle to lengthen.
If you get leg cramps frequently at night, start a stretching
regimen before bed. Try pressing your toes against a wall
to stretch out the calf muscles; hold for 30 seconds, relax, repeat
Cramping often comes while you are exercising. follow
- Keep hydrated. As you sweat, you
lose important electrolytes, which are needed to prevent cramps.
- Warm up for 10-15 minutes before
exercising. This will stretch out the muscles you will be using.
- If you exercise and get cramps after eating,
you have probably begun your exercise too soon after eating. As
you digest, your body diverts blood from your muscles and cramping
Take magnesium, potassium and calcium supplements
daily, especially before exercising.
Apple cider vinegar Drink a mixture of two teaspoons of vinegar
and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of warm water. Apple cider vinegar
is high in potassium.
Aspirin (or ibuprofen) taken at the earliest signs
of menstrual cramps will help relieve them. Aspirin
helps stop the production of prostaglandins, part of the process that
Calcium A calcium deficiency causes muscle cramps
or involuntary movement of muscles. If you are prone to leg cramps at
night, take a calcium supplement (calcium lactate is preferred), a warm
cup of milk, or chew on some Tums an hour before going to bed. However,
we do not recommend taking Tums on a regular basis due to its
interference with your normal digestive process. We suggest that if
you get frequent leg cramps you take a calcium supplement daily. Taking
magnesium with the calcium will aid in the absorption of the calcium
and prevent calcification of various organs and soft tissues. 200-300
mg of calcium before bedtime is recommended.
Chamomile tea A study showed that drinking five cups
of this tea each day for two weeks reduced the pain of menstrual
cramps. The tea increased the level of glycine in the urine.
Glycine is an amino acid that helps relieve muscle spasms and relax
CoQ10 may aid in relieving muscle cramps.
Magnesium will help the smooth muscles that surround
your arteries to relax, and your body uses it to process calcium. Try
taking 400 mg of magnesium before bed. A calcium/magnesium supplement,
taken one hour before bedtime, is recommended.
Mustard For years coaches have given mustard to their
athletes with leg cramps. Cramps are sometimes caused by a deficiency
in acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that stimulates your muscles
to work. Mustard has acetic acid, which helps the body make more acetylcholine.
Take a spoonful or two of mustard.
Pickle juice As with mustard coaches have
given pickle juice to their athletes with leg cramps.
Cramps are sometimes caused by a deficiency in acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter
that stimulates your muscles to work. Pickle juice has acetic
acid, which helps the body make more acetylcholine. Take a few ounces
of pickle juice.
Quinine/tonic water Drinking four to eight ounces of
tonic water (make sure it has quinine in it!) an hour before
going to bed is a very effective remedy for most people. If it
is too tart for you, add some lemon for flavoring. You should notice
a difference within a few days, otherwise discontinue. OTC quinine was
banned by the FDA because of health risks, but there is enough quinine
in tonic water to help most people. See the Hyland's homeopathic remedy
below for another similar option.
Leg Cramps with Quinine by Hyland's. Take as directed.
This remedy contains: Cinchona Off. 3X HPUS, Viscum Alb. 3x HPUS,
Gnaphalium 3X HPUS, Rhus Tox. 6X HPUS, Aconitum Nap. 6X HPUS, Ledum
Pa. 6X HPUS, Magnesia Phos. 6X HPUS.
Mag Phos, by Hyland's. Take 4 pellets
under the tongue at bedtime.
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