What Causes Leg Cramps At Night?
Leg cramps at night are common. And it's important to make a distinction between leg cramps causes and other causes of leg pain at night. Why? Because there are several conditions that can cause leg pain at night: fibromyalgia sciatica arthritis night leg cramps varicose veins Use of statins for lowering cholesterol lower extremity arterial disease (atherosclerosis). So what causes leg cramps at night? The cramp, or charley horse, is due to the muscle contracting (shortening and tightening) in a sudden and violent way. These nocturnal leg cramps usually occur in the calf muscle. But foot and leg cramps do happen at night also. Cramps in the thighs are less common. One main reason for the pain is because blood flow to the muscle is restricted. Waste products also build up within the muscle tissue. Here are nine conditions that may cause muscles to contract The underlying causes of leg cramps are unknown. However, here are nine possible suspects: Dehydration. Not staying hydrated with enough water during the day may be one of the big causes of leg cramps at night. This is most likely due to fluid imbalances of electrolytes (mainly sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium). Overuse of the muscles, perhaps from exercising, gardening or other physical activities. Night leg cramps during pregnancy affect about 30% of women. In the next article, I have a big caution regarding relief for leg muscle cramps in pregnancy. (You can see a link to that article at the bottom of this page.) Concrete. This sounds a little far fetched to me, but I've read that standing on concrete for long periods of time can lead to leg pain at night. When I was 17, I went to work in a steel factory. It was tough, sweaty, physical labor. We all stood on concrete for eight hours a day, day after day, wo Continue reading >>
Can Diabetes Cause Fatigue, Body Ache?
Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Wednesdays, it's Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society. Asked by Mike from Tennessee Can diabetes be a (possible) cause of fatigue, leg and lower back aches? I have had bursts of energy for 10 to 15 minutes, but then need to sit for about 10 minutes, and I'm ready to go full steam again. PLEASE, Thank You, Mike Expert answer Dear Mike: Thanks for an important question, as a lot of people with diabetes complain of these symptoms. The answer is that diabetes itself probably is not the cause of your fatigue, lower back and leg aches. The things that cause type 2 diabetes (also called adult onset diabetes), such as a weight problem and lack of exercise, are commonly the cause these symptoms. Fatigue incorporates three components: 1. The inability to initiate activity. 2. Reduced ability to maintain activity. 3. Difficulty with concentration and memory. Fatigue should be distinguished from sleepiness, shortness of breath on exertion and muscle weakness, although these can also be associated with fatigue. Fatigue lasting six months or more is referred to as chronic fatigue. Chronic fatigue is not necessarily the entity known as chronic fatigue syndrome, which is a diagnosis after exclusion of all other causes. Fatigue in anyone should be evaluated by a health care provider to exclude all possible causes and to get counseling on how to treat it. Other medical causes of fatigue are the side effect of drugs, thyroid dysfunction, high calcium levels, rheumatologic illnesses, adrenal, kidney or liver problems. Some infections such as tuberculosis or hepatitis can cause fatigue, and indeed, fatigue can be their only symptom. Depression is also a major cause of fatigue. While unus Continue reading >>
Research Links Muscle Cramps With Nerve Fiber Dysfunction In Type 1 Diabetes
A study in the journal Clinical Neurophysiology showed that diabetes patients had greater numbers and strength of muscle cramps, with the cramps associated with small and large fiber nerve dysfunction in type 1 diabetes but not in type 2 diabetes, compared with individuals without diabetes. Canadian researchers examined 157 patients with and without diabetes and suggested that neuropathy may be a driving force in muscle cramps for type 1 diabetes patients while other factors may influence muscle cramps in type 2 diabetes patients. Get the intelligence you need: news and information that is changing your industry today, hand-curated by our professional editors from thousands of sources and delivered straight to your inbox. Continue reading >>
Diabetes Leg Pain And Cramps: Treatment Tips
Diabetes can lead to a variety of complications. Leg pain and cramps often occur as a result of nerve damage called diabetic neuropathy. If diabetes damages nerves in your arms or legs, it’s called diabetic peripheral neuropathy. This condition can be a direct result of long-term high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) in those who have diabetes. Pain, burning, tingling, and numbness are common symptoms. Peripheral neuropathy can also result in serious foot and leg conditions. Catching nerve damage early is important in preventing symptoms. This can help prevent lower leg amputations. You have options for alleviating leg pain and cramps due to diabetic neuropathy. Managing leg pain and cramps may also help prevent the condition from progressing and improve your quality of life. 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 (FDA) for treating diabetic peripheral neuropathy: Other medications and treatment options include the use of opioid medications, such as tramadol and tapentadol, and topical remedies and sprays. Certain dietary supplements may also help ease pain, including leg discomfort associated with diabetes. Some nutrie Continue reading >>
A Spoonful Of Mustard For Leg Cramps? It’s Golden
Q: Thanks to whoever thought of using mustard for leg cramps. This remedy is totally awesome. At 2 a.m., I had the worst leg cramp. My entire leg was screaming! I grabbed the bottle of mustard and swallowed a spoonful. My leg quit hurting within two minutes. I call it the mustard miracle. A: We, too, have found that swallowing a spoonful of plain yellow mustard can stop a leg cramp quickly. We don’t know whether it is the vinegar or the turmeric included for yellow coloring in the mustard that works. Not everyone wants to take mustard in the middle of the night, though keeping a packet of mustard in the nightstand can make it more convenient. Q: I honestly hate anything cinnamon and usually avoid it, although my husband loves cinnamon and ginger. I am 53 and was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes several years ago. I’ve never had my blood sugar go over 220 at any given time, so my doctor, who is a diabetes specialist, has me on metformin. In the past few months, my fasting glucose levels have become completely normal again, between 73 and 92 every morning. So with my doctor’s knowledge, I’ve lowered my dose of metformin. I believe this is due to two things: First, I try not to eat ANY white flour, rice or breads at all, and second, I’ve been taking cinnamon capsules every morning with my diabetes-formulated multivitamin. I don’t have any eye-focusing problems that I used to have in the mornings, no tingling, nothing! I’ve also lost 8 pounds. I think that all this together has improved my particular case. A: Congratulations on your improved blood-sugar control and your weight loss. Your decision to avoid white bread and other flour products has probably contributed to your success. Cinnamon also can help prevent blood-sugar spikes after meals. Q: I read a newsp Continue reading >>
Nocturnal Leg Cramps
Also called night leg cramps, nocturnal leg cramps are involuntary contractions of your leg muscles occurring when you’re in bed. It is generally the calf muscles that cramp, though your feet or thighs may cramp as well. Stretching the cramped muscle is the way to provide relief. Why do nocturnal leg cramps occur? In most cases, there isn’t an obvious cause for night leg cramps. Often, it’s simply muscle fatigue or nerve issues. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is one problem that can be behind nocturnal leg cramps. PAD is the blockage of arteries going to an extremity. The most common blockage is to the lower extremities, meaning the legs and feet. Other conditions that can be related to night leg cramps include: Kidney failure Anemia Hyperthyroidism Type 1 diabetes Type 2 diabetes Those with diabetes commonly experience leg pain and cramping. One aspect of diabetes is nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy), and since cramps are sometimes caused by nerve issues, those with diabetes can be at greater risk to experience nocturnal leg cramping. PAD is also common in patients with diabetes, further increasing risk for cramping. Who usually gets nocturnal leg cramps? Pregnant women have a greater risk of experiencing this uncomfortable condition. Risk also increases with age. Diabetes is a big risk factor as well. Is it the same as restless leg syndrome? Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a different condition. RLS is generally not painful, whereas leg cramps are. Preventing nocturnal leg cramps Research suggests that regular physical activity can help decrease the risks of cramping during the night. Certain vitamin supplements may also help. Other recommendations include taking a warm bath and using a stationary bike. Certain medications can also help, as can drinking plenty Continue reading >>
Viewer Comments: Muscle Cramps In Calves - Causes
I am a 78 year old male in very good physical condition for my age. My weight is normally at 160, I am 5 ft. 7 in. I exercise regularly but not excessively. My blood pressure is great (although I do take blood pressure medicines). But, one problem is driving me nuts. I have frequent painful muscle cramps in several areas of my body; neck, arms, hands, back, thighs, calves, and feet. There seems to be nothing that I can imagine would cause these. There is seldom a day goes by without these cramps interfering with my life. I go to a restaurant, pick up a knife and fork, and my right hand goes into extreme cramping. I drive and for no reason, my legs cramp up so badly that I have to stop the car, get out and walk. It usually helps, but not always. I'm frequently awoken by severe cramps in all areas of both legs and feet. If I should turn my head to see what's behind me, my neck muscles cramp up. I take magnesium and calcium supplements, I hydrate regularly and frequently, especially when exercising. I've dropped from 80 mg cholesterol tablets, to 20 mg per night. I take baclofen daily, but none of these helps. Most of my muscle spasms occur at night and in the lower body, but I can get spasms anytime anywhere in the body usually upon putting strain on the muscle. I am currently taking quinine sulphate, 300mg once a day at bed time. It helped reduce frequency of nocturnal cramps. The first serious problem I had with severe muscle pains mostly in upper body and arms was alleviated when I quit taking the Lipitor statin a few years ago. My most recent bout with serious muscle pains and muscle cramps once again was much alleviated when I stopped taking prescription drug amlodipine. A 10 pound weight gain during the period of taking amlodipine was also reversed Must Read Article Continue reading >>
Can Diabetes Cause Muscle Cramps?
A recent study looked at links between muscle cramp frequency and severity and nerve fiber measures in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Persons with type 1 and 2 diabetes as well as healthy controls were given an evaluation and their large and small nerve fibers were assessed. Details about their muscle cramps were noted. There were 37 control subjects, 51 patients with type 1 diabetes and 69 with type 2 diabetes. Muscle Cramps a Diabetes Complication? The researchers state in their study paper that “Muscle cramps were the most frequent symptom captured by the Toronto Clinical Neuropathy Score (TCNS) in all groups, up to 78% in patients with [type 2 diabetes].” They also explained that in only those with type 1 diabetes, muscle cramp frequency and severity was tied to clinical, large, and small nerve fiber measures. They concluded that muscle cramps are common diabetes and are associated with clinical and both small and large nerve fiber measures in type 1 diabetes, “suggesting that their origin and propagation might extend beyond the motor nerve,” wrote the study authors. For the study, those with type 2 diabetes were older and had more muscle cramps, more severe cramps, and worse clinical and small and large nerve fiber measures when compared with those with type 1 diabetes. They also had worse nerve function, but this could have been due to the patients with type 1 diabetes being younger than those with type 2 in the study. Researchers added that “These findings are in line with previous studies, describing muscle cramps in a large spectrum of polyneuropathies, including sensory and small fiber polyneuropathies (Lopate et al., 2013; Maxwell et al., 2014; Abraham et al., 2016), suggesting that the cause of muscle cramps may extend beyond the motor n Continue reading >>
Diabetic Neuropathy Symptoms
The symptoms of diabetic neuropathy depend on what type of neuropathy you have. Symptoms are dependent on which nerves have been damaged. In general, diabetic neuropathy symptoms develop gradually; they may seem like minor and infrequent pains or problems at first, but as the nerves become more damaged, symptoms may grow. Don’t overlook mild symptoms. They can indicate the beginning of neuropathy. Talk to your doctor about anything you notice—such as any pain, numbness, weakness, or tingling—even if it seems insignificant. Your pain may mean the control of your diabetes could be improved, which will can help slow down the progression of your neuropathy. Pain and numbness are also important warning signs to take very good care of your feet, so you can avoid wounds and infections that can be difficult to heal and even raise risk for amputation. 1 Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms Peripheral neuropathy affects nerves leading to your extremities—the feet, legs, hands, and arms. The nerves leading to your feet are the longest in your body, so they are the most often affected nerves (simply because there’s more of them to be damaged). Peripheral neuropathy is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy symptoms include: Pain Burning, stabbing or electric-shock sensations Numbness (loss of feeling) Tingling Muscle weakness Poor coordination Muscle cramping and/or twitching Insensitivity to pain and/or temperature Extreme sensitivity to even the lightest touch Symptoms get worse at night. 2, 3 Autonomic Neuropathy Symptoms The autonomic nervous system is in charge of the "involuntary" functions of your body. It keeps your heart pumping and makes sure you digest your food right—without you needing to think about it. Autonomic neuropathy symptoms i Continue reading >>
The Musculoskeletal Effects Of Diabetes Mellitus
Go to: Abstract Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a multi-system disease characterized by persistent hyperglycemia that has both acute and chronic biochemical and anatomical sequelae, with Type-2 DM representing the most common form of the disease. Neuromusculoskeletal sequelae of DM are common and the practicing chiropractor should be alert to these conditions, as some are manageable in a chiropractic office, while others are life and/or limb threatening. This paper reviews the effects of DM on the musculoskeletal system so as assist the chiropractor in making appropriate clinical decisions regarding therapy, understanding contraindications to therapy, referring patients to medical physicians when appropriate and understanding the impact that DM may have on the prognosis for their patients suffering from the myriad musculoskeletal conditions associated with this disease. Keywords: diabetes, musculoskeletal, chiropractic Go to: Introduction Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a multi-system disease characterized by persistent hyperglycemia that has both acute and chronic biochemical and anatomical sequelae. It is thought to affect almost 17 million Americans, only 11 million of whom have been diagnosed according to the American Diabetes Association. In type 1 diabetes, a lack of insulin results in poor carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism. Insulin is functionally absent, typically due to immune-mediated destruction of the beta cells of the pancreas, though other etiologies of beta cell destruction have also been implicated, including drugs, chemicals, viruses, mitochondrial gene defects, pancreatectomy and ionizing radiation.1 Type 1 DM (DM1) occurs most commonly in juveniles. It can occur in adults, especially in those in their late 30s and early 40s. Unlike people with Type 2 DM ( Continue reading >>
- The musculoskeletal effects of diabetes mellitus
- Women in India with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Strategy (WINGS): Methodology and development of model of care for gestational diabetes mellitus (WINGS 4)
- Effects of Insulin Plus Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists (GLP-1RAs) in Treating Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Night Leg Cramps
Most of the time, no apparent cause for night leg cramps can be identified. In general, night leg cramps are likely to be related to muscle fatigue and nerve problems. The risk of having night leg cramps increases with age. Pregnant women also have a higher likelihood of having night leg cramps. Several conditions, such as kidney failure and diabetic nerve damage, are known to cause night leg cramps. But if you have one of these, you're most likely aware of it and have symptoms other than night leg cramps. People who are taking certain medications, such as certain diuretics, might be more likely to have night leg cramps, although it's not known if there's a direct connection. Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is sometimes confused with night leg cramps, but it's a separate condition. In general, pain is not a main feature of RLS, although some people describe their RLS as being painful. Other conditions that may sometimes be associated with night leg cramps may include: Structural disorders Metabolic problems Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) Medications and procedures Blood pressure drugs Diuretics (water retention relievers) Oral contraceptives Cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) Dialysis Other conditions Diarrhea (causing anal irritation) Muscle fatigue Nerve damage, as from cancer treatments Pregnancy Continue reading >>
Muscle Cramps: Are They Preventable Or Inevitable With Physical Activity?
If you experience painful, involuntary contractions of your muscles, you’re having a muscle cramp. They can occur in any muscle but are most common in the legs, feet, and muscles that cross two joints, such as your calf muscle (the gastrocnemius, which crosses your knee and your ankle joints), quadriceps and hamstrings (the front and back of your thighs), and your feet. Not all of them are that painful; they range in intensity from a slight twitch to severe cramping that makes the muscle feel rock hard and that can last from a few seconds to several minutes. They can also ease up and then recramp several times before disappearing. Although the exact cause of muscle cramps remains unknown, they are not inevitable. More than likely they’re likely related to either poor flexibility, muscle fatigue, and/or doing new physical activities. For example, athletes are more likely to get cramps in the preseason when less conditioned and more subject to fatigue. Cramps often develop near the end of unaccustomed intense or prolonged exercise or during the night following the activity. Of course, if you’re exercising in the heat, cramps can also be related to dehydration and depletion of electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium) lost through sweating. When these nutrients fall to certain levels, you’re more likely to experience cramping, and it’s good to keep in mind that many people with diabetes already have low blood levels of magnesium. The other electrolytes like potassium and sodium can also become unbalanced during periods of uncontrolled hyperglycemia when water losses through urine are usually greater. Finally, cramps in people with diabetes also may occur as a side effect of certain drugs (e.g., lipid-lowering agents, antihypertensives, beta-agonist Continue reading >>
How To Deal With Pregnancy Cramps
Dealing with pregnancy cramps is not a challenging activity. The majority of females do encounter this not-so serious botheration in the different stages of pregnancy. Females might experience mild to moderate aches in the abdominal area or legs throughout the term. Cramps in the calf bone muscles are noted while stretching the legs before leaving the bed early morning. Implantation of the embryo in the uterine wall, stretching of ligaments, gas and also irregular bowel movements commonly generate abdominal pains while pregnant. Maternity pains could be treated normally, yet look for clinical examination if these are come with by blood loss, impaired thinking, abnormal vaginal discharge, fever as well as chills. Severe stomach pains could show ectopic maternity or miscarriage, which calls for a prompt clinical interest. Pregnancy cramps might not be significant most of the times yet are uncomfortable. You need to follow some tips with determination while managing this problem. Tips to Take care of Abdominal Aches In Pregnancy Relax Keep in your thoughts that mild stomach cramps are regular throughout pregnancy. For that reason, unwind as well as rest for some time if you really feel mild cramps in your tummy. Resting for time will ease stomach cramping normally. There is no requirement to panic. Panic as well as stress aggravate aches. Aim to flex on the back side to ease the discomfort, but avoid overstretching as you may end up with a back pain. Avoid rushing while transforming your placements and also postures. Apply Hot Water Bag Your warm water bag might involve your help in taking care of pregnancy cramps. Location the warm water bag on your belly for a few mins to obtain relief from the uncomfortable cramps. See to it that the temperature of the water guaranteed Continue reading >>
Leg Cramps And Common Problems In Diabetics
Leg Cramps and Diabetes If you’re wondering whether leg cramps and diabetes are related, the answer is ‘yes’. Diabetes manifests when there is increased blood glucose or sugar in the system. This leads to an increased urine output, which, in turn, leads to the considerable loss of electrolytes such as magnesium, sodium, and potassium. Lower levels of potassium and sometimes calcium more often than not lead to leg cramps. Another cause of leg cramps in diabetics is diabetic neuropathy. The peripheral nerves of diabetics are often damaged over a period of time; this makes the fiber in the nerves vulnerable to irritability, resulting leg cramps. Damaged arteries in the lower limbs could also be one of the causes. Sometimes, it could be a combination of all these conditions that leads to the increased prevalence of muscle cramps in diabetics. It should be noted that in patients who have had diabetes for a long time the pain may not be present as the fibers in the nerve cells may already be destroyed. Diabetes Leg Cramps at Night You may often hear diabetic patients complaining that the pain from the leg cramps at night is so severe that it wakes them up from their sleep. Such kind of cramps, which are called nocturnal cramps, can cause terrible sleep deprivation for the patient. Reasons for Leg Cramps As mentioned above, there are several reasons for leg cramps in a diabetic patient. Here are a few possibilities: Lack of sufficient potassium in the system Diabetes related artery disease Electrolyte reduction due to excess urine output Diabetic neuropathy or nerve damage in the lower limbs Low calcium levels Prevention for Diabetic Leg Cramps There are some ways in which you can try to ease diabetic leg cramps. Here’s how. A simple blood test will help you find out i Continue reading >>
Not Just For The Athlete
Some people mistakenly think that leg pain is a natural part of getting older. You might be surprised to learn that leg pain that develops during walking—and then goes away only with rest—can be caused by intermittent claudication (IC), a potentially disabling yet treatable medical condition. IC affects roughly 3 million people, most of them over age 55. Unfortunately, an estimated 75 percent of all IC sufferers fail to seek medical help, often because they don’t realize that IC is a treatable medical condition. IC is a symptom of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). PAD—also known as “hardening of the arteries,” or atherosclerosis of the legs—has been estimated to affect approximately 10 percent of people over age 55. PAD occurs when arteries in the legs become clogged with fatty deposits. It’s not uncommon for people who have PAD to also have atherosclerosis in other parts of the body—especially in the heart and brain. Atherosclerosis is a serious health problem that can lead to heart attack or stroke if left untreated. The symptoms of IC may be felt in the: And the symptoms may be felt as: IC symptoms may be felt in one or both legs and may occur during walking or exercising. The pain is characterized by aching, cramping, tiredness, or tightness of the affected muscle group. Once you stop walking or exercising, the symptoms subside within minutes. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, see your podiatric physician. He or she can diagnose your condition and suggest treatments that may help you walk farther without leg pain. Controlling Your Risk You can decrease the risk of developing leg pain due to intermittent claudication (IC) if you take steps to control its risk factors. Risk factors are conditions that increase your chances of developin Continue reading >>