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Home Remedies For Leg Cramps
Leg cramps can strike out of the blue and cause excruciating pain. It can last for less than a minute or torture you for much longer. Many people suffer from leg cramps primarily at night.
It occurs due to involuntary contractions or spasms of the muscles in your legs. It can affect the calf muscles, thigh muscles and even involve the hamstrings and quadriceps.
Leg cramps can attack anyone including both children and adults, but pregnant women and the elderly may be more prone to it.
You are also more likely to suffer from lower leg cramps if you do exercises that rely heavily on the leg muscles, such as recreational running, weight training using the legs or sports that require a lot of running.
Other risk factors include nutritional deficiencies, muscle fatigue, dehydration, alcoholism, kidney failure, thyroid issues, Type 2 diabetes, vascular disease, being overweight, imbalance of electrolytes, circulatory problems, hormonal imbalance, neural disorders and restless legs syndrome.
Leg cramps can be very painful and often occur suddenly, but they may give warning signs like tingling and twitching of the muscles before you feel the abrupt pain. Other symptoms include swelling and soreness in the affected area. Also, when having the cramp, you may not be able to move your leg.
If you experience leg cramps, you can alleviate the pain and even prevent the problem with some lifestyle changes and home remedies.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for leg cramps.
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Leg Cramps Cause And Cure Blood Sugar
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What Are The Symptoms Of Too Much Salt In Your Body
Here are 6 serious signs that you are consuming too much salt.You need to urinate a lot. Frequent urination is a classic sign that you are consuming too much salt. Persistent thirst. Swelling in strange places. You find food bland and boring. Frequent mild headaches. You crave for salty foods.
Is It Beneficial To Bathe Your Feet In Warm Water To Alleviate Neuropathy
Indulge in a Warm Bath Not only is warm water soothing, but it also has the potential to improve circulation throughout the body. It has the potential to deliver immediate relief, Vinik adds. However, since diabetic neuropathy may result in a lack of feeling, check the water temperature before entering.
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How Can You Lower Blood Sugar Quickly
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Later, Yoshida was uncertain about this conclusion and stated that the basic defect remained to be identified.
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What Can I Do To Make Leg Cramps Go Away If They Happen
You want to get rid of a leg cramp the moment it strikes. You might be finishing up an exercise routine, or you might be awakened in the middle of the night. In moments like that there are, unfortunately, no magical injections that can instantly relieve your pain. However, there are eight steps to take to possibly get rid of a leg cramp:
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Relationship Of Muscle Cramp Frequency Duration Pain Severity Time Of Day With Diabetic Retinopathy
PDR was significantly more prevalent in patients with higher muscle cramping frequency . Patients with severe pain exhibited a higher prevalence of DR and PDR relative to patients with mild pain or patients without muscle cramps. Our data revealed that the prevalence of DR and PDR were higher in patients with a muscle-cramp duration lasting 110 minutes. In addition, DR and PDR were found to be associated with muscle cramp frequency , duration , and pain severity . Although the prevalence of DR and PDR was higher in patients with muscle cramps during the daytime, we observed no relationship between the time of the day and the prevalence of DR and PDR .
Table 4 Relationships Between Muscle Cramp Frequency, Duration Length, Pain Severity, Location of Muscle Cramps, Time of Day, and Diabetic Retinopathy
Managing Leg Pain Through Medications
Diabetic neuropathy is the common reason for leg pain and cramps in diabetes patients. It becomes debilitating without treatment. If you experience such unbearable pain, you need to consult your doctor as soon as possible. It will help you to get some instant relief. Over-the-counter medications help treat mild to moderate levels of leg pain. The prescription medicines for diabetic leg cramps treatment are:
- Valproic acid
Some opioid medications, like tramadol and tapentadol, and topical sprays are also available that help in treating pain.
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Nighttime Leg Cramps And Diabetes
Diabetes is linked with various complications, including nighttime leg cramps. These cramps can last for a few seconds or several minutes and may wake you up from a sound sleep. Discover more about nighttime leg cramps and what you can do about them when you have diabetes.
Nighttime leg cramps with diabetes are painful and can interrupt your sleep. It is important to discuss leg cramps with your doctor as they could be a sign of other health problems. With proper treatment and management, you can reduce or eliminate the symptoms associated with nighttime leg cramps.
When Diabetes Leads To Nerve Damage
Nerve damage caused by uncontrolled blood sugar is a serious complication of diabetes. Find out how to protect yourself.
Tingling, numbness, pain in the arms, legs, hands, or feet these are all common signs of diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage. Up to 70 percent of people with diabetes will develop some type of neuropathy, making it one of the most common side effects of this disease.
Diabetes: Understanding Neuropathy
Although tingling, numbness, or pain in the extremities are common signs of neuropathy, others may experience no symptoms at all. Nerve damage can also occur in internal organs, such as the heart or digestive tract. Diabetes-related neuropathy can affect muscle strength, sensation in various parts of the body, and even sexual function.
People who develop diabetic neuropathy are typically those who have trouble controlling their blood glucose levels, blood pressure, cholesterol, and body weight. Although researchers haven’t quite figured out exactly why this happens, they know that neuropathy can occur due to:
- Alcohol use and smoking
- Injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome
- Nerves that become inflamed related to autoimmune conditions
- Neurovascular issues that damage the blood vessels responsible for bringing nutrients and oxygen to your nerves
Your risk also increases the older you get and the longer you have diabetes, with the highest rates of neuropathy occuring in people who have had diabetes for at least 25 years.
Diabetes: Where Neuropathy May Strike
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Do I Need To Have Any Testing Done To Diagnose My Leg Cramps
Blood, urine and other routine tests are not helpful in diagnosing leg cramps but they may help identify previously undiagnosed medical conditions that have leg cramps as a symptom. For example, your healthcare provider will likely perform typical tests such as taking your blood pressure, and that can reveal cardiac and vascular risks.
When Should I Get My Leg Cramps Treated At The Emergency Department
Go to the emergency department if a leg cramp lasts longer than 10 minutes or becomes unbearably painful. Also go if a leg cramp happens after you touch a substance that could be poisonous or infectious. For example, if you have a cut in your skin that touches dirt, you could get a bacterial infection like tetanus. Exposure to mercury, lead or other toxic substances should also be reason to go to the emergency department.
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What Is The Difference Between Leg Cramps And Restless Legs Syndrome
Although both nocturnal leg cramps and restless legs syndrome tend to happen to you at night or when youre at rest, restless legs syndrome doesnt cause the severe pain. Restless legs syndrome is uncomfortable, but not agonizing. Its a crawling sensation that makes you want to move your legs. When you do move, the restlessness stops, but there is still discomfort.
How Do I Take Care Of Myself
Come up with a treatment plan with your healthcare provider that includes a prevention plan and an in-the-moment treatment plan. Ideas for a prevention plan include several activities you may want to do every day:
- Exercise: Do leg exercises during the day, and mild, brief walking or biking right before bed.
- Hydration: Drink eight glasses of water each day and avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages.
- Medications and vitamins: Take all vitamins and medications exactly how theyre prescribed by your healthcare provider.
- Prepare your bed space: Keep a heating pad and massage roller next to your bed.
- Shoes: Purchase supportive shoes.
- Sleeping position: Experiment with different positions to see if one works better than another. Keep your toes up if youre on your back and hang your feet over the end of the bed if you lie on your front.
- Stretch: Stretch your legs before and after exercising, and right before you go to sleep.
Your in-the-moment treatment plan could include the eight steps mentioned in the Management and Treatment section:
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Drink Water But Start Drinking Before You Begin Exercising
Water will not help after muscle cramps have already started. A study in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport revealed that water intake after dehydration and during exercise make muscles more susceptible to cramping, most likely due to a dilution of electrolytes. However, when consuming fluid containing electrolytes, the susceptibility to muscle cramps decreases. Which leads to treatment #2.
Warning Signs Of Diabetic Nerve Pain
If youre living with diabetes and have experienced a tingling, burning sensation in your hands or feet, you may be suffering from diabetic nerve pain.
Diabetic nerve pain or damaged nerves are a result of an injury or disease. The restriction of blood flow to the damaged nerves leads to the chronic, debilitating pain. Nerve pain can make doing the simplest things very painful.
Diabetes develops in children and adults typically as a result of the body not producing enough insulin. What is insulin? Its a hormone produced by your pancreas. The purpose of insulin is to help cells use glucose or sugar found in food to produce energy.
Now, if there is too much sugar in the blood, this can lead to complications, such as diabetes. Often times affecting the kidneys, heart, nerves and eyes. Diabetes affects as many as 29 million people in the U.S. More than 8 million people are either unaware or have yet to be diagnosed with the condition.
Patients with high blood sugar can experience a variety of health conditions, including diabetic nerve pain, often seen in the feet and legs first.
Here are the more common signs of diabetic nerve pain:
- Deformities on the foot
- Sores or blisters
- Sensitivity to touch
- Tingling or stabbing pain
Dont be surprised if you experience difficulty standing or walking. You may also experience difficulty picking up a spoon or fork to eat your meal or drop items on a regular basis. Most of this is contributed to diabetic nerve pain.
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Readers Share Stories About Tea And Trouble:
J.L.G. confirms a link between tea and leg cramps:
My severe leg cramps were definitely attributable to green tea. I stopped drinking it and they went away. I drink a lot of black tea and it does not cause me any cramping problems.
This comes from Bill the Psychiatrist, MD:
My wifes leg cramps are due to drinking tea . And a cup of hot chocolate at bedtime helps her because the calcium and magnesium also cause muscle cramps to disappear. Night legcramps is a common condition.
I found that Earl Grey tea was making my asthma a lot worse. Stopped drinking it and got better within a few days.
Although I have never had a problem with Earl Grey tea, I discovered that I had a sensitivity to chamomile tea. The stomach cramps that I was experiencing went away immediately after discontinuing my daily cup of chamomile.
S.J.H. also writes about Earl Gray Tea:
I had been experiencing leg pain for some time and read your article about Earl Grey tea my favorite. I stopped drinking Earl Grey and the pain immediately went away and has not come back. Thanks!
If you want to learn more about the book Donna found so helpful, here is a link.
What Are Leg Cramps
If you haven’t already, you will probably experience leg cramps at some point in your life. They can hit at the worst possible moments whether you’re lying in bed at night or taking a run on the treadmill, that sharp stabbing pain can feel totally debilitating. If leg cramps, also called charley horses, persist, they can become even more irritating, perhaps knocking you off your typical exercise or sleep routine.
A leg cramp is a sharp, sudden contraction or tightening of the muscle in the calf, which usually lasts a few seconds to a few minutes. If a cramp does hit, you can ease it in the moment by stretching the muscle gently. To find a long-term solution to leg cramps, however, you might need to take a closer look at their many potential causes.
To keep leg cramps at bay, make sure you’re nourishing your body and getting enough rest. You’ll also want to rule out any underlying issues that could be contributing to leg cramping, such as peripheral artery disease or thyroid issues. See a doctor when cramps prevent you from exercising, or if they seem to happen spontaneously without a trigger.
Here, experts weigh in on the major reasons you might be experiencing leg cramps, so you can keep those muscles free of charley horses for good.
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What Is Diabetic Leg Pain Like
Another symptom is a burning, sharp, or aching pain . The pain may be mild at first, but it can get worse over time and spread up your legs or arms. Walking can be painful, and even the softest touch can feel unbearable. Up to 50 percent of people with diabetes may experience nerve pain.
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