bridgetgirl

SEVERE leg cramps!!!

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I'm pre-op for 8 more days.  If I don't take magnesium at night I have awlful leg cramps.  I also suffer from restless leg.  I will eventually ask the Doc to put me on something for that.  I'm already low on calcium so I can't miss it.  It is very important that you get the calcium and iron in. Especially if your blood work shows it is low.  God bless you.

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My legs (calves, hamstrings) had been cramping before GBS surgery due to post-thrombotic syndrome. What has helped:

 

1. Staying hydrated. Tons of water. I used to drink 5-6 liters of water a day prior to GBS, these days it's at least 2.

2. Get enough electrolytes - prior to GBS I would do 2-3 bananas and oranges a day. When I traveled (which I do often), I would go to a runner's or nutrition store and get electrolyte fizzy tablets to put in my water bottles.

3. Light stretching. I have very bad ankle/knee joints that keep me from stretching as I should, but I stretch in the shower under a very hot water stream.

 

Now that I'm almost 8 weeks post-op, I'm starting to introduce more fresh fruits and veggies which helps with electrolytes.

 

All this aside, within 2 weeks of surgery I was getting cramps on the front of my calves in the middle of the night. Weirdest thing I saw. My feet were completely intolerant of any weight from say, heavy comforters. Lasted for about 2 weeks and then it got better. Still don't know what it was.

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Happy to see this thread. Trouble is, I'm drinking tons of water (100 oz/day), drinking "Calm magnesium, taking yoga regular so getting my stretching in, eat bananas despite that I don't even like them, and when I play tennis, I drink 2 24 oz water bottles with Propel in them. I have had such bad cramping that it continues up my leg to my inner thigh. Holy crap is that ever painful!!! Sometimes I even get a knot just under my rib cage. Yesterday it happened during yoga and then again, worse, at midnight, waking me out of a dead sleep. It doesn't happen all the time although just did two days in a row. It generally lasts about 15 minutes and then subsides, leaving me with soreness wherever the cramp occurred.

I take all of my supplements religiously and have had blood work done twice this past year, and all checks out aok. Stellar even. So I have no clue what else to try. I welcome any further insights from you guys. Glad to have stumbled upon this group! I am 5 years post RNY. 

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11 minutes ago, CoachDeb said:

Happy to see this thread. Trouble is, I'm drinking tons of water (100 oz/day), drinking "Calm magnesium, taking yoga regular so getting my stretching in, eat bananas despite that I don't even like them, and when I play tennis, I drink 2 24 oz water bottles with Propel in them. I have had such bad cramping that it continues up my leg to my inner thigh. Holy crap is that ever painful!!! Sometimes I even get a knot just under my rib cage. Yesterday it happened during yoga and then again, worse, at midnight, waking me out of a dead sleep. It doesn't happen all the time although just did two days in a row. It generally lasts about 15 minutes and then subsides, leaving me with soreness wherever the cramp occurred.

I take all of my supplements religiously and have had blood work done twice this past year, and all checks out aok. Stellar even. So I have no clue what else to try. I welcome any further insights from you guys. Glad to have stumbled upon this group! I am 5 years post RNY. 

No brilliant idea since you are already taking supplements and your blood work doesn't show an electrolyte out of whack. I get cramps when I use (over-use) muscles that are not expecting it. I know the professional athletes claim that you have to massage muscles after exercise to improve the blood flow and move the lactic acid out of your muscles. If I cycle for 2 hours now I know I will have leg cramps later unless I do stuff immediately afterwards to stretch. Are you doing after-exercise stretches?

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 I had severe leg cramps so bad I woke up screaming every 5 minutes!  I finally went to the doctor and he prescribed Quinidine..it has worked wonders!!  I also take magnesium even though my levels were fine.  

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Okay, do you REALLY want to know how to get rid of leg/muscle cramps?  Cause I can tell you how.  It will sound crazy, but don't worry, it WORKS.  No meds, no supplements, and it works in five (5) minutes usually.  No, I am not joking. 

You wake up in the middle of the night with a SCREAMING leg cramp.  You manage to get out of the bed and go to the kitchen.  Open the refrigerator and get out the jar of pickles.  Get a spoon.  Take a spoonful of pickle juice and drink it!  Five minutes later if the cramp isn't completely gone take another spoonful.  If you don't like pickle juice apple cider vinegar works the same way.

I swear.....it really and truly works.  If you could see the jars of pickles without juice I throw out you would believe me!

 

Tricia

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On 6/10/2017 at 10:14 PM, Cheesehead said:

 I had severe leg cramps so bad I woke up screaming every 5 minutes!  I finally went to the doctor and he prescribed Quinidine..it has worked wonders!!  I also take magnesium even though my levels were fine.  

 

51 minutes ago, triciaquilts said:

Okay, do you REALLY want to know how to get rid of leg/muscle cramps?  Cause I can tell you how.  It will sound crazy, but don't worry, it WORKS.  No meds, no supplements, and it works in five (5) minutes usually.  No, I am not joking. 

You wake up in the middle of the night with a SCREAMING leg cramp.  You manage to get out of the bed and go to the kitchen.  Open the refrigerator and get out the jar of pickles.  Get a spoon.  Take a spoonful of pickle juice and drink it!  Five minutes later if the cramp isn't completely gone take another spoonful.  If you don't like pickle juice apple cider vinegar works the same way.

I swear.....it really and truly works.  If you could see the jars of pickles without juice I throw out you would believe me!

 

Tricia

You both make good points. Quinidine sometimes helps but is a prescription item - people used to take quinine, the antimalarial drug still put into tonic water, for this (since it is not easily available anymore, quinidine which is closely related chemically gets used). And @triciaquilts essentially points out that even if your blood electrolytes are within the normal range, you just might need more salts to keep the cramps away. What can it hurt to try some pickle juice?? 

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The doctor told me that I couldn't drink enough tonic water to help.  I'd tried gagging it down but it didn't help.  Think I will give the pickle juice a try as I'm trying to take myself off the quinidine.  

 

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On 6/10/2017 at 6:53 PM, BurgundyBoy said:

No brilliant idea since you are already taking supplements and your blood work doesn't show an electrolyte out of whack. I get cramps when I use (over-use) muscles that are not expecting it. I know the professional athletes claim that you have to massage muscles after exercise to improve the blood flow and move the lactic acid out of your muscles. If I cycle for 2 hours now I know I will have leg cramps later unless I do stuff immediately afterwards to stretch. Are you doing after-exercise stretches?

Good thought @BurgundyBoy. I try to isolate a pattern for the cramps and discovered that at least the last 2 times that it happened were on days when I played tennis and did yoga on the same day. That just may have been a case of overuse. I didn't stretch immediately after tennis and should have. Perhaps if I paid more attention to my muscles after tennis, stretching and massaging, that would make the difference. Fingers crossed!! Thanks!

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13 hours ago, triciaquilts said:

Okay, do you REALLY want to know how to get rid of leg/muscle cramps?  Cause I can tell you how.  It will sound crazy, but don't worry, it WORKS.  No meds, no supplements, and it works in five (5) minutes usually.  No, I am not joking. 

You wake up in the middle of the night with a SCREAMING leg cramp.  You manage to get out of the bed and go to the kitchen.  Open the refrigerator and get out the jar of pickles.  Get a spoon.  Take a spoonful of pickle juice and drink it!  Five minutes later if the cramp isn't completely gone take another spoonful.  If you don't like pickle juice apple cider vinegar works the same way.

I swear.....it really and truly works.  If you could see the jars of pickles without juice I throw out you would believe me!

 

Tricia

Blecccchhh!!! I'd rather stick hot pokers in my eye, lol. Just kidding...but semi-serious. The concentration of salt in the pickle juice is probably the main ingredient that helps cramps. The day I wrote this, I had had 2 bottles of water with Propel in them and that didn't do the trick. I noticed that my sweat around my neck was super gritty and salty. I'm wondering if I drank the Propel AFTER I finished playing tennis, so I wouldn't sweat it out like that, if that would have made a difference. A new theory. Hmm. Thanks for your response!

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4 hours ago, Cheesehead said:

The doctor told me that I couldn't drink enough tonic water to help.  I'd tried gagging it down but it didn't help.  Think I will give the pickle juice a try as I'm trying to take myself off the quinidine.  

 

I would like to hear how it turns out.

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I have leg and hand cramps, I tried the bananas and the potassium, I now take 2 5000 mg of d3, 2 potassium pills, b6, b12, b1, calcium, prenatal, A, and k.  I don't miss a day, but now it is just getting worse, they thought I had neuropathy but not just the surgery, now I have prescription muscle relaxers I take 2 in the morning with my vitamins and 3 of one kind and 2 of 2 other kinds just to sleep and make the cramps go away, they will be here forever because of the surgery and a 4oz glass of tonic water in the morning and one at night! And some time I take a muscle relaxer 2x's a day in-between! oh and 64oz pedilite!

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40 minutes ago, judypic2 said:

I have leg and hand cramps, I tried the bananas and the potassium, I now take 2 5000 mg of d3, 2 potassium pills, b6, b12, b1, calcium, prenatal, A, and k.  I don't miss a day, but now it is just getting worse, they thought I had neuropathy but not just the surgery, now I have prescription muscle relaxers I take 2 in the morning with my vitamins and 3 of one kind and 2 of 2 other kinds just to sleep and make the cramps go away, they will be here forever because of the surgery and a 4oz glass of tonic water in the morning and one at night! And some time I take a muscle relaxer 2x's a day in-between! oh and 64oz pedilite!

(Ouch!)

Other postings here recommend quinine or quinidine, like in your tonic water...

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I will try it, just because I am tired all the time from the muscle relaxers

 

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5 minutes ago, judypic2 said:

I will try it, just because I am tired all the time from the muscle relaxers

 

Back on June 12 in this thread was a comment that you can't get enough quinine in tonic water to do the trick, and that a script helps. (Also that it WORKED!). Good luck!

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Quinidine works great!  But take it just before bed.  I've weaned myself off it.  But take magnesium over the counter now.  If I have a particularly bad day with legs cramps I take a quinidine at night.  You do need a prescription for it..

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Potassium and magnesium before bed. And a bar of lavender handsoap under your bed sheets around where your legs are situated at night are reported to be very helpful. 

Edited by Wusang
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I also have the worst leg cramps ever, I take all the vitamins for leg cramps plus my prenatal about 15 different vitamins,  Now I had to go to a neurologist and she gave me 3 different muscle relaxers and I got another pill for my doctor, it is like ativan  but not as addictive, so that 4 pills and 15 different vitamins everyday if I miss one of any of them I can feel the spasms starting up in my legs again.  I am 18years post opp and 2 years ago I weighed 117 lbs, now I weight 156 lbs after drinking  64 oz of electrolytes everyday.  I guess it was nice while it lasted but now there seems to be nothing any doctor can do about the cramps just take all these pills and vitamins every day for the rest of my life! NOT FUN!

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I tried all the vitamins and had to resort to going to a neuropathy doctor, she did all the most painful test and I  do not have neuropathy but she gave me the pills for neuropathy (8 pills a day) 4 of one kind and 2 each of 2 others and they seemed to work for a while (about a year) now have to go back a adjust!  This is really painful and I tell ya if I would have known about this pain, I would have stayed fat!

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I am 17 years postop and occasionally the very severe leg cramps occur.   So then I have to check my supplements to see if I changed or omitted something.  It took several years of research before I discovered that being low on iron can cause the severe cramps.  So if the magnesium and potassium don't do the trick also add some iron.  It really made a difference for me.  Be careful though, too much iron will cause constipation.  I usually take 18 mg.  I am really tired of the balancing act of making sure I have all the right amount of supplements.  Sometimes I even think about having my duodenum put back in place so I could better absorb my nutrients.  I wonder and doubt that insurance would cover that.  I still throw up if I don't chew thoroughly, eat too fast, or too much.  It takes me a long time to eat.  I eat extremely nutritious meals, which I enjoy preparing and eating.  I am grateful for my slim body.

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