Leg Cramps lasting 30 minutes or more

By Mz.t Latest Reply 2011-08-02 15:59:03 -0500
Started 2011-07-05 18:14:53 -0500

I have diabetic neuropathy and for the last year I have been sufferring from terrible leg cramps and feet that last entirely to long do anyone have any suggestions

78 replies

horsefly07 2011-08-01 20:37:47 -0500 Report

Hey Gabby, have you checked your potassium level lately?

GabbyPA 2011-08-01 20:41:09 -0500 Report

I have not, the pharmacist said that was the side effect of the statins. It adds more potassium to your levels and too much seems to have the same effect as not enough. So I don't know how to tell the difference.

GabbyPA 2011-08-01 20:32:55 -0500 Report

I will say also that if you are on a statin drug this could be one of the side effects. Once I stopped the statins, the cramps when away almost immediately.

Hezb 2011-07-10 10:44:29 -0500 Report

I get leg cramps during the night. My first step is to step on the cold floor. If that fails, try either tonic water or bitter lemon - both contain quinine which is recommended for leg cramps.

jeffreyd1 2011-07-09 14:25:10 -0500 Report

Could it be a lack of Potassium? The dr. has me on 10MEQ SA Tabs once a day of Potassium Chloride. I take it at night because that is when it seems to get worse. I seem to get more cramps in the arches of my feet along with burning. They call it peripheral neuropathy. Another source of relief for me is GABAPENTIN, 600mg Tabs. Ron

F Troop325@hotmail.com
F Troop325@hotmail.com 2011-07-09 10:46:59 -0500 Report

I take about 2-3 tablespons of yellow mustard (football trainer was using on the sideline) it takes a few minutes to work and coconut water was reccommended by another friend

Charles Albert
Charles Albert 2011-07-09 10:32:37 -0500 Report

I know about neuropathy, I have had it for years. It is terrible. Try Gaterade. I remember when I played tennis, I got cramps, and gatorade refeshened my
liquid level, and the cramps went away…Charlie. :(.

Somoca 2011-07-09 09:54:23 -0500 Report

omg!!! I have had this problem the last two weeks. I am writing all the ideas down. Tonight its me and the blow dryer, tomorrow its the tonic water. Thanks DC.:D

digitaldoorbell 2011-07-07 22:59:00 -0500 Report

I use r-alpha lipoic acid. It helps a lot…no more cramps. I don't believe that you can totally alleviate pain. Try t for a while. It is inexpensive online or at the health food or drug store.

GabbyPA 2011-07-09 08:31:51 -0500 Report

What is the "r" for in the alpha lipoic acid. I take it for my foot pain. Works great.

digitaldoorbell 2011-07-09 18:03:21 -0500 Report

there are two types or alpha lipoic acid found, S-alpha lipoic acid and R-alpha lipoic acid. The difference between them is the R-alpha is natural, while S-alpha is synthesized. The body has a more difficult time absorbing synthetic alpha compared to natural alpha. It is believed that people can only metabolize about half of the synthetic alpha the ingest, so a 100 mg tablet may only have 75-50 mg of alpha lipoic acid that the body actually uses, as opposed to the r-alpha. I didn't know this at first either. I have great success with R-

digitaldoorbell 2011-07-10 13:15:34 -0500 Report

Finish what you have. If it doesn't say it directly on the label, it's not "R".
It costs a little more but becuasue it is more bioavailable, you usually end up taking less. It has helped me a lot, but I have to confess, there are occasional days that I have to resort to prescription pain killer. What it has ended for me is the shooting pains and leg and foot cramps. I hope it works for you.

giagrd 2011-07-07 17:23:08 -0500 Report

I get very painful leg cramps and an immediate "fix" is to blow on the cramp with a hair blow dryer on hot. When nothing else will work, this does.

starsister 2011-07-07 13:01:58 -0500 Report

Please, please try this—-it often works and is so simple! Get Tonic Water at the store (Wal-Mart and nearly every grocery store has it). Make sure it is the kind that shows it contains Quinine! When a cramp starts, hit a sip or two. It is honestly amazing. The quinine is what most of those leg cramp over-the-counter pills have in them! Hope this helps you!

GabbyPA 2011-07-07 20:28:05 -0500 Report

I have heard this before as well. So a mixing water with quinine. But be careful, because if you are allergic to it, it can be deadly. The friend who shared the pickle juice remedy with me almost died from quinine poisoning. So use caution.

joyfulsmile4him 2011-07-06 23:50:30 -0500 Report

Hi Everyone,
My leg cramps started with a new fast acting insulin that was given to me to at the doctors office to try, take home samples. The name of the insulin is Apidra. What they don't tell you is that it biulds up in your fatty tissue. All I know is that I started being woke up in the middle of the night with with severe cramping in my pelvic joints and arms, drawing up in the fetal position! The first thing that I thought was that might have taken too much on the sliding scale of the apidra, but I hadn't. I had to almost crawl to the kitchen to check my blood sugar, to make sure that it wasn't bottoming out. It was 97, perfect! So I got 1 oz. of apple cider vinegar, with 3oz. of grape juice and drank that, it helped with the cramping right away, but I still had to had a potassium tablet to make it go completely away! I went back to my doctors office and took the apidra with me and gave it back to them and told them to give me a human based fast acting insulin that is not going to affect me like the non human insulin. They gave me humalog, and it works perfectly with the sliding scale. So far no ill side effects, it just works like it is suppose to.

Jilliangene 2011-07-06 22:17:31 -0500 Report

My husband is the diabetic and he has had leg cramps, numbness and pain. I am the researcher who finds and test the stuff he uses and/or shares with his doctor. We found Tahitian Noni Bioactive products to offer the most relief. He uses the "Original" beverage and vitamins daily to keep his energy levels up and the pain gone. He uses the "Extra" beverage when he is having an extra stressful week/day. When that "come from nowhere" pain hits him he uses the "Pure" beverage under his tongue and the spray to massage his legs and back. I know that pain that can make a grown man cry. So I hope it is okay to give the website if you want to check it out (www.tnibrand.com ). If no, let me know and won't do it again. It really made a difference for us because sometimes he missed work because of the sugar, numbness and/or pain. I would get so scared because he couldn't walk. TNI made such a difference, so I had to read and share when I saw you’re posting and answers. Jillian

Armourer 2011-07-06 18:04:18 -0500 Report

The last couple months I've been getting increasing leg, side and back cramps. So bad that I'd limp for the rest of the day, and would spasm when shooting up insulin on the sides. Doc has me taking a mineral pill over the counter, of calcium, zinc and magnesium and I hardly have had them for the last two weeks.

LadyKDC 2011-07-06 15:23:28 -0500 Report

This post comes so close to how I felt earlier this year. I had a leg cramp for almost 5 days. I went to the ER to have a ultra sound of my legs and that came back negative for blood clots. I was prescribed a muscle relaxer and it worked great. My doctor did allow me to have the prescription again once it ran out, just in case my legs cramped again. Now I work out and if I feel that a cramp is coming, I will take the medication and it goes away without me in pain for hours or days.

southernboynme1 2011-07-06 14:39:36 -0500 Report

You know that you mentioned Grape juice well when my partner has cramps in his legs he drink pickle juice I don't know if that really works but it does for him

50Jewels 2011-07-06 20:29:58 -0500 Report

I have heard this too. My son drinks pickle juice all of the time. In fact if you look online they actually make pickle pops (frozen pickle juice) that they sell at some ball games. Maybe it makes you drink more water later or helps your body hold on to fluids so you don't get dehydrated.

starsister 2011-07-08 11:45:37 -0500 Report

Pickles are known to have a lot of salt, which many have to avoid, especially w high blood pressure. But it may be that, like the Gatorade type drinks, the salt helps with cramps or dehydration…?

MrsCDogg 2011-07-06 14:33:02 -0500 Report

I used to work in a retirement apartment building as a care giver. One of the residents had terrible leg cramps and she would drink only about 2 oz of tonic water after dinner and she said it kept them away. It is the quinine I reckon. It is terribly bitter though!

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-07-06 14:23:55 -0500 Report

Mz.t, sounds like you need to have your health insurance company pay for a professional foot massager for you, 24/7! (If you get that to happen, let me know what insurance company you use!) You need them right there cuz once the cramping starts you may not want them to touch you! Wish you the best! So far, I have only had my hands and legs do it to me. Jim

edvel54 2011-07-06 13:19:05 -0500 Report

I have always had leg cramps, mentioned it to the doctor one day and he said to drink
tonic water, since it has quinine in it.
Banana's also work since they are high in potassium

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-07-06 13:45:40 -0500 Report

Banana's are a catch 22 for me. Even 1/2 of one sends my BS up. Of course, if I am having leg cramps, I can eat a case of them if they work!

62Blue 2011-07-06 12:56:32 -0500 Report

I can attest to the Dill Pickle Juice as it works just great. All the guys at work used to drink a teaspoon or two when they came on and in a couple minutes they disappeared. The cause of our cramps was the lack of drinking enough water while working in a very hot enviroment. I just do not think it was the Vinegar alone that did it.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-07-06 13:56:11 -0500 Report

It has been a few years, but I use to make dill pickles and vinegar is about the only thing in it other than pickling spice and dill. who knows? Sometimes the combo of 2 things is the trick.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-07-06 10:36:14 -0500 Report

I had severe leg cramps at night…very painful. Started taking magnesium and they have almost ceased completely. If I am chainsawing for a few hours, something that seems to aggravate the cramps, I will take a mag pill then, and then take my regular dose at night. Hope this helps. Oh, I forgot to tell you that I use myself as a test subject. I have done multiple cycles of on/off magnesium and the test prove out for me that it works. Jim

terryfoofoo 2011-07-06 10:35:49 -0500 Report

I sometimes get really bad cramps in my legs and feet when I am sleep. My husband says that I stretch a lot in my sleep. When I do, it's a given that I will get a cramp in my legs and/or feet. They do seem to take longer to pass these days. Walking just doesn't help.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-07-06 13:50:45 -0500 Report

I love it when I get them in bed! I can't get out from under the sheets to even try to walk. I think my wife is taping it for America's Funniest Home Videos. I have the same problem sometimes. It comes on when I am stretching.

Mistletoe 2011-07-07 12:28:22 -0500 Report

Same here…stretching in bed seems to bring cramps on and it is hard to even get out of bed to walk.

GabbyPA 2011-07-06 10:22:50 -0500 Report

Ok, I cannot personally attest to this one and I have not had any cramps to try it out on since I was told about it.
I know and older lady who swears by dill pickle juice. Yep....she drinks about 1/2 cup of it when a cramp starts and she says it takes care of it pretty quick. Since it's dill, it shouldn't bother your sugar levels. If you can tolerate the taste, give it a try and let us know if it works.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-07-06 14:29:50 -0500 Report

The vinegar doesn't need to be straight from the bottle. Dad always loved sliced onions, cucumbers, salt & pepper. And, of course, you can always sit at the table and polish off a jar of dill pickles, with the juice.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-07-06 10:34:04 -0500 Report

It would be the vinegar in the juice that works the magic.

GabbyPA 2011-07-06 10:45:39 -0500 Report

That is what I was thinking.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-07-06 10:54:16 -0500 Report

My wife has a book on the benefits of vinegar. Do you know if you drink a gallon of vinegar a day it cures diabetes? LOL

50Jewels 2011-07-06 20:39:20 -0500 Report

My aunt used to drink a cup with every meal. She is over 80 now and still healthy. She preferred apple cider vinegar. I have tried drinking it a couple of times but I have a hard time facing the cup after the second or thrid day.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-07-06 14:27:12 -0500 Report

Reality is 1/2 cup of vinegar a day is suppose to do wonders for you. Even though it is a mild acid (hence it makes a good cleaning product) is raises the alkalinity of your body and for a reason that escapes me now, that is good. I will try to nail that down.

Darrin D
Darrin D 2011-07-06 12:43:08 -0500 Report

Could you show me something that medically supports this? I will try anything once. Thank you. Darrin

GabbyPA 2011-07-06 11:10:57 -0500 Report

I bet it will cure a lot of things...like being able to breathe and taste anything else! LOL You would be a giant walking pickle! I do suppose this along with your rock diet could work wonders. LOL

AuntieM234 2011-07-06 09:34:15 -0500 Report

When I start getting such cramps, its a signal to me that I've not been drinking enough water. I suspected it was low potassium at first, because I know that to be an appropriate deducement in many cases. However, potassium is one of the items which are checked during my regularly scheduled battery of labs, and its always within the normal range. Therefore, my next suspect being dehydration, I stopped drinking anything containing a natural diuretic (such as coffee, tea) and began drinking lots of water. The leg cramps cleared right up. Now, if I begin to feel the leg cramps coming on I do the same right away. It always works for me. There isn't much worse pain than cramps. Also, it doesn't just affect my legs. My hands and feet cramp as well. In fact, its sometimes one of those that springs me into action! When you can see your body parts twisting in awkwardly unusual ways its also scarey in addition to painful!

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-07-06 10:38:17 -0500 Report

Humm…I will have to pay more attention when my hands cramp up. Sometimes they are so bad it reminds me of a lady I knew that had RA. Painful and scarey.

GabbyPA 2011-07-06 10:26:10 -0500 Report

Here is a rub. I was talking to a pharmacist the other day about side effects of statins. She said if I was having cramping in my legs that I should stop, as it was a sign of INCREASED potassium and could affect my heart. I was surprised about that. I have always thought just the opposite, like you AuntieM234.

I almost immediately started having leg and foot cramps at night after taking my statin. So I don't take it anymore. If they really want my good cholesterol that much lower, it will have to be with a different treatment.

AuntieM234 2011-07-06 12:05:42 -0500 Report

What was it you took that was a statin? Is Ibuprofen (non-Rx) a statin? Its the only thing I take to assist with my pain management plan, but I don't take it every day. Other than that, the only meds I take are Elavil 12/5mg at bedtime; Metformin 850mg4xday; non-Rx acid reducer. I can't correlate the onset of cramps with any of them. AND, as I said above, my cramps go away after I rehydrate. That's not to say, of course, there aren't other causes, as well.

GabbyPA 2011-07-07 08:12:41 -0500 Report

I used to be on pravistatin, but it made my body ache. Then the doctor put me on simistatin and it is supposed to have less side effects. They were worse, so I am going to have to put my foot down again on that type of drug. My body doesn't like them. I just have to increase my exercise to work at it more.

gramme 2011-07-10 16:25:00 -0500 Report

I take simvastatin..at first I couldn't take it..a friend told me to take CoQ10, her dr. told her to take it..I noticed that my legs didn't ache when I took it.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-07-06 13:53:05 -0500 Report

I may be wrong, but statins, I think, are for lowering cholesterol. I take Crestor, which I believe is a statin.

AuntieM234 2011-07-06 14:08:44 -0500 Report

Thanks, Jim. I think I was confusing statins with nsaids. I think Ibuprofen is a nsaid. I'm having a bit of a fog issue today. Must be my Fibromyalgia, because my bs is fine. ;-) Mara

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-07-06 14:20:09 -0500 Report

Good old Fibromyalgia. A friend of mine has that. Doesn't sound like a lot of fun. Why don't you return it and get your money back?

AuntieM234 2011-07-06 14:35:23 -0500 Report

Its already passed the return by date! Lol ! Funny man you are Jim! Thanks for the laugh, though. I can sure use it on a day like today! ;-) Mara

rentintin 2011-07-05 23:55:36 -0500 Report

Have the doctor check your potassium, I had to be put on a supplement because my meds were causing me to be depleted. The supplement did the trick. I also try to include a banana or OJ in my diet occassionally. I still will have to take a potassium pill every once in a while when the cramps flair up at nite. Boy do they hurt, I wake up screaming.

Mz.t 2011-07-07 00:04:20 -0500 Report

I'm already on potassium have been for years thanks anyway. Yes they do hurt I be on the floor crying they last so long.

rentintin 2011-07-07 10:25:12 -0500 Report

Sorry but make sure that the potassium is actually getting in your system and not being blocked by something or just not assimilated by your body. I guess a blood test would be the answer. Hope the cramps let up they are no fun. Will pray they do.

jayabee52 2011-07-05 23:36:34 -0500 Report

leg cramps is one of my symptoms of Kidney trouble. Maybe ask MD to check your bloodwork for BUN (blood urea nitrogen) & Creatinine levels

Mz.t 2011-07-07 00:02:32 -0500 Report

Thanks jayabee52 my Dr checks those every three months I go to an internal medicine Dr. he checks for everything.

AuntieM234 2011-07-06 12:14:58 -0500 Report

I hear you Janes! As a Diabetic, I've always been extremely concerned with my kidneys. The battery of tests my Dr has standing orders with the lab for me includes the ones you mentioned. He wants me to go in for the tests at least once a quarter.

50Jewels 2011-07-05 22:25:29 -0500 Report

I had feet and leg cramps for almost 2 years before I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes. My doctor sent me to physical therapy and they taught me exercises that helped relieve it. They also included massage and electro stimulation. I don't know if it was the additional exercising I was doing while I was in PT or the actual treatment but it really helped mine. I didn't have any problems with leg and feet cramps and only recently ended up with the burning and tingling in my feet leading to my diagnosis. Most insurances will pay for PT so it may be worth a try. I am sure if I had been able to continue with the exercise program they put me on I probaby never would have crossed over the line.

gbc43 2011-07-05 21:12:16 -0500 Report

Two questions , low Potassium maybe and the help is a hot rub, works for me .

Mz.t 2011-07-05 21:51:54 -0500 Report

Hi gbc43 The dr says my Potassium is normal and I take Potassium pill three times a day tried the hot rub bath heating pad even ice nothing seems to work thanks for the tips.

NavyNerd 2011-07-05 19:01:41 -0500 Report

I have trouble wioth my legs especially at night. My pcm put me on clonazepam and then switched to temazepam for it, and when the rheumatologist put me on Lyrica, my pcm said not to take the temazepam any more. He said the Lyrica should take care of it all together. However, I have started to have trouble again since he took me off so I am headed back to ask him about putting me back on the clonazepam again. It worked, and if there are no interactions I would be on it in toute suite. The Lyrica does help with my over all pain issues (I also suffer from Fibromyalgia.) but it doesn't kick teh leg pain for me. I also use accupressure, heat and hydro therapy, and I have a TENS unit that does wonders but only while its actively being used.

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