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apneawho
 
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Leg cramps

Postby apneawho on Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:20 am

I started cpap July 20, 2011. I am doing well with compliance, AHI<1 most nights, minimal leak, sleeping better and longer without waking up, but I still have arousals. I do not feel rested yet. I am still very fatigued each day. What I have noticed is that my legs hurt during the night to the point that I am awakened with needing to stretch them out or with a full blown cramp. Today my right calf is so sore it feels as though I had tetany all night. This doesn't sound like the traditional definition of restless leg syndrome or does it? Does anyone else have this problem? I made an appt to see the pulmonologist.

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Re: Leg cramps

Postby Vader on Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:24 am

I have a problem with leg cramps also.
I take magnesium citrate for it, and it really helps tremendously.
I don't have any idea what the cause of the cramps is but if I don't take the magnesium at night, the cramps come back.

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Re: Leg cramps

Postby apneawho on Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:30 am

Vader wrote:I have a problems with leg cramps also.
I take magnesium citrate for it, and it really helps tremendously.
I don't have any idea what the cause of the cramps is but if I don't take the magnesium at night, the cramps come back.


You have to be careful with Mag Citrate. It is a laxative. I was going to try potassium salt or eating things rich in potassium every day.

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Re: Leg cramps

Postby torontoCPAPguy on Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:32 am

apneawho wrote:I started cpap July 20, 2011. I am doing well with compliance, AHI<1 most nights, minimal leak, sleeping better and longer without waking up, but I still have arousals. I do not feel rested yet. I am still very fatigued each day. What I have noticed is that my legs hurt during the night to the point that I am awakened with needing to stretch them out or with a full blown cramp. Today my right calf is so sore it feels as though I had tetany all night. This doesn't sound like the traditional definition of restless leg syndrome or does it? Does anyone else have this problem? I made an appt to see the pulmonologist.

Leg cramps are a whole different story. Once you have ruled out the nasty things they can represent, the doc will probably tell you that a leading cause is malnutrition and dehydration. Get rid of the salt in your diet completely. Drink TONS of water (not coffee) and supplement if necessary with magnesium glycinate (chelated/Albion process), potassium, Taurine and CoEnzyme Q10 (Ubiquinol form). Your leg cramps will magically reduce if not disappear. And you will find yourself with more energy.

Leg cramping can also be a sign of poor oxygenation of the extremities (sound familiar?) and you should be examining your blood oxygen saturation through the night on a regular basis.

There are, of course, plenty of other causes for that cramping. Both my wife and I have sufferred from it to the point where she was actually prescribed medications to assist.

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Re: Leg cramps

Postby RomeinDNVR on Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:56 am

You could try compression stockings. I had issues with this before I started CPAP and that is what my doctor had me do, it worked pretty well!

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Re: Leg cramps

Postby thud on Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:48 pm

apneawho wrote:I do not feel rested yet. I am still very fatigued each day.


Ditto that for me too but keeping my fingers crossed. My wife has RLS and she couldn't keep her legs still at bedtime in bed. She seen a neurologist who diagnosed her with RLS. She has never gotten the cramps you mention though. I get the same type of cramps you speak of. Yeah, the muscle hurts the next day. I sometimes get them in my feet too..Ouch... I have no hint as to why but I do use a foam rubber incline that raises my feet in bed about 4 inches. I like the feel of it and it seems I've had less cramps...but who knows eh? I hope you can get some relief

Take care apneawho! :)

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Re: Leg cramps

Postby Vader on Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:49 pm

apneawho wrote:
Vader wrote:I have a problem with leg cramps also.
I take magnesium citrate for it, and it really helps tremendously.
I don't have any idea what the cause of the cramps is but if I don't take the magnesium at night, the cramps come back.


You have to be careful with Mag Citrate. It is a laxative. I was going to try potassium salt or eating things rich in potassium every day.


True, but I take "Natural Vitality" mag citrate , which is a powdered form, and you can easily adjust the dosing so that you can still get relief with without the laxative effect. Mag citrate is one of the very best for good absorption. Certain other forms may not help at all.

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Re: Leg cramps

Postby apneawho on Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:53 pm

Thanks to everyone for the good advice. I was reading on line about keeping hydrated and making sure mineral intake is adequate.

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Re: Leg cramps

Postby JohnBFisher on Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:09 pm

Sometimes, if you are now sleeping more soundly, you are also moving around in bed less. This can lead to the cramping you've noted.

Additionally, if you take a Statin to help reduce cholesterol, it often can cause cramping. As can a whole host of other medications.

I have cramps due to neurological issues (with some possible impact from Statin medication tossed into the mix). I find that a banana at night helps reduce the cramping. It does not completely eliminate it, but it helps.

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Re: Leg cramps

Postby squid13 on Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:24 pm

You wouldn't by any chance be taken Actonel? If you are that is one of the side effects. My wife was taking it and had to stop on account of bad leg cramps at night.

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Re: Leg cramps

Postby apneawho on Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:48 pm

squid13 wrote:You wouldn't by any chance be taken Actonel? If you are that is one of the side effects. My wife was taking it and had to stop on account of bad leg cramps at night.



No Actonel and no statin. I take Lopressor and baby aspirin and Nexxium, nothing else. I need to check to see if any of my meds have that side effect.

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Re: Leg cramps

Postby Kody on Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:16 pm

Had major leg cramps right before I woke up 2 days in a row. Of course the first thing I blamed it on was xPAP machine. Think it really may have just been low on Potassium. Started eating a banana when I wake up, and haven't had them since. John may also have a point in the not moving around as much since your sleeping more soundly. The potassium can't hurt though.
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Re: Leg cramps

Postby kteague on Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:34 pm

I agree with all the suggestions given, and hope some of what's been mentioned proves helpful. If time shows you continue to have symptoms, you might want to read up on Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD) and see if it resembles what you experience. Just my personal opinion, but I don't think you should go immediately the possibility of PLMD unless your sleep is so compromised you need immediate resolution. It's too easy for docs to just throw you on a medicine that can create more problems than it fixes, especially when done prior to getting some baseline questions answered. Some of the nutritional things already mentioned have been said to help PLMD, and addressing those just may be enough. I would add iron studies to include a ferritin level if PLMD is suspect.

Just FYI... PLMD often manifests as a repetitive cramping. I can only speak for myself, but my PLMD never felt like the severe cramping sometimes called a charley horse - the cramps that make you leap from bed in agony. If that's what you're experiencing, PLMD wouldn't be my first thought.

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Re: Leg cramps

Postby chunkyfrog on Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:52 pm

Is this the same thing as a 'charley horse'?
I'm talking about a calf muscle spasm that wakes one up in agony.
I used to have those all the time--now, hardly ever.
I wish I knew what did it--the CPAP, diabetes control, or what?

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Re: Leg cramps

Postby SleepyT on Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:36 pm

kteague wrote:.... I would add iron studies to include a ferritin level...


Right...I second that. If your iron is low....that alone can cause cramping and twitches in the legs....

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