Thursday, April 4, 2013

Leg Cramp Follow Up

I'm writing this because so many of you commented that you or your spouse also suffered from leg cramps. I hope this information helps someone.

I have been taking a prescription potassium supplement and using the magnesium oil I bought at Whole Foods for two weeks now. Although I have tried to drink more water during the day, I am not pushing it to extremes like I did in the first few days. I do drink Pellegrino with dinner, and most nights consume most of a liter. I only stretch lightly when I think of it, and that is not often.

I've had new blood tests that are showing good levels of potassium and magnesium. They were low before. Apparently all the avocados and other high in potassium things I have been eating, and the magnesium in my Cal-Mag were not enough. (Avocados have more potassium than bananas.)

It is difficult to describe how different I feel. Until I relaxed, I didn't know I was tense. I do know I was afraid to turn or change my leg positions in bed because if I did I was likely to set off a cramp. I often had what I can only describe as a "jangly feeling" in my entire body: a slightly nervous feeling. 

I have been fighting sleeplessness for a long time, and would often have to get up to walk out cramps in my feet or legs several times a night. I would also visit the bathroom, but that was just because I was up already.

I have not had a cramp for ten days. I have been falling asleep much quicker than before, and only waking once to go potty, and then falling back asleep easily.

My whole body feels calm, no more jangly feeling.

My mood is better because I am more rested.

I can turn over in bed without worry about setting off a cramp and my feet and legs are relaxed. There has also been an improvement in my Restless Legs Syndrome, but that comes and goes so I don't know if it is related.

One negative: I have gained three pounds in one week. This may be because I am now "hydrated" as opposed to being "dehydrated."
I can live with a gain of three pounds if it means no more cramps, but have to be careful not to gain any more. Weight gain is not supposed to be a side effect of taking either of these minerals.

Only one more point. For me, this is the first time a doctor has taken this problem seriously. I guess it took a trip to the ER. If you get leg cramps, insist you get a blood test for potassium and magnesium. It sure has made a difference in the quality of my life. 


  1. That's fabulous news....and especially that something as simple as potassium and magnesium and not having to take the prescription med route! Hope it continues...nothing better than a restful night of sleep! That's is the most important time for our bodies to heal.

  2. This is good news, Merikay. Thanks for sharing the information!

  3. The information you've provided is so good. Thanks for sharing your pain so others of us might not have to.

  4. Good post Merikay, thanks for the info. Glad you are feeling better and getting more rest.

  5. Great information and thank you so much for sharing. I eat a banana every day to help prevent leg cramps and thank goodness, that has been enough to really help me. I am taking note of this post in case I have more problems with all the exercise I've been doing lately.

  6. Thanks for posting all this good info. If I start having leg cramps again I will look into blood work. Happy you feel better that is something great that happened from the cramps, I guess?

  7. I think getting a blood work up every year is the best money spent...I get a copy of mine and go over everything before a doctors appt...

  8. So happy the cramps seem to be under contol.

  9. Good news. I think a lot of people would be surprised that potassium and magnesium levels can be very sensitive. There is such a small range between wellness and not doing so good. These minerals are essential to heart/vascular health and nervous health too. Many doctors do nothing unless your levels are way off beam but as you found it doesn't take much to cause a problem. It always seems strange to me that eating healthy is sometimes not enough. I'm learning a lot from various nutritionist websites and through the paleo and low carb communities. Not that I subscribe to all I read but this is where there is more scientific resources on nutrition than I have seen anywhere else.

    I must start taking my supplements again. I stopped while I had a tummy upset but am getting cramps again. They are not fun even at a low level.

    I see you and Craig are busy again.

    All the best and lots of blessings on you and your work.

  10. That is such great news! Glad you are feeling so much better....sleep is a wonderful thing!

  11. This is so interesting. I also have leg cramps and found I have less when well hydrated. But this winter I changed drs and my blood work showed my potassium was slightly low so he prescribed potassium, I had not noticed that my leg cramps are gone. Thanks for keeping us informed and providing a "duuu" moment for me. Becki

  12. Glad the cramps have gotten better.

  13. Oh happy day! Leg cramps are a pain in the, um, leg.

    It's great you can treat the cramps with potassium and magnesium. I don't trust medicines as far as I can throw them. LOL.

  14. Great news, Merikay. The weight gain may simply be due to the fact that you are feeling better and therefore just eating a bit more.

  15. Thanks for sharing. I hope it continues for a while. I wonder if the weight gain is water related (as you suggest)? We all know that water weighs a lot!

    p.s. thanks for the note about word verification - I had forgotten to check if it was one :-/

  16. That is wonderful to hear! I'm very glad for you!



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