Saturday, June 15, 2024

Does Too Much Sugar Cause Leg Cramps

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Things In Your Diet That May Be Causing You Pain

Leg Cramps: 7 Causes and 7 Cures


We are what we eat, plain and simple. Theres no argument about it! Some people eat to live, others live to eat and still others are feeding their chronic aches and pains without even realizing it.

If your pain issues have gotten steadily worse, maybe you need to look at your nutritional choices. What are you putting in your grocery cart every week that may be causing you pain?

Eating too much and/or eating the wrong things can fire up your inflammatory responses and contribute to muscle, nerve, or joint pain. For some chronic conditions, dietary changes can make the biggest difference in reducing or eliminating pain.

Certain foods have been known to alleviate inflammation, where some foods can aggravate it. In fact, according to Harvard Health Publishing, A lot of chronic pain is the result of chronic inflammation, and the evidence is quite strong that your diet can contribute to increased systemic inflammation.

Fortunately, you can reverse this trend by adopting a healthy nutritional strategy as part of a holistic physical therapy program. Physical therapists are not nutritionists, but providing nutritional advice to patients is well within the scope of a physical therapists duties!

Leg Cramps With Diabetes: Whats The Connection

As we mentioned earlier a major cause of muscle cramping is an imbalance in electrolytes, and surprisingly, your blood sugar levels have an effect on electrolyte levels.

Blood sugar fluctuations cause substances like electrolytes to move in and out of cells through a process called osmosis. When you have high blood sugar levels it upsets the natural flow of water and electrolytes, which can then lead to an imbalance.

Further, when your blood sugar is high your body may excrete some of that excess sugar via the urinary tract, carrying precious electrolytes out with it.

On top of that, a few other factors that put diabetics at risk for muscle cramps include:

  • Renal disease is a complication of diabetes. The kidneys are largely responsible for electrolyte balance in the body.
  • Medications like insulin, statins, and diuretics can deplete your electrolytes.
  • Neuropathy causes nerves to get easily over-excited and increases your risk for muscle cramps.
  • Magnesium deficiency research has found that people with type 2 diabetes are more likely to be deficient in magnesium, than the general population.
  • Potassium/sodium imbalance diabetics may also experience levels of potassium and sodium that are either too low or too high depending on their individual chemistry.

These imbalances increase your risk for muscle cramps as well as conditions like restless leg syndrome.

How Are Diet And Pain Connected

Certain kinds of foods are known to cause or aggravate inflammatory responses and chronic pain. You may be doing yourself more harm than good if you regularly consume:

  • Heavily processed foods that include lots of sugar and/or trans fats
  • Potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and other members of the nightshade family
  • Caffeinated foods and drinks
  • White bread or other highly-processed carbs
  • Alcohol
  • Red meats such as steak, beef, or ham
  • These foods can make you hurt in many different ways. Sugar and aspartame can raise both your insulin levels and your pain sensitivity. Caffeine and tomatoes both raise your bodys acidity levels and promote inflammatory pain.

    Poor dietary and nutritional choices can also increase your pain by increasing your waistline. Excessive quantities of rich, fatty, sugary, or starchy foods can cause your weight to balloon, especially if you lead a sedentary lifestyle.

    This extra weight can aggravate arthritis pain and accelerate joint degeneration. It can also place extra strain on your muscles as they struggle to support your body weight. Obesity can even encourage the development of bulging or herniated discs, leading to neurological issues such as sciatica.

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    How Does Diabetes Cause Leg Pain

    When diabetic peripheral neuropathy affects the legs, it means that the nerves there are no longer functioning properly. Along with pain, a person may also feel numbness and tingling.

    People who experience diabetic peripheral neuropathy have a higher risk of developing serious complications in their feet or legs, including injuries or amputation.

    Once diabetic neuropathy occurs, treatment tends to focus on reducing the pain and cramping symptoms. Treatments may also help slow the progression of the condition.

    Avoid These 5 Inflammatory Foods To Ease Joint Pain

    13 Causes of Leg Cramps and How to Stop Them

    As a leading orthopaedic practice serving patients throughout the Triangle region, we care about your bone and joint health. Not only do we offer comprehensive surgical and non-surgical orthopaedic care, but we also advise our patients about things they can on their own to increase strength and mobility and improve their overall health. Choosing the right foods is a basic place to start.

    Smart food choices are important for everyone, especially for those who suffer from joint pain and inflammation. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a well-balanced diet should be full of plant-based foods. The FDA recommends a diet of two-thirds fruits, vegetables and whole grains, leaving one-third for lean protein and low-fat dairy.

    While some foods may help fight inflammation in the joints and muscles, studies have found that others can exacerbate inflammation, causing pain in the knees, back and other parts of the body. Compounds found in certain foods can trigger the body to produce chemicals that cause inflammation as well as other health issues such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

    To help decrease joint and muscle pain and inflammation, try eliminating these foods from your diet or consume them in moderation:

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    Practice Daily Foot And Leg Care

    Because early detection is key, proper foot and leg care is crucial in preventing diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

    Check your feet and legs every day for cuts, scrapes, blisters, swelling, or redness. Apply moisturizer . Keep your feet clean and dry. Wear clean socks every day, and invest in high-quality, properly fitted footwear.

    Symptoms Of Nerve Damage From Diabetes

    Numbness is the most common, troubling symptom of nerve damage due to diabetes. The loss of sensation is a special concern. People who lose sensation are the ones most likely to get ulcers on their feet and to end up needing amputations.

    People describe the early symptoms of peripheral neuropathy in many ways:

    • Numbness

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    Which Foods Have No Potassium

    Foods low in potassium include most refined fats and oils, grains like cornmeal, white rice, and pasta, cheeses like soft goat cheese, and blueberries, eggs, leeks, Napa cabbage, and chia seeds. Boiling vegetables in water and discarding the water can help reduce their potassium and electrolyte content.

    How Doctors Diagnose Diabetes Complications

    How Sugar Leads to Pain and Inflammation – The Source Chiropractic

    Blood sugar testing This test evaluates the amount of sugar in your bloodstream and can help your doctor determine whether your current diabetes treatment is working.

    Retina exam Eyedrops are used to dilate or widen your pupils, and then your doctor uses a machine to take a picture of your retina. This test assesses the health of your eyes and can help diagnose diabetic retinopathy.

    Foot examination Your doctor examines your feet for signs of infection, nerve damage, and poor circulation.

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    What Foods Trigger Leg Cramps 10 Foods That Might Be Causing Your Leg Cramps


    Leg cramps are the worst. Not just because of the pain, but because these tend to bring a disturbing halt in your daily activities till they are fully healed. And, you might just be worsening your already bad enough leg cramps without really knowing. How? Well, are certain foods trigger leg cramps or make them worse, and you might be consuming those foods without this knowledge. But before talking about what foods trigger your leg cramps, lets take a look at some information regarding leg cramps.

    How Do I Stop Nighttime Leg And Foot Cramps

    Some simple things you might keep you from getting cramps:

  • Stretch during the day and before bed. Focus on your calf and foot muscles.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Move around during the day to exercise your feet and legs.
  • Wear comfortable, supportive shoes.
  • Sleep under loose covers, especially if you sleep on your back.
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    Melons Are The Total Package

    These fruits have it all: loads of potassium, a good amount of magnesium and calcium, a little sodium, and a lot of water. Sodium and water are key because as you exercise, your body flushes sodium out with your sweat. If you lose too much water, youâll get dehydrated, and muscle cramps may happen. Eating a cup of cubed cantaloupe after a workout can help.

    Pain Management Through Medication

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    Diabetic neuropathy is most common in the legs and feet. Without treatment and management, it can become debilitating. The most important thing you can do to lower your risk of all complications, including diabetic neuropathy, is to keep your blood sugar level within the target range.

    If you have neuropathy, controlling blood sugar is still very important. But there are some other steps you can take to help control this condition.

    One of the first courses of action is pain management through medication. Over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, may help alleviate mild to moderate pain. Two medications are currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating diabetic peripheral neuropathy:

    • duloxetine
    • pregabalin

    Other medications and treatment options include the use of opioid medications, such as tramadol and tapentadol, and topical remedies and sprays.

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    Preventing And Treating Leg Cramps With Diabetes

    For many diabetics, muscle pain is just a normal part of life. Prolonged exposure to high blood sugar levels can cause whatâs called diabetic neuropathy, which may result in pain, tingling, cramps or spasms in the arms, feet, legs or fingers.

    Treating leg cramps tend to involve treating the neuropathy while also addressing other factors that may be causing the cramps.


    While there are several different types of neuropathies, peripheral neuropathy is what often causes leg cramps in diabetics.

    Potassium imbalance, which can be caused by fluctuating insulin levels and frequent urination in diabetes, can also contribute to leg cramping.

    Diabetics who are taking diuretics may also experience more leg cramps, as these types of drugs have been associated with muscle spasms and pain.


    The best way to prevent diabetic neuropathy is to manage your diabetes well and keep your blood sugar stable.

    If the cramps are caused by potassium imbalances, you should talk to your doctor about changing your diet to address this issue.

    Exercise is also important, especially stretching, while adequate hydration after long periods of physical activity will ensure your water and electrolyte balances stay stable.


    Treatment for diabetic leg cramps will usually involve bringing your blood glucose levels into a normal range to prevent further nerve damage. Your doctor may recommend certain medicines or insulin therapies to help control your blood sugar.

    Most Common Causes Of Muscle Cramps

    There are several reasons nerve signals to the muscles malfunction and involuntary muscle contractions ensue:

  • Poor blood circulation
  • Back problems or back injury
  • Mineral depletion and lack of electrolytes
  • Having long periods of high adrenaline
  • Overuse/general muscle fatigue, which can be caused by standing or exercising too long, putting extra pressure on your leg muscles
  • Being active in hot weather
  • Lack of proper warm-up or stretching post exercise
  • Kidney or thyroid disorder
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    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:

    • Numbness
    • 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.

    Whats The Deal With Sugar

    What Causes Leg Cramps Even If You are Taking Minerals? â Dr.Berg

    Sugar. That tasty food additive that we cant seem to get enough of. In fact, recent studies from both the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are showing Americans, ranging from children to young adults to seniors, are consuming more than enough sugar in our daily food and drink intake. Why is this? One reason is that added sugar is in just about everything we purchase from the grocery store that has been processed in some way. Not only that, studies show that consuming more than 75% excess sugar on a regular basis has been linked to or classified as an addiction.

    Keep reading to learn why added sugar is problematic for your health and wellness, as well as interesting facts about sugar, and how sugar contributes to muscle and joint pain. If you have questions or want to learn ways to limit your sugar intake, get in touch with your Little chiropractor today.

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    Are There Certain Foods That Cause Muscle And Joint Pain

    There’s no hard evidence that any food can cause muscle or joint pain, but there is good evidence that foods can contribute to inflammation. Inflammation is your body’s way of fighting disease and foreign invaders. If you have a long-term disease like arthritis, more inflammation means more pain.

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    Chronic inflammation and chronic pain go hand-in-hand, according to the Cleveland Clinic. They note that a healthy diet overall can reduce inflammation, a driver of pain in the body.

    There’s a fair amount of research on joint pain and the effects of diet, particularly in arthritis patients. According to a January 2020 review in âContemporary Clinical Trials Communicationsâ , rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that causes joint pain. The authors say that avoiding foods that promote inflammation â called pro-inflammatory foods â may be a way to reduce RA symptoms.

    “At this time, there is not enough clinical evidence to support a specific food item’s direct correlation with inflammation,” says Monique Dorsey, RD, LDN, a registered dietitian at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. “Foods that may increase inflammation should be limited in an anti-inflammatory diet. These foods include processed foods and foods high in saturated or trans fat.”

    Choose Good Carbs And Avoid Bad Carbs

    Good carbs contain a lot of fiber, which is absorbed slowly into the blood stream. This provides the body with energy, but without spiking glucose and insulin levels. Good carbs are found in foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans. And while some fruits like apples and pears have seemingly high sugar levels, they are love on the glycemic index, which means they keep blood sugar levels steady while preventing feelings of hunger.

    Bad carbs, along with triggering your inflammation response, are absorbed quickly into the blood, which tends to spike blood sugar and insulin levels. Bad carbs are found in foods such as white bread, white rice, sugary beverages, and sweets.

    There is room for some tasty treats in your life, as long as you eat them in moderation while focusing on eating mostly healthy, nutritious foods.

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    Why Magnesium Supplementation Alone Doesn’t Solve Nocturnal Leg Cramps

    Recent estimates show that up to 80% of adults are deficient in magnesium.

    This is due to several factors, including:

    • Reduced nutrient density in modern diets
    • Increased magnesium excretion caused by stress, caffeine and sugar intake, and certain pharmaceuticals

    The alarming aspect of this statistic isn’t the high percentage it’s that these figures are based on the minimal amount necessary to prevent disease!

    That’s right the RDI figures you see on the backs of nutrition labels are only meant to ward off disease. They aren’t designed to facilitate optimal health, let alone improve it.

    This means that virtually everyone would benefit from increasing magnesium intake.

    Since whole food is clearly not sufficient, it makes sense to use a magnesium supplement.

    But not all are created equal.

    And for those suffering from nocturnal cramps, a specific type of magnesium should be used, and it should be administered immediately before bed time.

    We’ll come back to that in a minute.

    Here are the common signs of a magnesium deficiency:

    • Muscle pain and cramps

    If you suffer from nocturnal leg cramps, you almost certainly have a magnesium deficiency.

    But that isn’t the only cause.

    People who suffer from nocturnal leg cramps have other key nutrient deficiencies and neuro-muscular dysfunctions.

    That’s why magnesium supplementation alone does not solve nocturnal cramping in clinical studies.

    Nocturnal leg cramps are associated with five specific conditions that must be addressed.

    Foods That Help Reduce Inflammation

    Diabetes Symptoms Leg Pain

    It may seem as if all of your favorite foods are on the do not eat list as it relates to joint and muscle pain. However, there are actually a variety of nutritious and delicious foods that can help reduce inflammation. A Mediterranean diet offers an excellent guideline, including these foods:

    • Vegetables
    • Potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips and yams
    • High-fat fruits such as avocados and olives
    • Olive oil and coconut oil and other healthy fats
    • Whole grains
    • Salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, anchovies and other fatty fish
    • Almonds and other nuts
    • Bell peppers and chili peppers
    • Dark chocolate
    • Legumes such as beans, peas, lentils, pulses, peanuts and chickpeas
    • Spices such as turmeric, ginger and cinnamon
    • Green tea

    Sticking to a diet consisting of these foods will not only help combat inflammation and pain but also help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce risk for many diseases. For more information on foods that can help with inflammation, read 10 Foods That Help Reduce Joint Pain.

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