Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday, June 16, 2009 Jude, Community Member, asks

Q: Leg Cramps

I suffer from painful and paralyzing leg cramps. The pain is so bad in my thighs and legs and sometimes my feet. I can't even get out of bed to stand and try to relieve the pain. Someone has to help me stand up. It can happen anytime night or day. I am afraid to drive sometimes. The doctors have no clue as to what is causing them. All I was told to take calcium, Vitamins D and E, that lack of vitamins might be the cause. After one year of vitamins, I still get the painful leg and foot cramping. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what to do to stop the painful cramping? 

 

 

 

 

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Answers (4)
6/16/09 11:18pm

Anytime someone complains of leg cramps, I always check his/her medication list first. The most common culprit causing leg cramps in this day and age of everyone taking a pill for everything is the "statin" drugs which lower cholesterol. The "statin" family includes: Lipitor (atorvastatin), Baycol (cerivastatin), Lescol (fluvastatin), Zocor (simvastatin), and the list goes on. In fact, just yesterday, a patient told me that her leg cramps had gone away after she stopped taking the "statin" drug (per my instructions) that her primary doctor put her on over one year ago. She did not develop the leg cramps immediately after starting the "statin". So, no one suspected the medication as the cause. I did. And low and behold, once she stopped this sinister medication her leg cramps stopped.

 "Statin" medications can cause severe leg cramps, weakness, and muscle wasting. Watch out!

 Check your medication list carefully and read the adverse reactions for each of them. You may be able to outsmart your doctors.

 If you are not taking a medication that can cause leg cramps, then the cramps can be considered a form of nerve pain. Many nerve pain treatments are available which may help you.

 Stay hydrated and keep searching for solutions.

Christina Lasich, MD

P.S.  Here are some other links you might find helpful as you're dealing with this:

Why Yoga May Soothe Many Types of Chronic Pain

Using Tylenol Responsibly

Cooking to Control Pain

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caz510, Community Member
7/21/10 5:17pm

I have been having this same problem for 2 years now.  I started taking some Potassium tablets along with multi-vite and it helped keep them away,  stopped taking it and now they have returned so I will go back to Potassium and see if it helps.  Also I always get them if I drink several alcoholic drinks- maybe a correlation so I drink very infrequently now as the pain is terrible

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TC, Community Member
10/15/10 3:08am

I have been suffering severe foot, ankle, shin and leg cramps at night that wake me up 3 to 4 times a night.  I tried everything!  Potassium, B complex ( 100 mg ), vitamin C and tonic water with quinine.  Then I read an old vitamin book that I've had for 20 years and it said that It's really a severe vitamin E deficincy!  I started taking about 2000 units of vitamin E in the morning a half hour before I ate and another dose with vitamin A at night.  I still take the B vitamins and C.  I've been cramp free for a long while now.  It took about a week to build up in my body.  It trully works, I wish I could tell everyone about this.  Give the vitamins at least 2 weeks to build up in your system, you will be amazed! Also, heat ( like a heating pad or electric blanket ) works wonders too, with the vitamins.  Good luck!

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Ozigal, Community Member
7/21/10 6:58pm

I have sufferd similarly for years and have had to self treat with magnesium tablets which helped, Tonic water with quinine will STOP an attack that is happening drink a couple of glasses rapidly.

The best answer by far (for me) has been the drug SIFROL. After my doctor asked if i have RLS (restless legs syndrome) he started me on this drug and hey presto! Absolutely no more cramps unless I forget my tablets! Good luck with your discovery of WHY and finding the right treatment.

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Goldengirl, Community Member
7/14/13 12:50am

Try magnesium. Google magnesium and then read the info on the company in Austin, Texas, MgBright.com. I just ordered it. I emailed them and they replied that their special kind of magnesium can ease the discomfort from leg cramps caused by statin drugs( which are bad), so they may help yours too.

They say that the cause may be due to an imbalance of calcium and magnesium, so cut way back on the calcium. You can also soak in a warm tub with 6 cups of epsom salt for up to 45 min.(that I wouldn't do though)

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By Jude, Community Member— Last Modified: 07/18/14, First Published: 06/16/09