Relief from Night Time Leg Cramps 2

After reading the first article in this series on night time leg cramps one reader responded with this very brilliant suggestion:

As soon as a leg cramp starts, pull your toes up toward your head.


I’m so glad she reminded me to share that with you. It’s a trick that I’ve used myself to get those cramping muscles relaxed. Actually it works for any tight muscle problem in the body. When you tense one set of muscles, the opposing muscles have to relax. That basic physiological principle makes it possible for us to walk, use our hands, arms, etc. for all of our daily activities.


Preventing muscle cramps is our most desired goal. In the first article on relief for night time leg cramps we discussed the importance of attaining adequate magnesium levels inside the cells since magnesium helps relax the muscles. Now we’ll consider the other major minerals.


Calcium plays an important role in normal muscle contraction as well, so make sure you’re eating or supplementing with optimal amounts of calcium. Some doctors recommend taking both calcium and magnesium at night to prevent leg cramps.


If tissue levels of calcium and magnesium have been low for a long time, be patient. It may take awhile to achieve adequate enough tissue levels of these two minerals to calm the night time leg cramps.


The best form of calcium and magnesium comes in healthy food sources of these minerals. Unfortunately calcium becomes denature in the process of pasteurizing milk, making it difficult to assimilate. If you can fine raw milk try eating unpasteurized yogurt as a good source of calcium.


Other good food sources include plenty of green leafy vegetables (lots of magnesium in the green leafies too), beans, liver, nuts, canned salmon with bones, sardines and seaweeds.


Potassium deficiency can also set off leg cramps. Potassium levels tend to drop when taking diuretics or with athletes who sweat out their minerals. Of course, we all think, “Eat bananas for potassium”. And yes bananas contain potassium, but so do many other vegetables and fruits. So go easy on the bananas (because of the high sugar levels) and eat more veggies, especially broccoli, Brussels sprouts, lima beans, sea food, sea weed, spinach and yellow vegetables.


Occasionally a sodium deficiency can cause muscle cramps, usually again more commonly in athletes who sweat a lot. But if including good sources of magnesium, calcium and potassium in your diet doesn’t alleviate the muscle cramps, then try increasing your salt intake with a healthy salt like Celtic salt or “Real Salt”. Be sure to check with you doctor first if he/she had recommended limiting your salt intake.


Amazingly Vitamin E may help counteract muscle cramps if the cramping occurs from the red blood cells clumping together, creating oxygen deficiency to the muscles. Since Vitamin E breaks up the clumping more oxygen can be delivered to the muscle cells. Vitamin E supplements should be in the natural tocopherols form and should be taken all by themselves away from meals and other supplements.


Most muscle cramp problems can be solved by ingesting adequate amounts of magnesium, calcium, potassium, maybe sodium and vitamin E.


However, once those minerals and vitamins reach the gut, they have to get into the cells. Sometimes some nasty culprit blocks their entrance into the cells. If that happens you can eat all the healthy foods and take the greatest supplements but continue to have muscle cramps.


So, let’s knock out those anti-nutrients in the next article!


Dr. Jo


About Dr. Jo

Dr. JoDr. Jo delights in sharing the message of health. She believes disease is optional if you know how to take care of yourself. And she’s a great coach to help you reverse or prevent disease.

So she writes this blog to keep you up to date with information that may undermine your health if you are not aware of it. She also provides tips on healthy living, how to reverse degenerative diseases, delicious recipes, and ways to enjoyably change your habits to healthy ones.

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