Nightime muscle cramps


#1

I am using a low carb diet and find it works wonderfully for keeping my BG low after meals. But I am waking up several times a night with cramps in my legs which are very uncomfortable. I have heard that it might be a potassium deficiency. Has anyone else had this problem and how have you treated it?


#2

Yes I used to have that problem and I had to take potassium for it. They really hurt though don’t they?


#3

I used to have this too, but only when I had higher blood sugars. It can be potassium, or magnesium, or both (or of course some totally unrelated thing!).

Do you get much exercise? How are your BGs overnight? Do you get enough vegetables in your diet?


#4

Yes it could definitely be a potassium deficiency. I take a diuretic for my blood pressure. Because I have to pee more often, I also lose potassium through the urine. My doctor has to check my blood levels and I take a prescription supplement.
Also, when control is poor, people have the same deal from excess urination.
You could try eating high potassium foods, like bananas and oranges.
Or, next time you go to the doc, mention it to him and see if he wants to check your blood levels.


#5

I have heard about the potassium thing too. I haven’t had cramps since around my diagnosis, when my sugars were too high. I had foot cramps then. This is really stupid, and I know it’s an old wive’s tale, but when I got them I would hold a bar of soap against the bottom of my foot, and I swear it helped it feel better. Maybe it’s the coolness of the bar? I’m sure it is totally psychological, but I recommend it. It hurts like hell and you think your foot tendon is going to snap, so I say anything that remotely makes you feel better… I kept a bar of soap by my bedside for like 6 months.


#6

My BG stays pretty steady overnight, usually around 85-95. I don’t take any basal insulin and I haven’t had any highs recently, so I’m guessing it’s some nutritional deficiency. When I use insulin (Novolog) I can eat a more varied diet including more fruits and vegetables, but I haven’t got the dosage figured out yet so mostly stay pretty low carb except on the weekends when I have more time to experiment and test myself. I used Also-salt today which has potassium rather than sodium and we’ll see how that works. Thanks for the comments.


#7

I have heard the potassium thing as well.

Are you drinking enough water, perhaps you are a bit dehydrated. Try a glass of water before you go to bed.


#8

The water thing might be part of it. I used to take my thyroid medication in the middle of the night with a glass of water. I stopped doing that in the hope I might get more sleep and have been having the cramps ever since. I will try drinking a glass at bedtime. Thanks!


#9

Since being diagnosed with Type 2 I have a few nights where I woke up with leg cramps just above my ankles. The only way I can get relief is to stand up.


#10

That’s where I am getting cramps- on the front of my leg above my ankles, not the usual charlie horse on the back calf. It is really uncomfortable and sometimes doesn’t even go away when I get up and walk around. Do you have any idea what caused the cramps?