Frequent "Charlie Horses" at night

It seems like every night when I’m trying to sleep I am awaken to “Charlie Horses” in BOTH of my calves. When I wake up in the morning, my calves are sore. Can this be associated to my diabetes and my high blood sugars? I’m really sick of them too.

It is for me. I notice when I do not stay on top of my numbers Charlie Horses creep in at night. They are painful. Are your numbers where you think they should be?

Hello I have had type 1 for 33 yrs now and when i was a teenager i used to wake up crying from the charlie horses in my legs. It happened everynight for a very long time. My daughter also has type 1 and she also gets very bad charlie horses at night. When she wakes up she always complains from the pain. I think that it has a lot to do with high blood sugars. One night I also woke up in tears from sharp pains in my knees. I try to rub them so the blood can cucurlate better.

If you have a few days of high numbers, you may be urinating a lot and peeing away your potassium reserves. Low potassium can certainly cause muscle cramps.

Before diagnosis about 2 years ago (T1DM) I had Charlie Horses so badly in my calves that I would wake up crying… sometimes multiple times a night… not able to breath because my calves were so tight and so painful. I agree with Kathy… high BGs, more urine (that is concentrated in the solutes like potassium), more pain. Keep drinking lots of water, eat some potassium-containing fruits/veggies (like Judith listed), and work on the BGs. You can do it! (and hopefully you can sleep better then!)

Best of luck

You aren’t pregnant are you? I had them a lot when I was.

I normally get them when my blood sugar had been really high and i’ve taken insulin to get it down. While its dropping is when I get them in my legs. So most likely, yes it is because of high blood sugars.

Lately, my numbers have been extremely high…like in the 400’s. My A1C was 11%, and ever since my sugars have been high, I’ve been having frequent charlie horses. Very painful ones too.

During a charlie horse, I try to rub the muscle and stretch it, but it’s hard to do because my muscle is so hard, it’s hard to stretch it out. While I’m rubbing the muscle, it’s just really painful to where I want to cry. When it’s done and over with, I end up getting another one in the other calve. They hurt so bad to where it takes my breath away.

Potassium, I may have to take a supplement. Thank you!

I noticed that your profile does not say that you take insulin. With numbers in the 400’s maybe you should talk to doc, if you have not already? Hope I am not being too intrusive, but sometimes people who look type 2 initially end up being type 1 and need insulin after awhile.

No, I’m not pregnant. But ya, I had them a lot too when I was pregnant with both pregnancies.

No I don’t. Doctor last week just increased my Glucophage to 1000mg and put me on Amaryl. That’s all he did. With my opinion, I think I need insulin. I’m tired of the extremely high blood sugars, and after the increase of glucophage and a new medicine, my sugars are no different.

That was my thought. Plus Insulin depletes potassium so I’m always borderline low. And those charlie horses HURT!

When I was diagnosed I was an adult, so they automatically put me on oral meds but also started insulin right away to bring my BS down immediately. When I saw an endo a few weeks later, he said right away that I was type 1 and the meds were not what I needed. Subsequent testing proved him right. Sometimes second opinions are helpful! It feels like crap to hover so high. Good luck!

I would agree with dargirl. They are the first sign my sugar is high. I hate them! One doctor told me they are from excess lactic acid building up in the muscles, because your body isn’t using insulin properly, your muscles can’t rid themselves of the lactic acid.

Judith also makes a good point about the potassium. And since I first developed diabetes while pregnant, they were at their worst when I was pregnant, but then again, so were my blood sugars.

It does help to stretch through them, as agonizing as it may seem.

Doing stretches in the morning also helps to alleviate the usage of your muscles during the day.

Good luck! As soon as I was able to control my a1c, they went away, only happening in extreme circumstances.

This is extemly high you need to go to the emergency room.

OMG! I had that same issue- like for a good year. This was before I was dx. I asked the doc about it- he stared blankly at me and told me to eat bananas. (Probably the worst thing I could have been doing for my BG!) I’m guessing I was really high then- as my first A1C was 12. Since I’ve been maintaining good control- the CH’s are completely gone. I wonder if you’re right? I never really made the connection before. I hope you don’t have this go on too much longer- it’s sooo painful!

I used to get these so bad. I know the first instinct is to kinda panic almost cause you know it is going to hurt but try to breathe through them. Heat works well as does pulling your toes towards your knees to stretch the muscle. The potassium certainly may be an issue, if it continues, ask your doctor about Quinine. I used to have to take it for mine.

I should add that I took Quinine many years ago so it may not be recommended for leg cramps anymore. I occasionally get them and if I have them more than one night in a row I wear leg warmers to bed. It seems like keeping the muscles warm helps, but it could just be me.

I thought I should add the above disclaimer: just in case. :slight_smile:

Laura – I experienced these exact pains before I was diagnosed with diabetes and they got worse and worse. They can be a symptom of a very dangerous condition – Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA).

It is possible that you are misdiagnosed as a type 2 – you may actually be a type 1 or LADA. If you are seeing numbers consistently about 250, then you need to be careful that you do not experience Diabetic Ketoacidosis. I would recommend that you go to the pharmacy and buy “Ketostix”. These are sticks that you will pee on. If it changes colors at all, that means that your body is passing ketones and I would recommend going straight to the emergency room.

The fact that your A1c increased SO suddenly suggests that your body’s insulin production has rapidly decreased. I would suggest medical attention (ER or urgent doctor visit) as soon as possible!!