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  • Early morning leg cramps

    Ever since I have been on a primal diet I have been getting cramps in my calf normally around an hour before I would wake up (so early morning). Would this indicate I'm deficient in some nutrient or mineral? I can't imagine it is the lack of grains but maybe milk as I have dropped all dairy (not that I had much before - mainly just with my porridge in the morning).

    Thanks

  • #2
    I used to have terrible leg cramps - they would literally make jumpt out of bed. Then after a physical in which she checked my vit D and found it to be extremely low - my doc put me on prescription-strength vit D supplements. And I was thrilled that it seemed to really help my leg cramps. Eventually they pretty much stopped, and I didn't have another one til I went off the prescription-strength vit D and started taking the over-the-counter strength supplements (went from 50 mg a week to 1 mg a day). I bumped the levels up signifigantly and haven't had one in nearly a year. There may be other nutritional factors as well, but that one changed seemed to make a big difference for me.

    Good luck!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by kitana View Post
      I used to have terrible leg cramps - they would literally make jumpt out of bed. Then after a physical in which she checked my vit D and found it to be extremely low - my doc put me on prescription-strength vit D supplements. And I was thrilled that it seemed to really help my leg cramps. Eventually they pretty much stopped, and I didn't have another one til I went off the prescription-strength vit D and started taking the over-the-counter strength supplements (went from 50 mg a week to 1 mg a day). I bumped the levels up signifigantly and haven't had one in nearly a year. There may be other nutritional factors as well, but that one changed seemed to make a big difference for me.

      Good luck!
      Thanks for your reply. Yes they make me jump out of bed too! I wouldn't be at all surprised if my vit d levels were low; in fact I would be surprised if they weren't low! I will look into Vit D. How does one check their Vit D levels? I had a standard blood test the other day would they show up there?

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      • #4
        I had this issue too and it was suggested that I start taking magnesium... I did and my cramps are gone... although that also closely parrellels the release of the Primal Essentials (fish oil, pro-bio, vit d) so it could be the Vit D too... ... ...?..

        just my .02$
        sigpic

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        • #5
          I had a standard blood test the other day would they show up there?
          This wasn't part of the standard set of tests my doc orders, but prior to my physical she had attended a conference where she came away convinced that she should make it standard. I eat lots of dark greens, consume plenty of dairy, spend plenty of time outdoors, and figured I'd be ok. However she insisted based on the overwhelming number of patients she had already tested that were low. She said since she had started requesting it - she found over 70% of her patients had low vit D, and that eating healthy and having an active outdoor lifestyle is no guarantee of adequate vit D (although it helps). And wouldn't you know it - she was right, my levels were seriously low.

          At any rate - it wasn't standard. She ordered it in addition to the normal tests.

          I've also read enough recommendations on this board for magnesium, that I intend to add it to my regular routine.

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          • #6
            Cramps also happen becasue of a potassium shortage. Try eating bananas....that always helped me when I had cramps.
            They used to call me No Neck, but now I have one.

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            • #7
              Taking magnesium got rid of my nighttime leg cramps.

              I never really looked into how much I was getting before, so I can't say for sure that I was deficient, but I haven't had a single cramp since I started taking it. It's a magnesium citrate supplement, 400mg I think (I'm at work and it's at home), and I take it before bed because I've read that magnesium can help you sleep.
              "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

              I'm blogging again, at least a little bit.

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              • #8
                Magnesium, indeed. I too use Mg citrate 400mg.

                This really needs to be a sticky topic
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  typical culprits:
                  magnesium
                  calcium
                  potassium
                  Vitamin D
                  Meghan

                  My MDA journal

                  Primal Ponderings- my blog- finally added some food pron :P

                  And best of all my Body Fat Makeover!!

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                  • #10
                    Reading the recommendation of magnesium and potassium from others, as well as my own experience with vit D, got me curious as to how these things interact to affect muscle cramps.

                    This was a good explanation of how these things work together that might give you some supplement direction I know I was considering adding magnesium and now I will definitely be adding it, as well as upping my calcium. Even though I don't really have cramps anymore, the article makes the point that your body will rob these things from your bones to keep adequate levels, and I want to make sure that isn't occuring.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for all the replies although I'm still unsure on why I would be getting them when I switched to a primal diet? I dropped dairy but if anything wouldn't that increase magnesium absorption? Regarding the bananas I have them now and again but don't really want to overdo the fruit.

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                      • #12
                        Mine also started when I started eating primally. No idea on why that might happen, but I've seen a few other people mention it as well. *shrug*
                        "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

                        I'm blogging again, at least a little bit.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mayness View Post
                          Mine also started when I started eating primally. No idea on why that might happen, but I've seen a few other people mention it as well. *shrug*
                          I had problems too and the Dr Eades (or Robb Wolf) warn that when you go low carb your body dumps a lot of water weight, and with it go all the salts. I know this includes sodium and potassium and would be fine if all our foods were not smothered with sodium. So we dump all our Na and K then load up, unintentionally, on Na but with no K to balance it. At least I'm certain this happened to me (more than once) and loading up on K heavy foods worked.

                          Also, maybe you dump Mg as well. I don't know much about Mg.
                          A steak a day keeps the doctor away

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                          • #14
                            Maybe you dump all the "iums" it seems they are the ones most mentioned.
                            Meghan

                            My MDA journal

                            Primal Ponderings- my blog- finally added some food pron :P

                            And best of all my Body Fat Makeover!!

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                            • #15
                              You need to take potassium - that's almost certainly the culprit.
                              Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

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