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Waking up with cramps in the legs

Does anybody else wake up with leg cramps in the night?

I have been having some leg cramps from time to time during the day but I m waking up atleast 1-2 times a week in the night with leg cramps. I am thinking it could be because of loss of electrolytes. But I have been trying to keep my minerals at optimum levels. Wondering if it happening to anyone else?

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  • Pljohns

    Yep-almost every night.  Mine is a side effect of my maintenance meds-it's one of those side effects written in tiny print.  I tried to eat banana's but that made it worse.  I've had everything checked on  blood work and everything is in normal limits so it's got to be the meds.  I did find this AMAZING stuff called Theraworx-it's a spray, or cream or foam and I mean it WORKS.  Sure beats walking around or stretching for 30 minutes trying to get the cramps to stop.  The directions say if you use it daily, it prevents cramps-I never tried that-but I know it sure does get rid of them.

  • Deborah Bartlett

    I have it happen to me too. Side effects. Also, battling muscle loss each day with COPD. I fight it by being extremely active. I have actually had one leg twist all the way around backwards a few times. Very painful. Best thing to do is remain calm when it happens. Tension makes it worse!!

  • Breatheeasy

    I woke up one night with real bad pain in the shin area. Felt like it was going to explode.

    other episode are much milder though. Wow and they say the inhalers act locally without many side effects. I think calcium supplementation is necessary. I asked my doc and he gave me a multivitamin that does not have calcium in it. 

  • Deborah Bartlett

    Bloodwork nay show what you need. My meds can soften my bones. I could end up with osteoporosis….that's why I am careful now. 

  • Pljohns

    Breateeasy-steroids cause bone loss and can lead to osteopenia (or early osteoporosis).  If you meet the age requirements for your insurance, my doctors had me do a bone density scan (DEXA) and it showed osteopenia.  I take 1200 mg calcuim a day and 800 mg vit D wihch helps with the calcuim absorption.  I have bones scans done every 2 years and if/when (hopefully not) I end up with osteoporosis, will definitely start meds for that.  My Mom has it bad and has had a broken hip and pelvis from very minor falls because of it.

  • Deborah Bartlett

    My bloodwork showed that my vitamin D2 was a little low. No where near deficient. I take a 50,000 IU prescription vitamin D2 capsule once per month. At first it was once per week. Then once every 2 weeks.I am seeing my PC on April 3rd. We will be checking into it then. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Hugs, Breatheeasy! Is your pain on the back of the leg or on the front part of the leg?

    Could you follow up with your doctor and your pharmacist to let them know what's happening? That way they can help you figure you out whether this is a side effect or whether this is not related but needs addressing. Either way, if it's waking you up at night, then it needs to be addressed! 

    I love the advice you've gotten here — definitely talk with your doctor to see if you need to be screened for osteoporosis or osteopenia. 

  • dory2005

    Yes on the leg/foot cramps, and yes to osteopenia due to long term steroid use. I take calcium supplements, but last year, I broke my shoulder in three places due to a fall in our garage, and the ortho said the break was most likely because of my osteopenia. I also had necrosis of the sesamoid bone six years ago, and that's when I had my first bone density scan and the osteopenia was diagnosed. I'd definitely talk to your dr about getting a scan. 

  • Shea

    I hear it is best to get a supplement that is cal-mag-vitD all together because the calcium and magnesium need to be in a certain ratio and d3 helps absorption as well. That is what I was taking but then my calcium levels were high so my doctor had me stop for now (i think its because Ive been eating tums like candy for my heartburn and it has calcium in it). I have osteopenia from the prednisone (which i take as a maintenence med for the past 7 years so it is to be expected). I dont get muscle cramps, just leg pain from vasculitis part of my chronuc disease– but I do think things like coconut water (i like the Vita-Coco brand because it tastes good and has 100% vit c plus mote potassium than bananas but not near as much sugar). I buy it when it goes on sale.

     

  • Deborah Bartlett

    And because each of us has different things for different reasons….is a good reason to have it checked out. We are all so similar with our ailments….but we all respond differently to treatments. It is always good to take care is something ASAP.

  • Deborah Bartlett

    Good advice about getting a bone density scan. It coyld take a load of a person's mind. Sometimes wondering about something can cause undue worry and stress.

  • Breatheeasy

    Thanks all-

    I’ll talk to my doc about it. The pain isn’t happening in one place it just happens whenever wherever my muscles get stiff. It’s not constant for now. It let’s go in less than a minute. I have always had this sort of thing happening but it was very very rare. Now this happens atleast thrice a week and seems to be getting more frequent. 

    Hmm never thought about osteopenia. I’ll discuss that during the next appointment with my orthopedic doctor. I was also asked to see a rheumatologist to rule out anything when I first mentioned it to my orthopedic doctor. I see an orthopaedic because I have had some occasional slight muscle pain and swelling in the joints (after a viral infection that happened about 10 years ago. The same infection that first gave me chest tightness). I’ll ask to get a scan. 

  • Breatheeasy
    Marie E Natzke posted:

    Hi everyone

    being dehydrated can cause leg cramps as well. 

    I am thinking it must be the potassium wipe out that the asthma meds can cause. I guess I should be drinking more electrolytes.

  • Breatheeasy
    Pljohns posted:

    Breateeasy-steroids cause bone loss and can lead to osteopenia (or early osteoporosis).  If you meet the age requirements for your insurance, my doctors had me do a bone density scan (DEXA) and it showed osteopenia.  I take 1200 mg calcuim a day and 800 mg vit D wihch helps with the calcuim absorption.  I have bones scans done every 2 years and if/when (hopefully not) I end up with osteoporosis, will definitely start meds for that.  My Mom has it bad and has had a broken hip and pelvis from very minor falls because of it.

    No I am not in the osteoporosis risk group yet. When I worked with a nutrition center (before I developed asthma) we often screened women over 35 years of age. But maybe these asthma meds need me to get it earlier. I will ask for it. 

  • Dar007

    I used to get severe muscle cramps at night. One calf would start, and as it was going away, the other would cramp up. It was so frustrating. I found I wasn’t drinking enough water. Also, muscle cramps is listed as a side effect of two of the medications I am on for asthma….so I am sure it was a factor. I started drinking a lot more fluids and the Charlie horse problem seems to be staying away…even though, every now and then, if I stretch my legs it will start to cramp up. The best thing I found, though it is so hard to do in the middle of the bad cramping, is you need to relax as much as possible. It will shorten the time you have the cramp. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Breatheeasy, here's a great screening tool to determine your risk for osteoporosis: . Other risks include if you are white or Asian and if you have a small frame. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Breatheeasy, how are those leg cramps? I'm sure hoping you had a better night's sleep last night!

  • Breatheeasy

    I did not wake up with cramps. But I had some during the day the last few days. Maybe they’ll ease too.

    Been having some back pain. Wondering if back pain is also a side effect of the inhaler. It starts when I do the inhaler. 

  • LK

    BreatheEasy,  Sorry you are having pains in new areas!  Just a thought – Could the back pain be from trying to breathe since it is occurring when you need to use your inhaler?  For me, if I am in the situation where I need my inhaler I am usually coughing more and sometimes hunched over so if that is happening to you, those could be possible things that are causing your back to hurt.  As you say, it could also be from a medicine you are on.  Hope it improves soon!  Always good to ask your doctor just to double check if it continues.

  • Deborah Bartlett

    I have learned that some people breathing problems walk slouched over, if you know what I mean. The strain of your body and lungs trying so hard to breathe. I know this happens with me. This can cause back pain. Remaining stress free can help to relax the back. 

  • IA-TXFisherman
    Breatheeasy posted:

    Does anybody else wake up with leg cramps in the night?

    I have been having some leg cramps from time to time during the day but I m waking up atleast 1-2 times a week in the night with leg cramps. I am thinking it could be because of loss of electrolytes. But I have been trying to keep my minerals at optimum levels. Wondering if it happening to anyone else?

    Hi Breatheeasy,

    I have the same issue sometimes. I know in my case, even though I drink well above the standard recommended daily water intake levels, I'm always told I'm dehydrated. It's a mystery to me and seemingly doctors. When you say you've been trying to keep your minerals at optimum levels, have you been sipping Gatorade or Powerade? That often helps me during episodes when the cramping is worse than normal. 

  • Breatheeasy
    IA-TXFisherman posted:
    Breatheeasy posted:

    Does anybody else wake up with leg cramps in the night?

    I have been having some leg cramps from time to time during the day but I m waking up atleast 1-2 times a week in the night with leg cramps. I am thinking it could be because of loss of electrolytes. But I have been trying to keep my minerals at optimum levels. Wondering if it happening to anyone else?

    Hi Breatheeasy,

    I have the same issue sometimes. I know in my case, even though I drink well above the standard recommended daily water intake levels, I'm always told I'm dehydrated. It's a mystery to me and seemingly doctors. When you say you've been trying to keep your minerals at optimum levels, have you been sipping Gatorade or Powerade? That often helps me during episodes when the cramping is worse than normal. 

    Hi IA-TXFisherman,

    No I have been drinking ORS atleast once a day. That seems to help a bit. My primary told me I can have it everyday given how dehydrated I seem. But I tried avoiding the ORS solutions because well I thought nothing was wrong with me. But looks like I need them once in a while. 

     

  • Breatheeasy
    Deborah Bartlett posted:

    I have learned that some people breathing problems walk slouched over, if you know what I mean. The strain of your body and lungs trying so hard to breathe. I know this happens with me. This can cause back pain. Remaining stress free can help to relax the back. 

    Posture issues have been a problem ever since I had DD. I guess it could be the epidural spot. I might be putting strain on it when I try to breathe in deep. Esp on days when my lungs are tight. 

  • Breatheeasy
    Thanks LK posted:

    BreatheEasy,  Sorry you are having pains in new areas!  Just a thought – Could the back pain be from trying to breathe since it is occurring when you need to use your inhaler?  For me, if I am in the situation where I need my inhaler I am usually coughing more and sometimes hunched over so if that is happening to you, those could be possible things that are causing your back to hurt.  As you say, it could also be from a medicine you are on.  Hope it improves soon!  Always good to ask your doctor just to double check if it continues.

    Thanks @LK will bring it up during my next visit.. it does occur after I take a deep breath. 

  • Shea

    I have posture issues from the prednisone and my upper back gets really tight– it gets worse when I am struggling to breathe so I think it is affected by the muscles working harder to pull in air. 

    I take a mild muscle relaxer every night (it is called tizanidine) and it helps with the tension and helps me get to sleep (I take it at bedtine because it makes me really sleepy). 

    I also have difficulty staying hydrated due to former GI surgery. VitaCoco waters help some. 

  • MizWheezie

    I get leg cramps periodically too…

    I'm pretty sure it's due to me not drinking enough water, because when it happens, I think about how much water I've consumed that day, and realize that I didn't drink my "usual" amount of water (for some reason) 

    Also, it's very important for us (post-menopausal) Gals to take a Calcium/Vitamin D supplement to keep our bones strong, and to combat the effects of those steroids in our meds.