Cramping in legs NOT due to potasium levels

whenever i am still, feet up on coffee table, lying in bed, etc (NOT while walking), i get terribly painful leg cramps. i have had bad neuropathy in the past. this is nothing like it. it doesnt feel tingely or as if my leg has fallen asleep. itjust hurts. i have had massages to try and help w/ my circulation, but the pain always returns. i keep telling my doctor about this, and my CDE thought it was from low levels of potassium. i have been eating a banana every single day as well as other very healthy foods. nothing has helped.

ANY suggestions or comments are VERY welcome.

Having had diabetes for 30 years... and knowing that leg cramps in me are 100% connected with dehydration, I think it is more complex than "just potassium levels". Even brief bouts with mild ketones can do hell for hydration and probably messes up potassium levels too so decoupling the two can be difficult.

Dehydration has in my experience a whole lot more to do with it. I know for sure because if I don't keep properly hydrated I wake up in the middle of the night with leg cramps. Have to jump out of bed (over my wife!!!) and pace around a bit. Keeping properly hydrated especially when taking some (diuretic) blood pressure medications and having diabetes actually requires some effort from me, more so than before I started taking the blood pressure medication.

thx Tim. i have been D for 25+ yrs. i drink water like it is surely becoming i know i am very hydrated. also, i do have very low BP (90/55;or the other way around; i never know which way the numbers go)so sometimes i get dizzy. but i do the water thing, and i know about walking around to relieve some of the pain. but WHY do i have the pain, and what else (besides walking) can i do to help myself to be cramp-free?????

ANY suggestions from anyone, PLEASE!!!!!!

and PS: i do stretch

Ever any bouts with even mild ketones? Even mild ketones for me means that my hydration is messed up and I also understand it can affect potassium levels (I don't have a "potassium level meter" but I remember the potassium IV when in the hospital recovering for DKA!!!).

In my regular bloodwork for the doc, as part of the "metabolic panel" I always have normal potassium numbers. But sometimes I wonder if brief excursions in those numbers happen.

I wonder if drinking too much water, can leach the potassium and make the cramps worse? Just thinking out loud. Wikipedia page on DKA talks about "diuretic osmosis" which may or may not be this.

For me after the cramps hit, I have no choice, I gotta walk around the house for at least a little bit. It doesn't happen often for me, but I can usually correlate it with high bg's and sometimes mild ketones in the day before.

Thanks for your post, Tim, and sorry for hijacking your thread DaisyMae, but it was extremely relevant for me. I have been having bad foot/leg cramps for the last week, needing to get up and walk about three times a night, sometimes relieving it pretty quickly, sometimes not so quickly. I've been on a calcium channel blocker (which is used for BP, although not what I'm taking it for). The light went on when I read your post, because I also have had chapped lips which is unusual for me especially in summer! I got switched to another med which is a beta blocker so the same category but I was on it before without these cramps so maybe as the other med leaves my system it will be ok. Meanwhile, let me hit "add reply" and go drink some agua!! Thank you, Tim, and I hope you find a solution to your issue too DaisyMae.

i didnt really want to mention this B4, but i must say that it is important to include; i have Schizoaffective disorder (schizophrenia + Bi-Polar) i tk some heavy-duty meds to control my psychosis and have had this since college (i am now 48) i cannot survive w/out these meds, so its never been an option to cease and decist. now that all of you have come up w/ some possibilities, i think my ntx phase is to ask my psychopharmacologist if it has anything to do w/ my cramps.

still open to ideas and suggestions

Have you thought about calcium as well? I started taking a calcium supplement since I don't do well with dairy and it helped with joint and muscle pain quite a bit. Just a suggestion and maybe something you can also ask the doc. about.

That sounds like a good plan, DaisyMae. Meds very often have side effects, and psyc meds tend, unfortunately, to have more than their share. Even though you need to keep taking these meds, still there may be something you can do to counteract their effect, if they are, in fact causing your leg cramps. In the "old days" of psyc meds most patients were on their meds plus one or more to treat the side effects of the meds. Though they have gotten better, it still is a good place to look for cause. I know when I've been taking something for awhile I throw out the pamphlet that comes at the pharmacy and lists side effects but they can, in fact, be very useful reading!

thx again, Zoe. i have been on meds 4 psych for so many yrs. w/ D, anti-psychotics tend to raise the BSs. after 30 yrs, i have been on almost every type of anti-psychotic under the sun. for the past 11yrs, i have found one that does not interfere w/ my D BSs (thank god) i have, from my "cocktail" of medications had side-effects which were then elliminated by adding other medications.side effects like Tardic Dysconisia, for example. its all so darned complicated. sometimes i just get so terribly over-whelmed. get very depressed, but try to keep my head up for i have so much to be grateful for. do you have any other suggestions? all R appreciated!!!!!

i am a devout Greek Yogurt monger. i eat at least one serving of 0% fat free yogurt a day. low carbs, high proteins. i also tk C supplements. any other suggestions welcome!!!!

The biggest problem I have with my diabetes is all the other diseases and symptoms it invites into my body. I get the leg cramps whether my potassium is high or low, or just right. My fun (not), with the neuropathy is when my brain says "walk forward"; and my feet or legs, or just one foot or leg, replies, "na-ha! we are one strike, and we want to go left" And that foot does try and go left; with not enough advance warning to my deteriorating brain (also from the neuropathy); and I fall flat on my face, and look like an old drunk, stumbling around. ... And the only thing my family doctor can do is refer back to the neurologists report - who, basically, told me, 'at the rate your neuropathy is advancing, you will not live to see 80.' How's that for some positive direction. Work with what you got, Daisy; I truly do know your pain ... and i wish I could take it away for you, but I suffer my own pains (diabetes, heart diseases, scoleosis, and all the inter-related signs and symptoms). All we can do, is try and move through it, as best we can. Dwayne

I go through bouts with this--not all the time, but when it starts it will last a few days. First walk it off. I go into my kitchen, stand on the cool floor, grab the counter, lift the non-cramp leg. Then I raise up and down on one leg. That usually does it for both leg and foot cramps for me.

My doctor sent my to one of the vitamin/health shops for quinine. They make a pill with a little quinine in it. Once you have a cramp, work it out and follow the instructions. They have worked great for me, but I take them rarely.

No, but it does sound like you have a good understanding of how complicated it can be to find the right medication at the right dose, even without the addition of D! So many people give up when the first couple meds don't work. I'm glad they found a med that doesn't raise your blood sugar. I take various meds but my experience this week with a steroid shot was the first time I've experienced for myself what everyone talks about with meds and blood sugar.

All I would suggest is to share your symptoms with your psychiatrist as well as the pharmacologist to see if they are related to your meds and what can be done to alleviate the symptoms. Those leg cramps are really painful! And also do something good for yourself, because you deal with a lot and yes, sometimes it all just gets to be too much! I know the things that give me peace and happiness, and they can be really small things so I "prescribe" them to myself regularly, especially when I feel overwhelmed.

dear Zoe, thank you for all of your continuous support. as i am still new to this site, i am still loaded with questions (sorry). i have been seeing the same psychopharmacologist for the past 11 yrs (since i went on the pump) (just a delightful co-incidence)

we've been thru hell and bk together. its just all so much work. there are days when all i want to do is hide under the covers and retreat from the world. i get so discouraged, especially when i have to deal with a combination of health issues at once:

Psychosis/Paranoia/Hallucinations and D management. i am so tired of it all.

i want a free-pass; just one day where i have no diseases to deal with. just me.(of course, i wouldnt know that "me" as i havent been that "me" since college!! LOL (and Boo Hoo)

Thanks for that tip, Spock. I've tried that lifting the non-cramping leg, though I felt like a stork at first, it works to put the weight solidly on the cramping leg and alleviates the pain much more quickly than walking in circles (and waking myself up in the process).

Totally understood, Daisy Mae, some of us seem to get more than our share. But I do believe in the cliche about it making us stronger; there has to be some perks!

The use of Quinine seems to be questionable according to this FDA warning.

Zoe, just got bk from a 2 hour walk over the BKLYN Bridge, all thru Chinatown, and then bk over the Manhatten Bridge. set my temp basal to 60% and still had to stop for glucose tabs. (UGH). but i tested when i got home and i was 78, a little low for me, but i'm OK with it.

i felt like SH-T before the walk, but once i peeled myself out of my PJs and got up and dressed, i started feeling better. now, after the long brisk walk i feel like an entirely different person.

There's an A.A. saying: "even if your ■■■ falls off, pick it up and get it to a mtg." and another favorite of mine: "you can stay home and feel miserable, or you can be at a mtg and feel miserable, but at least you are at a mtg!"

i'm only 48. i know what lies in my furture with regard to my health (in all areas) and it just seems so grim.

but as another saying goes:"this too shall pass."

I might be worth trying some low/no carb drinks with electrolytes to replace some of the water in case you are diluting out your potassium.

It could be magnesium levels as well as calcium or potassium. Have you had comprehensive lab work to check all your electrolytes and other elements? You don't want to spend money on a ton of supplements that you are getting enough of in your food. You don't want to take too much either.