Monday, October 20, 2014

Wednesday, April 08, 2009 maay, Community Member, asks

Q: Are leg cramps common in type 2 diabetics?

Can you tell me if leg cramps are common in people with diabetes?

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Answers (4)
carole, Community Member
4/10/09 6:32pm

I have type 1 diabetes.  I inject 20 units of Lantus Insulin each morning and take 2 tablest twice a day  of Glyburide 5mg tablets.  I suffer from painfull leg, foot and toe cramps.  I experience severe pain during the day and the pain will often wake me up during the night.  I have taken several prescription pain relievers such as Vicodin, Motrin, Soma and Gabadone with minimal relief.  A cream called NeuroGen by Young Living which I purchase from a Young Living Products distributor has given me the fastest acting pain relief.  It is expense.  About $90 for a 4oz. bottle, but it works the best.  Better than anything my diabetic/primary care physician has prescribed.  I would be very interested to know if other diabetics have leg/foot cramps.


survivor3306, Community Member
6/ 4/09 1:23pm

Yes, and mine are recent.  For the past month I have been getting either calf cramps or foot cramps in the middle of the night while sleeping.  I leap up out of bed, put weight on the affected leg and stretch.  Then it goes away and I go back to sleep.  So far it has not been too disruptive.  But I worry as to what these cramps might mean.  I am a diabetic and my blood sugar is not under control.  Of course that is bad, but I wonder if it related to my foot/leg cramps. 

mag, Community Member
4/14/10 7:23pm

1> body balance and power meal
2>vitagreen 8 to 16 capsules daily
3 sulfurzyme 1 to 4 tbsp daily
4. massage on pancreas vita flex points on botton of feet; thieves, coriander, fennel and dill to lower glucose levels.  Apply as compress over pancreas area.
5. cleansing trio, juva tone and juva fle.
note do not use fennel longer than 10 days at a time since it excessively increase flow through the urinary tract.
vita green is high in plant protein, which helps balance blood glucose. The MsM/sulflur found in the Sulfurzyme promotes insulin production.
megazme supports enzyme production shich helps keep the pancreas from premature wasting and enlargement, a condition linked to diabetes and premature aging.,super b suppport pancreas function. the stevia leaf increases glucose tolerance and helps normalize blood suagr fluctuations. wolfberry balances the pancreas and is a detoxifier and cleanser.
if want more infor look at usa web site all available there.
all info for eduational purposes only alway seek medical diagonsis first .
take care
youngliving distr.  id 1036999

kathy, Community Member
12/19/10 10:05am

Yes, leg cramps are common in diabetics type 1 an 2.  I have severe leg cramps at night and sometimes in the daytime.  I am 68 and the cramps have been getting worse all the time.  I have done so much research and have tried many different remedies.  Somethings work for a while, but don't last.  My Dr. doesn't seem to take me seriously and so I've had to rely on a local Vitamin shop.

I just read that salt with potassium in a glass of hot water might help.  I'm trying that right now.  We'll see.  I'm really worn out because I only get about 4 hour of sleep a night.  I don't know what to do anymore.   

If anyone has any ideas that might help, my email is

Thank you, Kathy

deedee56, Community Member
3/16/11 2:36am

I am type 1 diabetic.  I have been having leg cramps for years now....sometimes so bad that I cannot sleep for nights at a time.  Lately they are getting worse.  A friend told me to drink dill pickle juice...that didn't work!  I have tried "Diet" Tonic Water which has quinine in it.  THAT hasn't worked either.  I am at my wits end...I need to find something to help me!  My doctor put me on two 5mg tablets of clonazepam...doesn't help other than makes me really drowsy and drugged!  Just last night I had a cramp on the top of my foot that made my big toe come straight UP into a right angle!!  Finally I got it to ease up by ice packing it!  Does ANYONE  know what to do??  My potassium levels are normal...would it hurt to take a 40 mg potassium tablet at night to see iof the cramps would go away??  I am willing to try just about ANYTHING!!  HELP anyone!!!!!!!

kathy, Community Member
3/16/11 4:39pm

Hi deedee56, 

I too have been worn out because I couldn't get enough sleep, every couple of hours I was wakened with leg and foot cramps.  

I have found the answer for my cramps.  I have done so much research on this all my life and asked so many Drs. with no help.  I've heard all the remedies. But I've finally found relief.  It seems that I needed more Magnesium.

I always thought that I needed more potassium and that's what I was concentrating on.  

Someone mentioned Magnesium and I experimented with foods high in Mag. That did the trick!!!

I've been sleeping 7-8 hrs nights with no cramps. 

It seems that it's a combination of keeping my blood sugar as low as possible and extra Magnesium.  Too much carb in my diet seems to give me cramps also.  I've quit eating starchy carbs, no bread, potato, rice or pasta. 

I'm eating protein and these high magnesium foods.  I keep canned black beans and canned spinach on hand.  I know it sounds crazy, but canned beans and spinach has more magnesium than fresh.

Here is a list of high magnesium food.  I also take a tablet that I get from Puritan Pride Vitamin Store on-line.  (Calcium 500mg, Magnesium 500mg, Potassium 99mg).  I take 1 in the morning and 1 at night before bedtime.


I eat a little spinach at least once a day and I keep Pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts and Almonds for a snack at night.

And I think it's really important to keep the carbs down.  

Let me know how this works for you.   I really don't understand why Drs. don't know more about this problem, it's sooo terrible!  




Cooked spinach



Brazil Nuts



Pumpkin seeds

Halibut fish


Pearled Barley

Wheat Bran

Wheat Germ

Oat Bran

Black Beans

White Beans

Navy Beans


This is an article about magnesium that's interesting.


"Magnesium plays an important part in energy production, nerve and muscle function and cell growth and repair.

The body contains only 1 oz (25 grams) of the mineral magnesium, but even with this small presence, it has a vital role in many body processes. It plays a part in energy production in the muscles and nerves, aids in the repair and maintenance of cells and reduces the levels of cholesterol in the blood, alleviating high blood pressure. Known as the anti-stress mineral, magnesium may also help to calm nerves.

deficiency of magnesium will produce symptoms such as tiredness, irritability, vertigo, depression and muscle spasm and cramps; in the case of severe deficiency, convulsions may occur.

Magnesium is important for people with poor diets and for those who are taking certain drugs, including oestrogen, antibiotics and diuretics. It may alleviate menstrual cramps and also morning sickness during pregnancy.

People who live in areas with hard water, which contains more magnesium, suffer from considerably less heart disease than do people who live in soft water areas. However, whether magnesium can prevent heart problems is still uncertain."


victor h. ascarrunz, Community Member
7/31/11 8:07am

I need an answer to the medication or vitamin  that  I  SHOULD TAKE FOR LEG CRAMPS

Nancy, Community Member
4/11/11 9:39am

Yes I have a lot of pain also and I think it's from Lantus

carole, Community Member
4/12/11 6:20am

I take Lantus.  Why do you think Lantus has a lot to do with leg cramps.  Last month my dr prescribed Diltiazen 60mg tab.  One tab taken nightly and a low dose of magnesium.

kathy, Community Member
3/16/11 6:10pm

It's all about balance!   Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium have to be in balance to keep all muscles working properly.

That includes your heart, which is a muscle.  Be careful about taking Potassium supplements, check with your Dr.  Too much Potassium can kill you.  

Keeping Carbs down controls your diabetes and that will end the cramps!


If you keep your carbs down, (no bread, cookies, cake, potatoes, pasta, white rice) and keep your magnesium up, (cooked spinach, almonds, brazil nuts, buckwheat) you will stop having leg cramps!!!

Justin, Community Member
4/10/13 9:23pm

For 2 mother has had SEVERE leg cramps at night...kept her up all night long. She would have to bang her legs for 45 minutes at a time at 4 times a night. We have a massager with pads to place on her legs. One night, we made the GRAVE mistake of putting those on her and it made it WORSE. About an hour after she used it, she was SCREAMING and CRYING in was the WORST thing I have witnessed my mother go was extremely scary. All I could do was massage her legs while it settled took a good 20 minutes while she screamed.

This was all a VERY scary time for all of us. She was planning to see her doctor the next day, but she couldn't get an appointment until 2-3 days later. I immediately went online. Nocturnal Leg Cramps for Type II Diabetics is a very real thing and a TON of diabetics go through it.

As I did my research, I found that a deficiency in CALCIUM, POTASSIUM, MAGNESIUM, and ELECTROLYTES were ALL an occurring theme with nocturnal leg cramps. I immediately went to the store and bought ALL of the above and went home and had my mom take 2 of each every 8 hours. That night....LOW and BEHOLD..she had NOT ONE cramp.

I do not want someone else going through this, please check your levels above...and take these supplements. These cleared it right up! Also….dehydration may cause it. Get Smart Water or Vitamin Water and drink these before bed…or water or milk. Most insulins lower potassium and magnesium levels…that is why it is imperative to take these supplements daily.

okierose41, Community Member
7/14/13 6:31am

My doctor said the cramping was because my electrolytes were out of balance.  She told me to drink 8 oz a day of the zero calorie Powerade or Gatorade.  This has taken care of the majoritie of my problem with cramping at night.  I hope it helps someone else.

Amy Tudor, Editor
7/15/14 1:08pm

Hi there maay,

 Leg cramps are actually quite common in people with diabetes, though they can be caused by several different things. In people who use insulin, low potassium can trigger these painful events, or leg cramps can be caused by excessive urination, which also causes a loss of potassium in the body. These cramps could also be due to low calcium or poor blood sugar control. It's always best to tell your doctor if you're experiencing new symptoms, since he or she will know the best way to manage any deficiencies that are causing them.

I hope you've long ago gotten help for these if you're experiencing them.  Here are some links on our site that you might find useful, as well:

Potassium in the Diet

Calcium Stealers


Best of luck!

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By maay, Community Member— Last Modified: 07/20/14, First Published: 04/08/09