Can leg cramps be a sign of something serious? 12 reasons leg cramps occur
Leg cramps are common and can occur even while sleeping. The muscles of the legs contract involuntarily, which leads to painful sensations. Here are some reasons why you may experience leg cramps frequently.
Insufficient water intake
Lack of water causes muscle cramps. Dehydration can be the result of intense exercise, high ambient temperatures. It also occurs if we do not drink enough pure water, replacing it with coffee, juices, or soda.
To cope with dehydration and get rid of seizures, if they are caused by it, you need to drink at least 8 glasses of liquid throughout the day. All liquids consumed, including those that we get from food, tea, or other drinks, are counted. However, clean water is certainly healthier than coffee or juice.
Heavy exercise has long been associated with muscle cramps. Skeletal muscle overload and fatigue can cause cramps in overworked muscle fibers.
They also note that seizures are common even among professional athletes. While fluid intake can help, there is no well-established method of preventing seizures when exercising.
Lack of electrolytes in the body
For muscles to contract smoothly, there must be a balance of electrolytes in the blood – potassium, and calcium. If the levels of these minerals change, it can cause muscle cramps. Eating fruits and vegetables daily can help balance your mineral levels. You can also consult with your doctor to take special electrolyte balance supplements.
Lack of sodium
Low sodium levels can cause painful muscle cramps and increase stress hormone levels. Therefore, you should not completely abandon the use of salt, the main source of sodium. It has no negative impact on most people. And people who are sensitive to it need to consult a doctor on how to replenish the missing element in the body.
If you suffer from frequent leg cramps, you need to ensure that your thyroid is okay. If it doesn’t work properly, seizures can be a symptom of other medical conditions, such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Be sure to visit an endocrinologist if you experience seizures very often.
Aging can cause leg cramps. Around the same time that we start to lose our motor neurons, resting seizures become more frequent. This is typical for people 50 and older. Research shows that strength training and balance exercises can help maintain muscle and nervous system function by preventing these problems.
Sedentary work and lack of movement can reduce the length and flexibility of the muscles and tendons in the legs. Lack of activity prevents them from stretching properly, leading to seizures. It is helpful to devote at least half an hour a day to stretching and exercise, including squats.
Sleeping in an uncomfortable position
Our feet are often in a “plantar flexion” position when we sleep on our stomachs. This means that the toe is pointing away from us, which causes the muscles in the lower leg to contract. When the feet are in this position for a long time, even small movements can cause cramps. Sleeping on your side, back, or some other position that does not strain your lower legs may be the best position to avoid cramps.
Working on your feet
People who spend a lot of time each day standing are more likely to experience leg cramps. When you stand for a long time and do not move, blood and water accumulate in the lower body. This can lead to fluid imbalances and shortening of muscles and tendons. Because of this, cramps appear. Be sure to try to move if you spend most of your time on your feet. For example, walk-in place or periodically stand on tiptoes.
Certain medications can cause seizures. For example, medications for high blood pressure (diuretics) have a diuretic effect, which reduces the amount of water in the body. Long-term asthma medications can cause leg cramps at night.
Some drugs can have a “stimulating” effect on motor neurons and receptors, contributing to seizures.
Pregnancy is also associated with more frequent leg cramps. This is due to weight gain and poor circulation. A growing fetus’s pressure on the mother’s blood vessels and nerves can cause frequent seizures.
Leg cramps can occur due to diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, neurological diseases, and depression. Most of this has to do with taking medications to treat them. But some of these diseases, notably diabetes and neurological diseases, can disrupt nerve endings, leading to seizures.