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I keep getting charley horses!!! Any suggestions???

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I use to get charley horses about once every 3 months or so, but lately its been more like once every 1-2 weeks. I also used to only get them at night and only in my calf muscles. Now I have been getting them in my biceps, arch of my foot, my calf, and my thigh at all times of the day or night. (the worst are the ones at night still) Its driving me crazy!!! I really dont want to go to my regular doctor since he thinks I'm nuts. (I went in complaining of fatigue and weakness and he thought it was all in my head and wanted to put me on antidepressants.) I have recently had a ton of bloodwork done and everything came back normal (including a thyroid test since hypothyroidism runs in my family)

Does anyone have any ideas about what I can do to help stop or even lessen them?
post #2 of 22
There are some minerals that will help with cramps. Potassium is one, and I think magnesium (but not 100% sure on that.)

But...one interesting thing I have picked up is that tonic water (as in gin and tonic) has quinine in it, which helps muscle cramps. One reason they use it in treating malaria. So sometimes I just have a glass of tonic or maybe add something else, but it does seem to help me...
post #3 of 22
I have heard that it is a lack of potassium. So try eating some bananas. Also when I take calcium magnesium daily it helps me. Hope you can get them to stop. I hate charlie horses.
post #4 of 22
How are you sleeping at night? I notice that when I get them that in my dream I feel myself moving my leg almost like I'm pushing a bike pedal and it's a tense dream. Then I wake up and sit straight up from the pain. Those are the worst! I think someone on here told me before it can be from dehydration or vitamine deficiencies. Maybe gentle stretching exercises can help?
post #5 of 22
I used to get them alot too.

Potassuim is what my Dr told me to take... or eat a banana every day
post #6 of 22
You probably need some potassium, and water, so eat a banana or two
a day, or get some potassium pills,take them daily! You could be dehydrated
and that causes those kinds of cramps! Water, water. water!!!!!
I have also heard if you get a charley horse in your calf muscle, take your
foot and point your toes back toward you. If you point your toes (down)
it will cause one, so do the opposite and it will stop it!
Monique
post #7 of 22
The other posters' suggestions are all good ones. I think you may be calcium-deficient; and never take calcium without magnesium, as you can upset the balance by only taking one without the other. Try to buy a natural supplement rather than one of the heavily-advertised, synthetic ones, or milk, which is actually very unhealthy for anyone except a baby calf. GNC has some good, inexpensive cal/mag. The potassium and the water are very good suggestions as well. Keep us posted on how you feel, won't you? It may take a little time, but you should be feeling better by taking the cal/mag.
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by carwashcats View Post
You probably need some potassium, and water, so eat a banana or two
a day, or get some potassium pills,take them daily! You could be dehydrated
and that causes those kinds of cramps! Water, water. water!!!!!
I have also heard if you get a charley horse in your calf muscle, take your
foot and point your toes back toward you. If you point your toes (down)
it will cause one, so do the opposite and it will stop it!
Monique
OMG, don't ever point the toes... that makes it worse. If you get one, I know it's hurts like the devil but you MUST pull your toes forward you... or stand up and walk around.

Potassium is the culprit... or lack of I should say. You need more potassium. They sell them in pill form but they are huge. You're better off eating a banana. And water...water is always helpful.

Good Luck!
post #9 of 22
You need a prescription for potassium, probably because too much can be very very bad. Liver failure if I remember correctly.

Did you have a basic CBC? to check for that other deficiencies and liver/kidneys, do you have a copy of the tests results? (They're supposed to give you one).
Most of all, it sounds like your doc did the typical male doctor thing... claiming you're depressed, it's hormones, or even that you're hysterical (I've heard people stories of docs saying some crazy stuff...), go to another. If people dislike their vet they look for another, treat your own care the same way. Don't be afraid to speak up either, you're paying for their time.

As for a banana a day, that's not enough if you're potassium's low. You would need to eat around 8 to get the daily amount needed.

I believe I found the contributing factor as to why mine is low, I drink soda. I knew this, it's common sense, soda has phosphoric acid - phosphorus causes problems with calcium and magnesium, and problems with low magnesium can cause problems with potassium.
post #10 of 22
Charlie Horses are the worst! A few weeks ago I woke up and I had one in my left leg and I just lay there working my foot back until it went away. I have really tight tendons so I get them more often on my left leg and its hard to work them off but eventually it works.
post #11 of 22
Awww, yeah they are the worst. I get them very seldom, but they hurt alot when I do get them.

I eat bananas like a monkey and I haven't got one in a while
post #12 of 22
Take a magnesium supplement.
post #13 of 22
Get thee to a Walgreens and get yourself some potasium. I had severe toe cramps for years and have not had an episode for quite some time now. I take 99 mg. tabs daily and they really work for me. If one doesn't do it, then take two. Good luck!
post #14 of 22
I get them too! They are the worst!! Sometimes mine get so bad I either scream or cry, sometimes both. I haven't gotten any in a while though. I hope you feel better soon!!!
post #15 of 22
I like the potassium pills better than the 30,000 pounds of bananas (anyone recognize that one?) I had to eat to get rid of my charleyhorses!
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by carwashcats View Post
I have also heard if you get a charley horse in your calf muscle, take your
foot and point your toes back toward you. If you point your toes (down)
it will cause one, so do the opposite and it will stop it!
Monique
Sometimes that does work for me. Just make sure point up, not down like a ballerina. I used to get them in my arch too and that really helped then.
post #17 of 22
don't they call the ones in your arch, "falling arches" ...... that is what
i think, i know i have had those also! ouch!!!!!
monique
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your suggestions. (I do drink soda. About 1-2 coke colas a day. which I'm sure isn't helping.) My cbc was fine. The only thing "abnormal" was that I had higher them normal rbc count. He said its because I'm a smoker. (Yes, I know its bad and I need to quit and I will do so soon. I just have so much stress from working full time, going to school full time, and then doing my internship) Its just a matter of getting in the habit of taking the supplements every day. I need to figure out a way to get in the routine of it.

(And by the way, 30,000 pounds of bananas is from the harry chapin song. )
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
You need a prescription for potassium, probably because too much can be very very bad. Liver failure if I remember correctly.
Too much potassium will cause an abnormal heart rythym that can kill you.
post #20 of 22
I recently read something in our paper about drinking a little bit of pickle juice for muscle cramps...I know it sounds weird, & might not work, I've never tried it, but for a temporary remedy it's worth a try. Especially if you like pickles!
Also, what kind of shoes do you wear?
I have toe cramps when I wear a certain kind of shoe for a long time, walking all day.
post #21 of 22
Shorty, YAY Chapin it is, long live Dr. Demento!

Good heavens, you are living a full life (understatement). I could never carry the load you are carrying, but I have been as busy as I could take and so, speaking from muscle tics and chest pain experience...could it possibly be stress causing the cramps? Stress does leach the body...hope you find something that relieves the cramps soon!
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by pipersjo View Post
Too much potassium will cause an abnormal heart rythym that can kill you.
That's only if you're body isn't processing it out properly or you get a very large dose at once (3-5g depending on the person). Less then that but not properly monitored can cause renal problems, just like practically every other supplement and medicines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty14788 View Post
Thank you all for your suggestions. (I do drink soda. About 1-2 coke colas a day. which I'm sure isn't helping.) My cbc was fine. The only thing "abnormal" was that I had higher them normal rbc count. He said its because I'm a smoker. (Yes, I know its bad and I need to quit and I will do so soon. I just have so much stress from working full time, going to school full time, and then doing my internship) Its just a matter of getting in the habit of taking the supplements every day. I need to figure out a way to get in the routine of it.
1-2 isn't as bad as what I drink so that may not be doing anything to you.

Since the cbc seemed fine you really should discuss this with a doctor thoroughly. It could be something else and just taking peoples advice for what seems to be a simple fix for the problem could be dangerous. Masking the symptom doesn't solve the problem.
While you're at it maybe you could check with a doctor about possible aids to help you quit smoking too? There are other ways to de-stress that won't harm you.
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