Monday, June 18, 2012

Leg Cramps

Last night my wife had a sudden cramp in a thigh muscle that would not go away. Fortunately I had blogged about this very topic two years ago.
http://perpetualpreparedness.blogspot.com/2010/06/nocturnal-leg-cramps.html
 
I did not remember the exact details but I did remember there was a chemical imbalance and that pickle juice often helped although no one really understands why. People report results within a minute of drinking vinegar and that's way too fast for the stomach to process it and move it to the blood stream.
 
So I mixed up a cocktail of chemicals - a tablespoon of vinegar, another of lemon concentrate, some clear soda for sweetness and a dash of salt. This was followed by a water chaser since the taste was so awful. And it worked. We have no idea which item was essential, my wife was in pain and not interested in a lab experiment testing each item one at a time.
 
If the drink has failed I would have tried milk (for calcium) or a banana (for potassium). The required mineral is different for different people.
 
According to the Mayo Clinic ...
For most people, night leg cramps are merely an annoyance ... But in some cases, you may need to see a doctor.
Seek immediate medical care if you:
  • Experience severe and persistent cramping
  • Have night leg cramps after being exposed to a toxin, such as lead
Schedule an office visit if you:
  • Have trouble functioning during the day because leg cramps interrupt your sleep
  • Develop muscle weakness and atrophy along with leg cramps
See also http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/nocturnal-leg-cramps-nighttime-calf-muscle-pain.html

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