Mono Lake, CA 2018

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cramping Legs, follow up

I want to thank all of you who left comments on my March 13th post about having bad leg cramps. It warmed my heart knowing so many cared about me. I have carefully read all of your suggestions, and am working on changes that will hopefully prevent this from ever happening again.

Thank you Jim and Sandie for saying you would have hit the guy who said they were "just" Leg Cramps. My feelings exactly, but at the time I was curled up on the floor unable to move.

Al's description of my situation as being like "having a whole herd of alligators attacking my legs all at once". Yup. They just didn't want to let go. 

Potassium, magnesium, water, quinine, stretching, water exercise, Epsom salt soaks, Hyland's Leg Cramp PM, bananas, dates, potatoes, and pickle juice. I'm willing to consider them all, but I've tried the Leg Cramp PM in the past and it didn't do much for me. It is a homeopathic remedy.

I used to eat a banana a day, but it never helped when I had moderate cramping. I stopped eating bananas and potatoes when I started my weight loss plan last year. They do have a high glycemic index without the benefits of high fiber. Especially if they are ripe, which is the way I like them. On Wednesday I did some reading about foods with higher potassium levels, and find that avocados have more potassium than bananas and have more fiber. I've been eating an avocado several times a week for the last couple of months just because I like them and they have been reasonably priced. But I will still start including bananas into my eating plan again. 

It's the butter and gravy that make potatoes fattening, so I guess I'll include some plain steamed new potatoes. I had some last night and they were fine without any butter. My overall diet has been very high in vegetables and fruits so I don't know how adding these back in will help all that much.

I have found that sometimes tonic water helps, and sometimes it doesn't. It seems to help most when I've been hiking, so I will continue to drink it nightly when on an RV trip.

My regular doctor is on vacation and the soonest appointment I could get is next Friday. She asked me to bring in the lab results from that night, which I have gotten a copy of. As I look at them, it looks like all my results were pretty near normal. The potassium was on the low side of the normal range, and I couldn't find anything that looked like a magnesium test. The only really high number was my blood glucose level. We'll see what she says.

What I have found to try for the week is a product called "Magnesium Oil"(If you read all of the claims about this stuff it is a miracle product. I am as skeptical about it as I can be in regard to all the claims, but if it helps at all I let you all know.)

You spray it onto your skin (in my case onto my legs and feet) and the magnesium is absorbed thru the skin. I bought it at a Whole Foods. The clerk gave me a sample of it to try the first night. Actually the sample would have lasted several days, but I think it did some good relieving some small cramps I was getting in my toes, so I went and bought the product. It is rather expensive, but if it helps it will be worth it. She also told me to look up how to make it myself, which I did, and if it works I will give that a try. 

So there it is. I've been OK, except for a few little twinges.

I will post about what I learn after I see the doctor next week.

Till then I'll be drinking lots of water and ... 


  1. So glad they've at least calmed down a little bit. Now I don't go for a lot of the homopathic stuff but I must tell you - a women here in our park is studying to become a reflexologist and needed feet to work on. I've been letting her work on my feet and since she started, my leg cramps are almost non-existent. I truly don't know what to think but if they come back this summer I'm going to think very seriously about continuing with it.

  2. My goodness! I step away from blogland for a few days and I miss all kinds of excitement! I'm so glad to hear you are OK, all things considered.

    I have a childhood memory of my Dad having sudden leg cramps that were so painful he nearly passed out. I don't have any words of advice, only empathy for knowing how painful this malady can be.

    Hope you find some helpful relief soon. All the best!

  3. There were a few of us talking about leg cramps today, and one person said she drinks tonic water too. I had never heard of that, but hope it works.

  4. I'm glad to hear you have not at least had a repeat of the horrible ones that took you to the hospital. There are probably many different things that would help certain people but everyone is different. I hope they can find the right thing for you,
    good luck.


  5. A friend of ours ended up going to a Neurologist. He left with a diagnosis and is much better.

  6. If those Gators get a hold of you again maybe this following solution will help. It's from Johnny Hortons old song, 'Battle Of New Orleans'. In it he sings...

    We fired our cannon 'til the barrel melted down.
    So we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round.
    We filled his head with cannon balls, and powdered his behind
    And when we touched the powder off, the gator lost his mind.

    You might want to keep some cannon balls & powder close by.....:))

  7. So glad you are better. I had never heard that tonic water helped either. I agree with Tammy, I hope you find the very thing that works for you!

    Will be waiting for that update....until then, rest!

  8. I've never heard of leg craps that bad, I'm so sorry. There must be something your doctor can suggest when you see her. Good luck with your doctor visit.

  9. I can understand why tonic water helps - it has quinine in it. Quinine used to be the "go to" cure for leg cramps but has fallen out of favor lately - don't know why. Glad you are better but sure hope those cramps don't come back.

  10. good luck with the doctor..sure hope the leg cramp problem is just a memory soon!
    take care of yourself!

  11. tonic water & quinine who knew? You learn something new everyday!

    Anytime I get a charley horse in my legs it's usually from too much coffee and not enough fluids (water). I've cut coffee out of my diet but replaced with tea. Still better for me overall. I've heard about bananas but not avocados, interesting! I'm going to check into tonic water also.

    I'm very curious to hear what the Dr. says. Please keep us posted and hopefully you'll be on the mend soon!

  12. I'm glad to hear you didn't have a repeat performance of the leg cramps, and that you got some good suggestions to prevent further episodes.

    I had forgotten this but, when we were in Georgia and Al was having such a problem with them, I read about putting a bar of soap under your sheets by the foot of the bed. What I heard was a bar of lye soap, but on the internet I read about using regular soap. It did seem to help him, but the soap had to be replaced after a few months. It's another thing you could do with little trouble. Who knows, it just might work.

    Why don't you try to have a green smoothie every day? We have one nearly every day and Al hasn't had any cramps lately. We normally put in spinach, kale, chard, red cabbage, and then whatever fruit we have on hand. The fruit gives it a nice sweet taste and it's tasty. That way you know you're getting all the vitamins and minerals you probably will need for the entire day, not to mention fiber.

    Good luck Merikay. I hope you can get them under control before you start your next trip.

  13. That's interesting about the bar of soap - I'm going to look up to see if soap has any magnesium in it - maybe it works like the oil (which I am certainly going to look into). Strangely, my muscle cramps that I had in NZ have totally gone away. Who knows why (too much chocolate perhaps). I do have more fruit and vegetables in my diet now that I'm back home.

    Good luck getting to the bottom of this. I'll be staying tuned to hear what your dr. has to say.

    Oh - I've heard that coconut water is good for hydration and electrolytes - I've tried it but pretty much gagged at the first sip!

  14. I just thought of something else - with your new healthy diet you have probably cut down salt - might you need more? Or possibly iodine (which I've read might cause cramps). I started taking a seaweed supplement on and off a year ago as my thyroid was low and come to think of it I was having more cramps. I also started back on it when I came home from NZ. Could there be a connection? Can you add a bit of iodized salt to the menu? Drs might not think of that as almost everyone gets too much salt.

  15. You sure are getting a lot of ideas of things to try. I have no idea, myself. I really hope something works for you.

  16. We have a good friend who sleeps with a bar of soap under the covers at the end of his bed..and swears by it...Also, there are many health benefits to avocados...I even slice them on sandwiches..

  17. Glad that they have calmed down a bit for you. Hope your Dr. has a answer to solve the problem. Have a great Monday!

  18. I suffer from occasional night time leg cramps myself, though nothing nearly as serious as what you describe. In my case, it just about always seems to correlate with dehydration at some level, I think. I haven't done any scientific studies of it, but if I work hard during the day and sweat a lot, and/or if I drink any alcohol without water to compensate for it, I am at risk. YMMV, of course, and I hope your doctor can help! Best!

  19. My mom sends me articles with health questions to two doctors. They then respond with remedies and advice.

    Many people have written to the doctors about a bar of soap under the sheets which gets rid of their leg crmaps. Their response is many people have had success with a bar of soap under the sheet at the foot of the bed. They don't know why it works, just that many people have told them it does.

  20. I hope this stuff works for you. Especially if you can make it yourself.

  21. I have also had so very bad leg cramps . I don't know if you take any Choesterol meds., My doc had me switch drugs and that did the trick.

  22. On the potato front, try red potatoes--they have a vague sweetness and a wonderful texture, smooth an soft, as if they were buttered but they're not!



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