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Thread: Why Does Knifegill Get Severe Leg Cramps? page

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    Aldergirl's Avatar
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    Question Why Does Knifegill Get Severe Leg Cramps?

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    Seriously, my husband (Knifegill-who is currently at work, and doesn't know yet I'm posting this...), gets crazy, paralyzing leg cramps. He doesn’t cramp up in his arms, stomach, or elsewhere (though he does tons of pull-ups, one arm pull-ups, curling 50+ pound weights, lifting heavy things, etc.). BUT, he gets paralyzing, legs-won’t-bend, cramps if he goes on a hard bike ride or (like today) squats and lifts heavy logs and rocks at the beach.

    And, yes, he takes Magnesium daily, puts salt on his food, gets lots of water (pees clear), and eats lots of potassium (avocadoes, sweet potatoes).

    Here’s today’s example of his leg cramps. This morning, at about 10:00, he went to the beach and threw, rolled, and lifted big rocks and logs. he didn't do it for long, and didn't feel like he was straining his leg muscles. After exercising, he ate sweet potatoes, blueberries, and 3 duck eggs, and last night he had bone broth, salmon, duck, mushrooms and spinach, coconut milk, avocadoes, and a good amount of water. So, back to today: he lifted heavy things and squatted at 10:00am, ate, went to bed at 10:45am (he works night shift), woke up at 6:00pm to pick me up from work, then he laid down for a 1 hour nap. Suddenly I hear a loud thud, and run down stairs to hear his alarm clock going off and my husband curled up on the floor hitting his cramping legs.

    I supply him with avocado covered with mustard and salt, magnesium pills, bone broth with salt, lots of water, and heat packs for his cramps. After 20 minutes he’s able to walk/bend his legs. I drove him to work, and I’m hoping he’ll make it through his 10 hour shift drawing blood at the hospital…

    My question is: Why does he get horrible leg cramps (this isn’t his worst one, either), but never any cramps elsewhere in his body? Any ideas?
    Last edited by Aldergirl; 02-27-2012 at 10:22 PM. Reason: I found out details on what he ate...

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    Update: I just talked to him on the phone--he's doing okay...and he's fine with me posting about him.

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    Looking for an answer here too. I don't get leg cramps BUT I notice when I don't go bare-foot and have to wear shoes it adds and extra tightness to my legs and there is an achy/cramp feeling to them.
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    I occasionally get severe cramps, but almost exclusively in my left calf, never the right. The two occasions where it happens are when I first roll out of bed in the morning, or if I go swimming(when swimming, it only happens after swimming for a while, and usually only if I go at higher intensity). It's happened off and on both before and after eating a paleo/primal-style diet.

    I've found I can largely avoid the morning leg cramp through dorsiflexion of the foot - flexing my foot upwards as much as I can in the direction of my head for a few seconds until the sensation subsides. Trying to point my toes makes it hurt like hell.

    I should note that there's a slight asymmetry in the length of my legs, and consequentially my stride when walking/running. I don't know whether the unequal loading contributes to this at all in my case. However it's interesting to note that I never manage to provoke leg cramping via long(1+ hour) runs or bike rides back when I was doing those things, nor have I ever seemed to provoke it during lifting - only swimming or in the morning when I wake up.

    I might experiment a little more with magnesium intake - the rest(water, potassium, etc.) should definitely be sufficient for me.
    Last edited by jsa23; 02-28-2012 at 02:56 AM.

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    I get a lot of leg cramps, too, and foot cramps. They predate changing to this diet by 2 years. What happens is while I'm sleeping I'll roll into a new position and feel an urge to stretch and that will start the cramp. Or I'll point my toe down and that will start the cramping in my foot. I've learned to immediately point my toes up to stop it but it's very annoying. I take 400mg of magnesium, 200mg potassium, try to remember to salt my food and use electrolyte drink mixes when I go hiking to try and get it under control. The best I can seem to do is get myself to where I feel the urge to stretch in the middle of the night without the resulting cramp, but I can't get that urge to stretch to go away. And if I ease up on the supplements it all comes right back. I've been making a bunch of bone broth this week and bringing it to work. I really want to beat this but I fear the best I can do is be dependent on the supplements.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
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    Did knifegill walk or spend much time on his legs as a child, youth or young adult?

    I've had pretty convincing symptoms of magnesium and probably sodium deficiency in recent years.

    However, I've never experienced any leg cramps, but perhaps that's because I walked a lot as a child right through to my early thirties. So I'm thinking my body directs magnesium and sodium to my legs as a priority and I feel a deficiency elsewhere.
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    Did knifegill walk or spend much time on his legs as a child, youth or young adult?
    Oh, yes. I never sat still much, except for the odd Nintendo binge and school. Always bicycling or walking across town to see my friends, playing outside, etc. Even in my late teens I didn't have a car. I just walked across my city everyday. Is it possible I've just overused my legs?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Knifegill View Post
    Oh, yes. I never sat still much, except for the odd Nintendo binge and school. Always bicycling or walking across town to see my friends, playing outside, etc. Even in my late teens I didn't have a car. I just walked across my city everyday. Is it possible I've just overused my legs?
    Not sure as I walked loads too when I was younger and never owned a car until my early thirties, and have never had a leg cramp. I've only ever heard male friends complain of leg cramps... so if it's a male thing I am not qualified to answer.
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    I get a lot of leg cramps, too, and foot cramps. They predate changing to this diet by 2 years. What happens is while I'm sleeping I'll roll into a new position and feel an urge to stretch and that will start the cramp. Or I'll point my toe down and that will start the cramping in my foot. I've learned to immediately point my toes up to stop it but it's very annoying. I take 400mg of magnesium, 200mg potassium, try to remember to salt my food and use electrolyte drink mixes when I go hiking to try and get it under control. The best I can seem to do is get myself to where I feel the urge to stretch in the middle of the night without the resulting cramp, but I can't get that urge to stretch to go away. And if I ease up on the supplements it all comes right back. I've been making a bunch of bone broth this week and bringing it to work. I really want to beat this but I fear the best I can do is be dependent on the supplements.

    This is exactly me! I'm active and take magnesium and potassium so it has always puzzled me why it happens.

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    I've walked loads and ridden my bike. I didn't even want a car when I turned 16 and even when I got one it sat in the driveway most of the time while I rode my bike instead. My cramps came after hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. 3000 miles of it over 2 years. I think I wore out my legs. I get the "jimmy legs" a lot, too.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Heaviest squat: 180 x 2. Heaviest Deadlift: 230 x 2

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