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My father's in-law (82 yrs old) has been having terrible calf cramps quite often during his sleep. His doctor gives him med for it but he's still suffering which makes me wonder there is any other helps out there he could try besides consuming more potassium. Would any medication give him this side effects, possibly? He has been taking prescription Tylenol to help him to sleep every night, not sure if it has any thing to do with his serve calf cramps or not?! Any idea? Thanks.
"In essence, the closing and relaxing of a muscle is dependent on the four mineral horseman of function, calcium (Ca), sodium (Na), magnesium (Mg), and potassium (K). Sodium constricts and potassium relaxes, with Ca and Mg initiating each phase of the action."
Now that paragraph pretty much sums up the common causes of cramps. Magnesium is the boss of calcium, potassium and sodium and vitamin D. Mess with magnesium and you mess with all of them. I know!
Have him try Arnica by Boiron. You can buy it at a healthfood store or on-line. It's about $12.00. It comes with gel ( no odor) which he can rub on and also pellets. I'd suggest at onset of the cramp that he puts one under his tongue. I suffer from constant Sciatica, back pain and leg cramps especially at night. This gives me relief within 5-10 minnutes. Good luck Londres 70 Your Father will love you for this tip. Let me know how you make out. Rainie 868
Red_Star has provided an excellent explanation. That being said use of calcium depends upon vitamin D3, and most seniors are seriously deficient. The second point is that such camps in the elderly are often due to intermittant claudication, which is another way of expressing "problems with circulation". Generally a color dopplar is in order, an easy-to-take non-invasive examination of the legs with ultrasound. The results are displayed on a color screen. There are various options available to increase circulation. Circulatory problems may be relieved in some cases by taking slow-release niacin and 1000 mg of omega-3 supplements. Finally there are prescription-only quinine sulfate tablets, which were available over-the-counter until about 2005.
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