Simple Natural Cures For Leg Cramps | Medical Causes
Have you ever been in a blissful deep slumber only to be ripped away by an agonizing feeling somewhere in your lower body? If so, then you’ve probably experienced a muscle cramp. The feeling where your muscle is tightened beyond belief and you can’t think of anything to do but wait it out? I’ve been there before and I’ll share my natural cures for leg cramps. The medical causes of leg cramps are more simple than you thought..
Leg cramps are usually caused by a mineral deficiency, lack of blood flow, dehydration, or a combination of them all. Plenty of people trying to be healthy and feel good run into leg cramps now and again, but don’t fret. I’ll go into detail about each of these causes and also what I personally did to get rid of mine. I had them almost every night until I made a few of the adjustments mentioned above.
Commonly overlooked mineral deficiencies
Our bodies need certain minerals to function properly. When we have a shortage, we get problems. This can manifest in many ways, but we’ll explore the medical causes of leg cramps in relation to these minerals. Getting these minerals in balance is among the most effective of the natural cures for leg cramps.
These essential minerals are sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Sodium and potassium are not much of a worry in a typical diet. In fact, many people get too MUCH salt on a daily basis. Potassium isn’t usually an issue unless you never eat greens or bananas. That leaves the last culprit. Magnesium.
Magnesium is the bodies’ natural muscle relaxer and is one of the most important minerals for humans. Lack of magnesium may keep one from absorbing other minerals as well. This can cause a domino effect. People usually don’t get enough in their diet and this could lead to some/or all of these issues and more:
- Muscle cramps
- Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
- Muscles spasms
- Eye twitches
The recommended daily minimum amount of magnesium is 410-420 mg for men, and 310-320 mg for women. This number increases slightly with age and more if you exercise. These numbers are difficult to achieve with diet alone and I personally needed to supplement. Within a week of supplementing, my cramps were gone and my anxiety lessened. I could also sleep well and felt better overall.
Lack of blood flow plays a role
Ever wonder why leg cramps tend to be more common when laying down? This is because of inadequate blood flow to the legs. Simply put, in the daytime gravity pulls blood down into the lower body and legs. When you’re laying down however, gravity doesn’t do that and instead blood gets to your legs and feet last.
Our bodies rely on gravity to complete lots of functions, including digestion. Ever hear that it’s bad to lay down after eating? The same principles apply. The body is conditioned to react to gravity. This alone isn’t the cause for leg cramps, but is usually a factor in addition to a mineral deficiency or dehydration.
Poor exercise habits can also contribute to poor blood flow in the body. This is because the heart is strengthened by activity and weakened by lack of. This leads to higher blood pressure, which leads to poor blood flow, and eventually leads to leg cramps.
Getting in shape in addition to getting enough magnesium, for many, will put a complete end to leg cramps. For getting in shape and improving blood flow, you’re at the right place. Feel free to browse my Exercise section and read some of my posts. You’ll find out all you need to know, and not be overwhelmed in the process.
Are you drinking enough water?
Quite commonly, people don’t drink enough water. So it’s not surprising that this would be one of the medical causes of leg cramps. For an average person it’s commonly touted that you should drink 8 cups of water per day. This number may not be concrete, but it’s a good rule of thumb to follow. The number of cups increases when you regularly exercise.
Water is one of the main building blocks of life itself and we as humans are about 60 percent of it. It’s one of the best natural cures for leg cramps. Water keeps everything working correctly, including muscles. Lack of water can negatively affect your mineral balance, which throws your potassium, sodium, and magnesium levels even more out of balance.
There are certain signs that indicate mild dehydration. Most of them may be obvious, but some may surprise. Here they are as follows:
- Dry mouth
- Muscle cramps(Not always though)
- Dry skin
- Headaches(My most common indicator)
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
I personally aim for about a gallon a day(I know, seems like a lot), as I’ve found that I get classic signs dehydration if I drink any less. This is because my goals cater more towards maximum strength and fitness. So, I sweat a lot. The number may be different for you, but stick to at least 8 cups per day.
Linking it all together
We’ve gone over the medical causes for leg cramps and how they can build on each other. We also covered the natural cures for leg cramps and how simple things like getting enough magnesium can stop them. In order to effectively prevent them, one must also get adequate blood flow through exercise and avoid dehydration. Remember:
- Drink plenty of water
- Get enough daily magnesium
- Get your blood flowing through exercise
- Eat a well rounded diet with plenty of potassium(include bananas)
- Most people get enough sodium in their diet
For those of you that are interested, I will be making a review of what I believe to be the best magnesium supplement and why. I’ve used it as well as many others and have found that it’s helped immensely.
UPDATE: I just finished my preferred magnesium supplement review.
Feel free to browse my site if you are looking to get into exercise, whether it’s for preventing leg cramps or feeling better in general. There is a wealth of information and it should make the process of getting into shape much less overwhelming.
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