Muscle cramps are a nightmare to deal with. They’re caused by exercise and overexertion, diet, or sometimes just stretching or straining them for too long. Almost everyone has experienced a muscle cramp at some point in their lives, so we all know the stubborn pain that comes along with them. But did you know that your diet could be affecting your muscles as well?
For example, vitamin deficiencies can easily lead to leg cramps, which are the most common type of muscle cramps.
How Common Are Leg Cramps?
In 2017, Family Practice found that more than 30% of older adults experience leg cramps, and females often experience them more!
If you’re pregnant, you’ll likely feel leg cramps too. Between 30-45% of pregnant people will experience sleep-related leg cramps, according to an April 2015 report in Maternal and Child Nutrition.
What Can Cause Muscle Cramps?
Here are some common causes, per the Mayo Clinic:
- Exercise, especially in hot weather
- Underlying conditions like diabetes or nerve, liver or thyroid disorders
- Undergoing kidney dialysis
- Side effect of medication
Mineral and vitamin deficiencies can also play a role in these painful muscle contractions, according to the Journal of Neurology.
What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Muscle Cramps & Leg Cramps?
Knowing what vitamin deficiencies cause muscle, leg, and foot cramps may help you get to the root of your pain. Here are the most common ones.
Vitamin B Deficiency
A vitamin B deficiency may contribute to muscle issues. For instance, not getting enough vitamin B1 can lead to cramping in your lower legs, according to Neurologic Clinics. However, being deficient in vitamin B1 is very rare, though you may be deficient if you drink alcohol excessively and do not eat cereal and milk – both of which are rich in B1!
Your cramps could also be caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency, which is a lot more common. Vitamin B12 deficiency affects between 1.5 and 15% Americans and can be a result of not eating enough meat, eggs and milk. It is also common in those with dietary restrictions, such as vegans and vegetarians.
The good news is that you don’t have to eat foods rich in B1 and B12 to consume it. You can take oral supplements, get injections, or get an IV!
Vitamin D Deficiency
Though the evidence is inconclusive, it’s possible that a vitamin D deficiency can lead to muscle pain, according to Bone Reports.
Additionally, there is an interesting correlation between leg cramps and lower levels of vitamin D. A study in the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research showed that more than 60% of city-dwelling people had a vitamin D deficiency. These same people were more prone to leg cramps than the control group as well. There could be a correlation between the two, as well as a lack of outdoor exercise.
Other Ways to Prevent Leg and Muscle Cramps
Staying hydrated and drinking electrolytes can help prevent muscle and leg cramps. Cramps are commonly caused from dehydration – usually through excessive sweating or diarrhea.
A lack of sodium and magnesium are often to blame for electrolyte-induced cramping: Not having enough salt in your system can cause problems like muscle weakness, spasms and cramps.
Taking magnesium for leg cramps at night or during exercise may help prevent cramps or reduce the pain associated with them. You can take magnesium either orally or through an IV! Make sure it is the right kind of magnesium first, though! Only some of them will help with cramps.
Stretching before and after physical activity may help prevent muscle cramping. If you regularly experience cramps in a certain area at a certain time, try stretching right before the cramps usually come on! It will help loosen your muscles and may help reduce the pain or prevent the cramps all together.
Massage the Area
Who doesn’t love a good massage? They help increase circulation and loosen your muscles to reduce the longevity of the muscle cramp. If you get frequent massages, they may help prevent cramps as well! This may be especially true for nighttime cramps, which are especially common in people aged 60 and older.
Finally, if you need a little extra help relieving stubborn cramps, give us a call at IV Revival. We’ll get you hooked up with proper hydration, electrolytes, vitamins B1 and B12, anti-inflammatories, and magnesium in an IV treatment. Because it’s through an IV, you’ll experience relief much faster than if you took an oral supplement! Schedule your appointment online or by calling 602-755-9525.