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Avatar universal


Since starting treatment I've had periodic cramping in the joint where my right thigh meets the hip bone. In other words, way high up. Like most cramps, painful but usually they release in a minute or so. Therefore never really thought that much about it.  

Yesterday afternoon, I had an extremely painful cramp on my right toe extending up the top of my foot. The cramp actually "locked" my right toe and (arch front) in an up position. Sounds funny but quite the opposite. Could not get it to release for over five minutes. Had three or four more episodes during the night -- not sure if they woke me up or I was awake and just had them. Painful and long enough that at one point I started gathering my stuff together in case I had to make a quick trip to the ER. Tried a heating pad and some gentle self-massage each time after it released but still came back.

I realize this may have absolutely nothing to do with Hep C treatment and I have had some cramping in the past but usually in my calve and nothing lasting this long.

Wondering if anyone has had this happen on treatment or simply has any suggestions. If it keeps happening I may see a physical theapist but of course in the back of my mind is some sort of joint issues from all the interferon. Thanks.

-- Jim
36 Responses
Avatar universal
Forgot to add that I also got another hip cramp last night. Hadn't had one of those in months. Possibly the two are related, or possibly due to EOT stress. It also occurs to me that I've been doing more physcial work around the house lately and that might also be an issue.
116701 tn?1210262764
Jim my wife sees my extremities draw up into balls and me start screaming and its like the funniest thing she has ever seen. The madder I get the more she laughs about it. Of course she keeps telling me the little air bubbles in the syringe want hurt me and says a real man would poke it in a main artery (kidding)

MrsO: The RN at my doctor office has warned me on several occasions about caffiene and to stay away from it during treatment. For some reason it speeds up the dehydration of muscles and causes pain. I figure I'm drinking around 80oz of water per day and now I think it is not enough. Someone the other day said that you should drink should take your body weight 200lbs divide it by 2 = 100 and that is the daily water intake (100 oz) you require while on Pegasus / Copegus. There is so much information floating around that I'm not sure if I am coming or going sometime. Other than the aches you doing okay? Dale
Avatar universal
I like your wife. A good sense of humor in a care-giver/companion has to be near the top of the list in getting through this.

1/2 your weight in ounces is a pretty standard formula. You're a big buy and 100 ounces isn't too much.  That said, I've probably haven't followed that formula myself for most of treatment as it's been hard for me to get that much water down due mostly to throat constricture from the reflux and perhaps the riba.

Maybe I'll stay off the green tea for more than a few days and try some decaf. BTW you're wife is right about the air bubbles. Real men simply eat the entire syringe with their riba :)

-- Jim
Avatar universal
I know whereof you speak! The foot thing is a little like a marionette wire being tied between a toe and the ceiling and pulled as taut as it can get. I had the hip cramps several times during tx, but haven't had them lately. Hands and toes are still getting my attention fairly frequently. Bananas, lots of fluids, and magnesium is the standart rx I guess, but who knows ... maybe chowing down syringes will be the answer - at least it will take your mind off whatever else ails you! Let me know what works.
116701 tn?1210262764
Jim just for clarification to your comment I'm not a buy guy. If I let that typo go Flguy, goofy and beamish would be all over it.

You are right about a sense of humor. She keeps me laughing all the time and its usually about me. She went to a meeting the other night and I gave her about thirty minutes and called her. I had this real pitfull world coming to an end voice and she immediately wanted to know what was wrong. I told her I had crapped the bed and there was no way I could clean it up. She hung up on me. Come to find out she was in front of a group of people when I called. She was a little hostile when she came in but relieved I was lying. Me too. I think we both use humor to cut the tension of not being able to go as we did before treatment started.

About 40 minutes after I take the riba I could probably chew that syringe up without any problem. Dale
Avatar universal
So I had a banana this morning and popped a Centrum Silver which among other goodies contains:

Magnesium: 100mg
Zinc: 15mg
Calcium: 200mg
Potassium: 80mg

Does this sound enough for a daily intake? Thanks.

-- Jim

96938 tn?1189803458
As a runner you know that adequate potassium is required to avoid cramping.  Not sure if you've been more active these days to cause depletion.  Pre-tx I had a lot of cramping issues, but was more active in hot weather back then. Always loaded up on supplements, OJ, bananna's and magnesium.  Going with the potassiun concept (probably off base) what kind of water do you drink? If distilled, could lack electrolytes?  Also wonder if the riba could cause red cell impacts to 'K'.  Maybe it's just your mind and body sending you a not-so-subtle message?  Taking any diuretics? Any change to BP?
Avatar universal
Me too Jim. I'm only 4/48 but my left hip is killing me. It's way up high too where my let meets my pelvis. The last 2 days it's been constantly aching. keeps me awake. Read it's part of the tx? Good luck. Hope you feel better.   tracy
Avatar universal
Been drinking a lot of tea the last few days. So maybe it's the diuretic effect of the caffeine as you suggest although I've read at least one study that have debunked the "coffee is dehydrating" theory. These days I drink mostly Fiji water which is not distilled. Had to stop with the electrolyte sport drinks like Gatorade because of my GERD (reflux) but maybe I can find something less acidic to tolerate at the health store. Thanks for the tips -- with all the drugs I'm on you never know.

-- Jim
43671 tn?1205934471
I can relate to the cramping that you are having. During TX I also experienced several bout's of cramps in my foot and right hip.
I was taking several different supplement at the time including magnesium, Zinc and calcium.

I found no patten to the attacks. I might have several cramps within a couple days, then nothing for Weeks or more. The even persisted for some time post TX.

I am now 1.5 years post TX, I have not had the cramps for some time.

  The Supplements that califa mentioned, very well could take care of the problem.

   Blessings to you

Avatar universal
my joints,muscles ache chronically;lower back(kidneys?) neck,shoulders;sciatica down entire leg to &including foot;hands,shoulders-every bodypart i've ever injured reminds me of my ongoing 'youthful indiscretions'.......i stop using pain meds for 1 or2 days per week,attemptin to prevent total loss of effectiveness& or dependency..These are my absolute agony days-of course! Yestrday felt like i had survived major car accident or a brutal baseball bat beating:Flu-like symptoms?? more or less...spent 13 hrs in bed the remainder on the couch:couldn't read 0r watch tv-thnk god for radio& an incredible ability to sleep for extended hazy hours..Today.by comparison,i feel like a million bucks-still not good,but bearable........Jim,you will soon be past the daily toxins,at which point i am sure things will get bettr!!!! Trx meds sux,part of the unpaved path to SVR-get yourself a serious fullbody massage
Avatar universal
I've found that a gram of magnesium (at minimum) will definitely interrupt the cramping episodes.  As a preventative, equal amounts of calcium and magnesium daily.   Been there w/ the paralytic parrot imitations, and the pain you're describing is no picnic.  

Not sure that interferon is directly culpable, but the cascade of effects can certainly lead to nutritional defieicnes of all sorts.  I remember that you've spoken of problems with excess acid production, probably exacerbated by the evil riba.  If you're taking antiacids on a regular basis, malabsorption of various nutrients could be a result.   Hell, I was NOT taking antiacids on tx and WAS supplementing, and still ended up with a B12 deficiency that has caused all sorts of neuro problems....go figure.   At any rate,  you might want to check out a book called _Digestive Wellness_ by Elizabeth Lipski (Keats 1996), which is a pretty intelligent treatment of nutritional approaches to all sorts of physical kinks.  

Try the magnesium and see if it doesn't get you out of trouble.  So sorry you're going through this....
116701 tn?1210262764
I would consider cutting the tea out and see. Have the same issues with hands and feet and calves. I just keep pouring more water to it but I didn't have the problem pre treatment only after starting treatment. I've had both hands wad up and my wife would have to straighten them out and hold them for a minute until the cramping ceased. Your correct it sounds funny but isn't. Good luck and by the way my doctor had never heard of that one either. We porbably all need to log this stuff and educate the medical community - I wonder what that would pay? Nah! They would charge us for the nusances. Good luck to you and if you find a cure let me know. Dale
100019 tn?1335923317
Funny you should mention that about the cramping.  My joint pains didn't start till last Thursday.  It was last Monday that I had the foot cramping you described.  Strangely, within a few minutes my thumb locked up on me and I didn't think I'd ever get it to move.

My first thought was potassium.  I just happened to have a dr apt this week and he said it's the interferon.  It can do crazy things to your body.  Told me to take motrin or advil for pain and if that didn't work he'd prescribe something.  Great, that was helpful. (sarcasm)

I guess the worst part is that it boils down to it could be this...it could be that.  

Good luck. Valorie
Avatar universal
Again, thanks for all the tips. Sounds like the cramping may be treatment related. For some reason, I had stopped taking multi-vitamins a few months ago but it sounds like time to go back with perhaps some of the xtra supplements mentioned. Also, I'll lay off the green tea for a few days.  Dale...I can relate to the story about your wife straightening out your hands LOL. I kept doing the same last night but the foot kept snapping back. Only fun if it's not your foot (or hand). LOL.

-- Jim

100019 tn?1335923317
Good morning, Dale.  Hope all is going well for you.

Starting about a month prior to beginning TX I began drinking water.  It takes so much to get down 1/2 to 1 gallon of water you don't really want anything else.  Now that I'm at 23/48 I'm really getting rather tired of water.

I made some ice tea last week and we've been drinking it.  Not to the exclusion of water.  But my tea consumption has coincided with the cramping and joint pains.

Think there's a correlation?
Avatar universal
From what I have studied, calcium could be playing a rule in the cramping. When you are low in calcuim, you will cramp.

But, I too, have had severe hip pain, in my right. I wouldn't call mine cramping, just like tendon pain or something.

Hope you get better soon!

116701 tn?1210262764
"Do you like Gladiator movies"? That is one of my favorite lines from a movie. Airplane! Who had the fish? Of course Bill Murray's routine from Caddy Shack is right in there too. "I don't think the hard stuff is going to come down for quiet some time now" Dale
Avatar universal
jim, do a google search on n-acetyl cystene , what you read about this suppliment may interest you. This is a good suppliment most emergency rooms carry on stock for tylenole poisoning especially in children.  This suppliment helps with glutithione production, a natural enzyeme that helps the liver flush toxins from drugs, chemicals we may breath ect. Check it out.

Avatar universal
So glad you're "done"! How soon will they do a PCR? I think I started to feel better about 2 minutes after the decision was made and I haven't stopped since, although there is always a small cloud of doubt that seems to hover just out of reach. I'm getting pretty good at ignoring it though, and if I make it to the 6 month PCR clear I'm going to fageddaboudit. Good luck!
Avatar universal
You really have to experience the pain to understand. A cramp lasting a minute or so is manageable, but once it goes beyond five minutes you just feel you're in a lot of trouble. If it went on much longer I would have called 911 since I was unable to walk:

911: What is the nature of the emergency you're reporting?
JmJm: I have a cramp in my big toe!
911: Could you please repeat that.
JmJm: I have a cramp in my big toe!
JmJm: Hello? Hello? Hello? Is anyone there? Heeelp? Motherrrr!!!

Thanks for the tip. So far today, no cramps, just some soreness from last night. I'll take meds if necessary but hoping it was a one night thing and will not repeat as I'm in the process of getting off the treatment drugs. I hope this finds you well. If I remember correctly, you're back on the treatment drugs or you're about to be soon? If so, any different in sides after being off for a few weeks?

-- Jim
Avatar universal
Is it enough?  
For the calcium & magnesium  multiply by 5.  
Zinc you could safely double.
Potassium-I have no earthly idea of the proper ratios w/ above.   Easily researched, though.

You could go over to lef.org or the mayo clinic site and read about nutrients and extra nutrtitional needs during chemo.   IMHO Centrum Silver keeps us just minimally alive enough to meet nursing home standards.  Besides, sounds too much like Grecian Formula.

Seizing up & cramping was part of my tx experience as well.  Pretty sure it's a product of deficiencies that develop, and that we can minimize it or step it down a few levels w/ good supplementation.  

Anyhow, get this in place and if results are inadequate or too slow, _then_ turn to pharmaceuticals.  

Avatar universal
Just want to add a few things to the discussion.

Potassium--Peanuts and potatoes are much higher in potassium than bananas.  In fact, bananas are somewhere in the middle of the list, peanuts and taters are at the top.

Calcium--If you are not absorbing the calcium, it can cause more problems than you are trying to be rid of.  I would suggest getting as much naturally as you can.  Kale, broccoli, all the dark green veggies.  The calcium supplied naturally also has other things with it to supplement absorption.  

Now, I'm not a nutrition guru by any means and I still drink plenty of milk.  I do know that just taking additional this or that isn't the same as the way God made it for us to consume.  Hydrogen must mix with oxygen to produce water, or it takes a village to raise a child, however you might view it.  All nutrition works in tandem.  

So, there is no simple formula.  These are my views and I am not a doctor.


goof--what happened yesterday?
Avatar universal
I'm the wrong person to ask about vitamins. When my bottle of Centrum Silver ran empty a few months ago didn't even bother to get a new one until today :) But from what I do understand, a normal dose of daily vitamins are fine to take with your meals and riba -- as opposed to certain antacids or products like Metamucil or Flax which might slow absorption. Of course check with your doctor because some only suggest a minimal daily vitamin w/o iron like Centrum Silver. I imagine other medical condtions might dictate what you should or shouldn't take as well. Keep up the good performance, as they say :) Just finished my third banana of the day. Think I'll go find a limb and swing.

-- JungleJim
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