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Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Leg Cramps Too?!?!


01-19-2011, 12:11 AM   #1
SS410
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Leg Cramps Too?!?!

So, I am just going to ask my other important question. Everyone's information has been helpful!

Do painful leg cramps occur with Crohn's? He gets a serious cramp in his calf and recently his shin. It's painful and can take minutes to go away.
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01-19-2011, 01:03 AM   #2
Nyx
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I get foot cramps...not sure it's related to the Crohn's though. I've been told it can be from low potassium right down to dehydration.

Sorry this isn't more helpful...
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01-19-2011, 01:42 AM   #3
Entchen
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Hi: I had this regularly during the year when the Crohn's was developing (before diagnosis). Have not experienced the pains since starting treatment, though. I was also told it's probably low potassium. What a horrible feeling - this huge knot that just gets harder and tighter as the minutes pass (till it goes away, phew).

I hope the problem is resolved for him soon!
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01-19-2011, 07:36 AM   #4
Nytefyre
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I get leg cramps quite often. Sometimes, it will wake me up a night. I shoot straight up and jump out of the bed, trying to massage my calves and lower legs. The pain is quite intense. After the cramp subsides, the pain stays around for a couple days. I was told that it was an effect of iron deficiency anemia. Is he anemic?

It could also signify a loss of electrolytes due to all the pooping that Crohnies do. (due do, hahaha!) Maybe try an electrolyte-replacing type of drink?

Hope he finds some relief! When it happens to me, I try to massage the cramp out. I know that it is impossible in the beginning, when the cramp is the most painful. Once it subsides, I try to stretch the area out. If the pain is still too much, then it's either hydrocodone or MM.
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01-20-2011, 12:21 AM   #5
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I got them all the time as a kid before my diagnosis and so did my other sister who also has Crohn's. Using a heating pad helped the pain go away. We called them leg aches. I thought they were just growing pains but no one else I've talked to since who doesn't have Crohn's even had them before, least not as often. Crohn's may not be the direct cause but with the inflammation and all that, we don't absorb the nutrients we need and that can cause a bunch of other problems leading to pains like this that we can't quite explain. So in a way, yes its related.
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01-20-2011, 12:26 AM   #6
Nyx
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Now that you mention it Crabby, I used to get them as a kid too...and the heating pad was my saving grace too. I'm sad to hear this though, as my 5 yr old step daughter gets them all the time and has terrible constipation at times
01-20-2011, 12:37 AM   #7
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It may not mean IBD Nyx. There are lots of reasons why people are deficient in certain or even all vitamins. She's 5 years old. Maybe she doesn't like to eat certain foods like my niece. *shrug*
01-20-2011, 06:27 AM   #8
Nytefyre
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I went to the hospital all the time when I was younger for "growing pains"! ER docs could never find anything and just sent me home, still in pain. Now I'm reading about Restless Leg Syndrome.

One of the paragraphs in the article mentions that kids with undiagnosed "growing pains" may have been suffering from some type of RLS. It also mentions iron deficiency.

Anyway, I think it's all connected to my Crohn's.

Last edited by Nytefyre; 01-20-2011 at 06:32 AM.
01-20-2011, 12:39 PM   #9
Jennifer
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I was REALLY low on Iron to the point where I almost needed blood transfusions but after my diagnosis and taking Iron tabs everyday, the "growing pains" or "leg aches" went away.
01-20-2011, 03:27 PM   #10
Nytefyre
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I hear ya on the really low iron. My levels are low right now (just got back from my first infusion in 8 months), although not as low as they have been in the past. But my leg cramps are back. My left calf muscle and both my feet cramped up a couple of nights ago and it was intense! Happened while I was sleep so I shot up and jumped out of bed, then fell to the ground howling! Woke the Muffin up. Good times!

I guess its a ymmv thing, but I seem to get leg cramps when my HGB gets around 10. Maybe thats not the best number to use. My ferritin is pretty low though, at 14. I've had blood transfusions as well, but definitely at lower numbers.

My leg cramps went away after I started infusions last year. I stopped in May and the cramps were gone. They started back up in Nov. but I didn't really pay too much attention. Now it seems to happen with some regularity. I guess I can add leg pain and cramps as a symptom for my anemia (and pay more attention to them).
01-20-2011, 04:16 PM   #11
ameslouise
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I get leg and foot cramps when my sodium or potassium are low, or if I am dehydrated.

I also get Restless Leg when I am severely anemic, and for me, the two are very different. The Restless Leg is just annoying but not necessarily painful. I just started on iron infusions weekly and the RLS is already almost gone.
01-20-2011, 11:32 PM   #12
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As others have mentioned - muscle cramping is often due to a mineral or vitamin deficiency - sodium, potasium, calcium, etc - for me it is VitD - I get calf muscle cramps if I miss my dose of 1200mcg of vitD every day....

Solution? - try a supplement - but if the cramping is caused by a deficiency, you may have to try them one at a time rather than, say, a multivit.

It could, as others mentioned (although this solution would also be related to a mineral deficiency) be dehydration. Try a sports drink first (you may need to take one or two a day for a few days). If you find that helps then you may need a sodium or potassium supplement. Can you eat/drink dairy? Do you get outside often? If "no" to one or both I would try a calcium supplement - if the calcium doesn't work, try a vitD supplement.

(There are actually blood tests that can be done to see if there are deficiencies - but doctors very seldom do them as they can be expensive - if you have to pay for them yourself, it could be cheaper to go througha trial-and-error regime of supplements until you find the right one.)

I hope you find relief soon.
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01-21-2011, 05:05 AM   #13
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I've been getting the restless leg syndrome and I thought it was just from having to spend some days lolling on the sofa with a hot water bottle for the stomach pains. Guess I will have to wait for my diagnosis before I can take anything for it.
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01-21-2011, 08:51 AM   #14
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Add low Magnesium to the list.
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01-22-2011, 02:01 AM   #15
Lydia
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Dehydration, low electorlytes like potassium, and a calcium and magnesium deficiency can cause leg cramps. More bananas, water, and a cal/mag supplement can help.
01-28-2011, 11:23 PM   #16
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I deal with restless leg syndrome sometimes also foot and leg cramps! All my blood counts are good, so I just eat a banana and I notice a huge improvement soon after.
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04-30-2017, 12:46 PM   #17
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So, I am just going to ask my other important question. Everyone's information has been helpful!

Do painful leg cramps occur with Crohn's? He gets a serious cramp in his calf and recently his shin. It's painful and can take minutes to go away.
I get the same thing... never had it so painful as tonight! No idea why it is happening.... not injured my leg or anything.
05-01-2017, 11:46 AM   #18
Bufford
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I get these cramps, a glass of water on its own or with a small snack can be of help as does going for a short walk, or do some light housework for a few minutes.
05-01-2017, 03:17 PM   #19
lisadc1
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I get foot cramps and my toes draw really badly ALL the time. Legs cramps as well...the last one was last night and I can barely walk on it today. Generally my potassium is low or I am dehydrated. I, too, try to rub it out. But I expect super soreness for a few days following.
05-02-2017, 10:21 AM   #20
Bufford
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I wonder if what one ate causes restless leg syndrome. I ate a larger lunch than normal so at supper I only ate a small pizza pop. Essentially a burrito filled with cheese and tomato sauce in bread doe.
It was terrible, but enough. An hour later and my legs would not hold still. Nothing helped except to get up and walk around. 2 hours later my legs were fine again.
05-02-2017, 11:38 AM   #21
The Real MC
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Leg cramps are due to two things: lack of protein, and exposure to temperatures that are not warm enough.

I used to wake up with leg cramps on many mornings. The quickest relief is getting protein in liquid form: milk. Granola bars help too. With vigorous rubbing of the muscle towards the heart, the cramps calm down quicker. And stay off your feet until the cramps ease up.

They would be more frequent during the winter. I started wearing night socks to bed a year ago during the winter season; it was the first season I was free of leg cramps. My cats like to sleep on the used bath towels on the bed (they still have my scent on them) so they have the additional benefit of keeping my legs warm, which prevents cramps.

I think it has been over a year since I last had leg cramps.
05-04-2017, 11:37 AM   #22
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I had all sorts of cramps before my diagnosis. Back then I had regular blood testing and low potassium was never a concern.
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