Waking up in the middle of the night because of a painful muscle cramp in your calf or leg is not fun. Although the precise cause of muscle cramps is still not determined, they are usually linked to muscle fatigue and poor flexibility.
However, research suggests that diabetes can be another reason for leg cramps.
The symptoms are always the same, with or without diabetes. They involve sudden, painful, and involuntary tightening of a muscle. Also, they usually happen in the evenings and affect the muscles located at:
Leg cramps occur suddenly and without warning. However, knowing what can cause them can help you prevent and treat them. Here are the most common causes of muscle cramps, as well as tips to avoid them
Not drinking enough water can disrupt your body’s electrolyte balance, which in turn can cause muscle cramps. So, if you are prone to this uncomfortable and painful condition, make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day.
The arteries that supply blood to your legs can narrow during exercise, resulting in cramp-like pain in your feet and legs. However, the cramps usually stop once you finish exercising.
Lack of magnesium, calcium, and potassium can also cause leg cramps. Boost your levels of these minerals by eating foods that contain high amounts of them. Also, you can take mineral supplements, but make sure you consult your doctor first.
Diuretics prescribed for hypertension can deplete magnesium, calcium, and potassium in your body. And, as you know, deficiency in these minerals can cause muscle cramps.
Lumbar stenosis or compressed nerve in the spine can cause painful muscle cramps in your legs. To relieve the symptoms, walk in a slightly flexed position (like when pushing a shopping cart).
Muscle cramps are one of the many complications related to diabetes. Here are three ways in which diabetes can lead to muscle cramps:
Your muscles need glucose in order to contract and relax. But, if you have too high or low blood glucose levels, your body won’t be able to regulate these activities properly. That’s one way diabetes can trigger muscle cramps.
To avoid it, make sure you improve your diabetes control via healthier diet, regular physical activity, and stress management.
Constant high blood glucose can damage your nerves, a condition known as diabetic neuropathy. Sadly, a lot of people with poorly controlled diabetes develop this condition.
The most common type of diabetic neuropathy that causes leg cramps is peripheral neuropathy. If not treated properly and on time, it can lead to serious leg and foot conditions, including amputation.
Consult your doctor about the right treatment of this condition.
Uncontrolled diabetes can damage the kidneys, leading to diabetic nephropathy. This condition can sometimes cause muscle cramps. Consult your doctor about ways to treat this condition.
Besides taking the right medications and supplements, you can also treat muscle cramps related to diabetes with physical therapy, acupuncture, using a stationary bike, going for short walks regularly, stretching before going to bed, massages.