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Excruciating night leg cramps

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Rosemary 231 View Post
    My calves and hamstrings may very well be tight. I'm just making the transition from a wheelchair to a walker and now a cane. It's painful so I'm probably not walking around as much as I will when I'm completely recovered. I've thought of doing stretches just before bed since the middle of the night is when the cramps started.
    I'm no physical therapist, but I've been in physical therapy for a torn meniscus. I'd think stretching would do you some serious good. I still do my PT about once a week, and I benefit from it. No amount of supplementation will make up for muscles that need to be stretched out and strengthened. The fact that you're transitioning from from wheelchair to a cane I think it probably indicative of the need to do an appropriate amount of physical therapy. I know it sucks from a pain standpoint, but it's worth it in the long run!

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    • #32
      I pour about 1/8 teaspoonful (rarely up to 1/4 tsp)-- it has a pretty sharp taste, but washes down easily enough with water. If I am doing a lot of exercise I might use 1/8 tsp in the morning and again at night. The occasional leg cramps I experience are definitely electrolyte-induced rather than an issue of tight muscles. Hope the Magnesium/Potassium/or baking soda work for you.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Catharsis View Post
        I hate to state the obvious, but are your legs/calves/hamstrings/etc tight? Try stretching daily and see if that helps.
        Have a problem straightening my knees. Could you suggest some leg stretching exercises I could do before bed since I can't quite straighten my knees?

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        • #34
          Originally posted by BratKat View Post
          I pour about 1/8 teaspoonful (rarely up to 1/4 tsp)-- it has a pretty sharp taste, but washes down easily enough with water. If I am doing a lot of exercise I might use 1/8 tsp in the morning and again at night. The occasional leg cramps I experience are definitely electrolyte-induced rather than an issue of tight muscles. Hope the Magnesium/Potassium/or baking soda work for you.
          Found a container of Morton Salt Substitute in the cupboard. It contains: 610 mg of Potassium per 1/4 tsp. It also contains Potassium Chloride, Fumaric Acid, Tricalcum Phosphate and Monocalcum Phosphate. Does this compare to NoSalt?
          Last edited by Rosemary 231; 05-27-2012, 03:39 PM.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Knifegill View Post
            All these magnesium and potassium suggestions are cute, but the only thing that works for me is 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda stirred in a cup water with a glop of molasses.
            Maybe molasses works for you because one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses provides 452 mg of potassium. This makes it almost equal to the 467 mg found in one small banana. Potassium helps to regulate the body's fluid and mineral balance. Potassium may also play a role in regulating blood pressure and decreased the risk of stroke, notes Drugs.com. (Livestrong dot com)

            It pays to be "cute."
            5'0" female, 45 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained back to 115(!) on SAD chocolate, potato chips, and stress. Currently 111.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Rosemary 231 View Post
              Have a problem straightening my knees. Could you suggest some leg stretching exercises I could do before bed since I can't quite straighten my knees?
              I really have no clue, I wish I did. Maybe try pointing your foot towards your face, holding it for 10 seconds, then releasing? That should stretch your calves. If you can rotate your hips/legs that might at least help you stretch the muscles on the sides of your legs. If you can grab your knees, or get a belt around each one, you can give a pull and stretch out your hamstrings. I'm not sure how you might stretch your quads. All of the muscles from your hips to your ankles are connected. I'd imagine that any stretching you do is good.

              I was so tight, I couldn't lay flat and lift my legs higher than about 45 degrees. After a couple of months, the difference was night and day.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Rosemary 231 View Post
                Found a container of Morton Salt Substitute in the cupboard. It contains: 610 mg of Potassium per 1/4 tsp. It also contains Potassium Chloride, Fumaric Acid, Tricalcum Phosphate and Monocalcum Phosphate. Does this compare to NoSalt?
                Yes--this is very similar. The NoSalt brand lists 650 mg. per 1/4 tsp. so a pretty substantial dose.

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                • #38
                  I have tight calves but they are flexible, too, so stretching doesn't seem to help. My cramps pre-date this diet by a few years. I've tried a lot of supplements, usually with some measure of success, but it was a lot of different supplements I was taking. Now I take a calcium/magnesium/potassium supplement and that seems to do the trick. My cramps included also tensing my jaw and grinding my teeth together, which hurt like hell. I'm glad the calcium/magnesium/potassium supplement works. The three together seems to have been the key for me. I can even take a fairly minimal dose now and get relief.
                  Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                  • #39
                    The nutritional content information for molasses is inconsistent at best. Yes, I do take it for the electrolytes. I just meant it seems silly to take a pill for one electrolyte when molasses has so much more to offer.
                    Crohn's, doing SCD

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                      I have tight calves but they are flexible, too, so stretching doesn't seem to help. My cramps pre-date this diet by a few years. I've tried a lot of supplements, usually with some measure of success, but it was a lot of different supplements I was taking. Now I take a calcium/magnesium/potassium supplement and that seems to do the trick. My cramps included also tensing my jaw and grinding my teeth together, which hurt like hell. I'm glad the calcium/magnesium/potassium supplement works. The three together seems to have been the key for me. I can even take a fairly minimal dose now and get relief.
                      It can take a lot of stretching for a LONG time to make a difference. It took 1 hour sessions twice a day for 3 months for it to make a difference for me. Once I got loosened up enough to start adding in weight training, my issues mostly cleared up. Leg and hip tension can often be linked back to poor posture for those of us that have extremely sedentary jobs. YMMV of course, but I thought that might be some food for thought.

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                      • #41
                        I do what my Dad does and take about 1/4 teasp salt in 1/2 glass of water before bed. It seems to work.

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                        • #42
                          Take magnesium before sleeping and make sure you're getting a good ratio of potassium, sodium and calcium. And, yeah, upping carbs will obviously help.
                          Last edited by Derpamix; 12-23-2012, 11:38 PM.
                          Make America Great Again

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                          • #43
                            shellfish

                            i hate fish though. also, lol at the topic irrelevancy
                            Make America Great Again

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                            • #44
                              NOt to fear monger, but get your vit B 12 levels checked. A severe deficiency (Pernicious Anemia) can cause excruciating pains in the legs. It's definitely impacted by low carb eating.
                              "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                              In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                              - Ray Peat

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by trekfan View Post
                                Second this. I know that when I got cramps in the early goings of Primal it was because I wasn't getting enough potassium. Hurt like hell and the solution is quite simple-eat a banana or some other potassium rich thing. One of those and everything's all good.
                                Same issues here... and same solution, but I sometime also take a basic potassium supplement tablet which you can get anywhere dirt cheap.

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