What Medical Problems Can Cause Leg Cramps
Sometimes leg cramps happen to you for no reason, but other times they could possibly be a sign or symptom of a health condition. If you have any of the following conditions, its possible that your leg cramps are a result of that condition. Also keep in mind that if you dont already know if you have any of these conditions, your leg cramps may be a sign that you do. Always consult your healthcare provider if you think your leg cramps are a symptom of a more serious medical condition.
Leg cramps can possibly be a sign of lifestyle choices such as:
- Alcoholism: An addiction to alcohol.
- Dehydration: The lack of sufficient water in the body.
Leg cramps can also possibly be a sign of serious conditions including:
Cancer treatments like chemotherapy can cause nerve damage, which may cause leg cramps.
There are rumors that leg cramps can also be a sign of the following conditions. Fortunately, that is not the case. Leg cramps are unlikely to be a sign of:
- Labor .
- Zinc, vitamin B12 or vitamin D.
Do I Need To Have Any Testing Done To Diagnose My Leg Cramps
Blood, urine and other routine tests are not helpful in diagnosing leg cramps but they may help identify previously undiagnosed medical conditions that have leg cramps as a symptom. For example, your healthcare provider will likely perform typical tests such as taking your blood pressure, and that can reveal cardiac and vascular risks.
I Got The Worst Stomach Cramps Of My Life
I literally cramped up in 5 minutes was in agonizing pain for 10 minutes. The cramps were so bad, I was concerned I was going to sprain a muscle. So I ended my workout, and started working on this blog. The next day I did the same workout, and had no cramping. Hmm could it be the caffeine? Well I bought some caffeine only pills, and decided to take them and do my workout. I must admit I had the same kind of feeling one has the moment before they test a 9-volt battery with their tongue )
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When Should I Get My Leg Cramps Treated At The Emergency Department
Go to the emergency department if a leg cramp lasts longer than 10 minutes or becomes unbearably painful. Also go if a leg cramp happens after you touch a substance that could be poisonous or infectious. For example, if you have a cut in your skin that touches dirt, you could get a bacterial infection like tetanus. Exposure to mercury, lead or other toxic substances should also be reason to go to the emergency department.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Muscle Spasms
- Do you recommend that I see a physical therapist, sleep specialist, massage therapist or other specialist?
- Do you think that my muscle spasms are a symptom of a disease?
- Can you show me the best exercises I can do to stretch my muscles?
- How can I help my child when they have a muscle spasm?
- Can you show me the best massage techniques I can use to help with my muscle spasms?
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Your Heart Feels Like Its Beating Out Of Your Chest
It may come in the form of jitters or feeling your heartbeat in your throat, or even feeling like your heart is going to beat out of your chest.
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the consumption of energy drinks leads to atrial fibrillation with high ventricular response in young people.
/ Standing At The Bar
If you are the type to prop up the bar during a long drinking session, this could be contributing to you experiencing cramps afterwards.
It is know that exercise can increase lactic acid , a common cause of cramp.
Standing at the bar, or dancing on a night out can have the same effect as exercise due to the way your body exerts itself.
You may not think of it in this way, but a night out is basically a work out!
You may wish to consider sitting down more on a night out to stave off any episodes of cramp later in the evening, or the next day.
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What Is The Outlook For Hand Cramps
Hand cramps arent serious when they occur infrequently. Sometimes a muscle spasm can happen if the hand is in an awkward position during sleep or if you handle something in a way that momentarily aggravates it.
However, if your hands cramp frequently or interfere with your life, be sure to talk with your doctor.
Since hand cramps are a symptom, not a condition, the doctor can help you figure out the cause and can create a proper treatment plan. See your doctor right away if you experience:
- shortness of breath
Signs You’re Drinking Too Much Coffee
An excess of caffeine isn’t actually a joke. Much as Lorelai from Gilmore Girls appeared to exist on a constant rattling drip-feed of coffee just to function, too much of the good stuff is going to do you real harm. That doesn’t seem to be deterring most of us: in 2006, a study showed that American college campuses appeared to be undergoing an epidemic of caffeine pill abuse cases. Caffeine overdose is a real thing and can cause some quite serious damage. Luckily, if you’ve been overdoing it on the coffee without quite realizing it, your body will be giving you definitive signs that you’re ingesting too much caffeine.
Caffeine’s negative interactions with the body in high doses come down to its operation as a stimulant. The Mayo Clinic classifies 250mg-400mg of caffeine per day as a high dosage, and over 500-600mg as excessive or possibly harmful. If you rise above this level, you may encounter some serious difficulties.
Severe caffeine overdose can cause death, but that’s very rare and actually takes a bit of effort a young Japanese man made the news in 2015 for dying of accidental caffeine intoxication, partially because it was the first the country had ever recorded. Before you get to that level, though, things can get very uncomfortable. So if you’ve been hitting the espresso hard lately and feeling any of these symptoms, now is a good time to cut back.
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What Is The Difference Between Leg Cramps And Restless Legs Syndrome
Although both nocturnal leg cramps and restless legs syndrome tend to happen to you at night or when youre at rest, restless legs syndrome doesnt cause the severe pain. Restless legs syndrome is uncomfortable, but not agonizing. Its a crawling sensation that makes you want to move your legs. When you do move, the restlessness stops, but there is still discomfort.
Why Is A Cramp Called A Charley Horse
Although the origin of the term is uncertain, that using the term charley horse to describe a muscle cramp comes from informal American sporting talk dating back to the 1880s.
One theory is that the term comes from a baseball player talking about a lame horse. Horses used to help with groundskeeper jobs in baseball.
Another story, which appeared in the Washington Post in 1907, claimed that the name came from a baseball pitcher called Charley, who had muscle cramps during games in 1880.
Charley horses are not specifically related to baseball and can occur during any exercise.
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Bath Of Apple Cider Vinegar
Why to use:
Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may help provide pain relief to the neck, back, and shoulder joint pain . Warm water with vinegar will help to relax the muscles and relieve the cramps and pain. Some of the benefits are-
- Apple cider vinegar for leg cramps is very useful
- It is rich in calcium: It helps in the formation of bone mineral density and nervous system function.
- It has electrolytes in it as it contains magnesium in it.
- Vitamins: boosts blood flow through arteries making muscle cramps harder to form.
- Drinking apple cider vinegar is incredibly useful for the natural alleviation of leg cramps as it is rich in minerals.
How to use:
To prepare a vinegar bath:
- Fill a tub with warm water.
- Add 2 cups of apple cider vinegar.
- Stir the water.
Turn on the shower and rinse with or without soap.
How much to use:
After returning from the day-long hectic work schedule, in the evening, take this bath to feel relaxed.
Risk factors- Cramps are usually harmless but may sometimes involve medical symptoms and can cause significant medical disorder, such as Atherosclerosis.
Caffeine May Be A Trigger For Some
If you are a coffee lover and all these steps above still have not reliably solved your leg cramp issue, here is one more thing to try: cut back or eliminate, for a while, your caffeine consumption. It just might help.
Coffee is a known muscle stimulant. Studies have found that it increases the contraction force of skeletal muscle.41 Over the last two decades many studies have investigated caffeines role in improving muscle strength, increasing endurance and enhancing performance in competitive athletes.42
A number of studies have found, however, a great deal of individual variation, likely related to genes. While some may find it improves the performance of their muscles, others can find it undermines their muscle function.43 Caffeine is also a natural diuretic and causes increased salt wasting in the kidneys and other mineral losses.44
While good studies are non-existent, a 2007 case study found that removing coffee from the diet of a 54-year-old man afflicted with nightly leg cramps completely resolved them.45
Have you suffered frequent leg cramps on the keto diet? Let us know if these tips help. What works best for you?
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Caffeine Causes My Cramps
So I did what every good fitness professional did I searched Google to be sure. Yep, Caffeine Causes Muscle Cramps. I am sure there is a safe level, which undoubtedly depends on body weight, tolerance, metabolism speed, etc. wherein the performance benefits of caffeine and the cramping it can cause. So my next search for university studies, on the correlation of caffeine and cramps, confirmed my discovery. If you drink coffee like you should be drinking water, maybe you should consider that coffee may be hurting your performance in more ways than one.
Treatment Of Muscle Cramps
If a disorder that can cause muscle cramps is identified, it is treated.
If a cramp occurs, stretching the affected muscle often relieves the cramp. For example, for a calf cramp, the person could use a hand to pull the foot and toes upward or could do the runner’s stretch. Massage may temporarily relieve some types of cramps.
Most of the drugs prescribed to prevent cramps from recurring have not proved to be effective, and they can have side effects. Quinine is no longer recommended as treatment for muscle cramps because of its side effects, such as abnormal heart rhythms, vomiting, vision problems, ringing in the ears, and headaches. Mexiletine sometimes helps but also has many side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, tremors , and seizures.
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You May Suffer From Dehydration
Have you ever noticed that the more caffeine you have, the more frequently you have to run off to the bathroom throughout the day? This is likely due to the diuretic and laxative properties associated with caffeine.
Along with causing you to take bathroom breaks more often, coffee also dehydrates you. While some say the dehydrating effects of caffeine depend on how often you drink coffee and therefore your tolerance for it , founder of Nutritious Life, Keri Glassman, cautions “to limit your caffeine intake to moderate amounts about one to two cups per day to avoid dehydration.” This equates to about 200 milligrams or less.
Dehydration Means Your Performance Is Reduced
Alcohol is a natural diuretic in laymans terms, it makes you pee more which is why you generally wake up gasping of thirst when youre hungover. Dehydration can affect everything from your energy, to your endurance, to your bodys core temperature, which is all bad news if you have a big game or a workout planned.
When youre dehydrated, your bodys stocks of electrolytes like magnesium, potassium and calcium are depleted. These are vitally important to the maintenance of fluid balance, muscle action and muscle coordination. Water-soluble vitamins like B6, B12 and Vitamin C are all depleted by dehydration too, making you more prone to illness and reducing your bodys ability to function at its best.
Attention wine-lovers: scientists have just unveiled the holy grail of facts about red wine. According to a study by scientists at the University of Alberta, consuming a glass of red wine has the same physical performance, heart function, and muscle strength benefits as working out for an hour at the gym.
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Excessive Sitting Or Standing
Bodies are meant to move, so staying in one position, regardless of whether youre sitting or standing, puts you at greater risk for muscle cramps. Standing for too long can cause your muscles to fatigue, which will increase the likelihood of a cramp. Sitting can leave muscles in the same position for an extended period of time, which can lead them to spasm and cramp. If you sit or stand all day for work, try to alternate between sitting and standing so your body is not in one position for too long.
Alcohol Use Contributes To Muscle Cramps
The main job of your liver is to get rid of harmful substances in your body. Your liver considers alcohol to be a harmful substance and will, therefore, make it a priority to get rid of the alcohol in your bloodstream. This fact means that other substances that the liver tries to get rid of may have to wait longer to leave your body than if you had not been drinking. When you exercise, your body produces a chemical called lactic acid which can cause cramps. Usually, your liver tries to get rid of the lactic acid. However, when you have been drinking, the lactic acid may take longer to leave your body because your liver is trying to get rid of the alcohol instead. The lactic acid can then linger longer than usual and cause extra muscle pain and cramps.
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Can Caffeine Cause Muscle Spasms
Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause side effects, especially if you consume too much or if your body is sensitive to the substance. Caffeine is in chocolate, coffee, kola nuts, tea, soft drinks and is even in some medications. It is important to learn how much caffeine you can safely consume since it can affect each individual differently.
Does Red Bull Cause Cramping
Red Bull may be a slight risk factor to increased cramping, but the impact it has is likely to be fairly small.
Red Bull contains a moderate amount of caffeine, with 80mg per can. This amount of caffeine is unlikely to cause you much of a problem.
However, as outlined above, almost all studies of caffeine and cramps suggest that caffeine does contribute to increased frequency of cramps. With that in mind, Red Bull may contribute to increased frequency of cramping.
Also, regular Red Bull contains 27g of sugar per can.
Also mentioned above, sugar can increase cramping frequency. Therefore, due to the presence of caffeine and sugar, Red Bull may increase the chance of you suffering from cramps.
I personally would not suggest drinking Red Bull just for the high amount of sugar and calories, 27g and 110 respectively.
Ive written extensively about Red Bull, including this very detailed post about whether or not Red Bull is bad for you which you should check out after reading this article.
Fun fact, did you know that Red Bull was once banned in France?
Also, if youre wondering what the difference is between Red Bull and Monster, I covered everything you need to know in my other article which I recommend you check out if you want to learn more about how these two leading brands are different.
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Magnesium Deficiency May Be A Problem For Many
Magnesium is a crucial mineral that the body needs for more than 300 enzymatic reactions, including muscle contractions and neuro-muscular conduction of signals.6
Magnesium calms muscles , nerves and the brain. When magnesium levels fall in these organs, they get twitchy, explain Dr. Stephen Phinney and Jeff Volek in their book The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living.7
As they note in their book, cramps during or after exercise or at night may be a sign that your body has a magnesium deficiency.8 However, that has been difficult to prove in scientific studies.
In part, this may be because testing for magnesium deficiencies can be challenging and unreliable. Standard blood tests measure serum magnesium, but experts suggest what really matters is cellular magnesium levels, and those may be low well before it shows up on a blood test.9 Therefore, it is possible that someone may test normal for their magnesium level but still be deficient on a cellular level.
In addition, subclinical magnesium deficiency meaning the deficiency is not yet showing outward symptoms may be a significant issue in the population at large. It is estimated that almost 50 percent of the US population does not meet the daily dietary requirement for magnesium.10