Leg cramps– painful involuntary contraction that normally impact the calf, foot or both– prevail during pregnancy, typically striking in the evening during the 2nd and third trimesters.
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What to Do If You Have Leg Cramps During Pregnancy?
While the exact cause of leg cramps during pregnancy isn’t really clear, you can take actions to avoid them. For instance:
- Stretch your calf muscles. Although evidence is lacking, extending before bed might help prevent leg cramps during pregnancy. Stand at arm’s length from a wall, place your hands on the wall in front of you and move your right foot behind your left foot. Slowly flex your left leg forward, keeping your right knee straight and your right heel on the floor. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds, being careful to keep your back straight and your hips forward. Don’t rotate your feet inward or outward and prevent pointing your toes. Change legs and repeat.
- Stay active. Routine exercise may help prevent leg cramps during pregnancy. Prior to you start an exercise program, ensure you have your health care carrier’s OK.
- Take a magnesium supplement. Minimal research recommends that taking a magnesium supplement might help avoid leg cramps during pregnancy. Ensure you have your health care company’s OK to take a supplement. You might also consider eating more magnesium-rich foods, such as whole grains, beans, dried fruits, nuts and seeds.
- Stay hydrated. Keeping your muscles hydrated might help avoid cramps Your urine needs to be fairly clear or light yellow in color if you are effectively hydrated. If your urine is darker yellow, it might indicate that you’re not getting adequate water.
- Pick correct shoes. Pick shoes with convenience, support and utility in mind. It might help to wear shoes with a firm heel counter– the part of the shoe that surrounds the heel and helps lock the foot into the shoe.
If a leg constrain strikes, stretch the calf muscle on the afflicted side. Walking and after that elevating your legs might help keep the leg cramp from returning. A hot shower, warm bath, ice massage or muscle massage likewise might help.
Magnesium Treatment for Leg Cramps during Pregnancy
The efficiency and safety of magnesium has been developed for eclampsia and pre-eclampsia, arrhythmia, severe asthma, and migraine. There is some evidence for effectiveness of magnesium supplements in treatment of leg cramps in pregnant women but not for other individuals.
A current systematic evaluation evaluated the result of magnesium versus placebo for the treatment of nocturnal leg cramps and found the total impact of magnesium to be unimportant. Seven trials were consisted of, one examined magnesium infusion versus placebo and the rest assessed oral magnesium therapy but dosage and frequency of therapy varied between all studies.
A sub-analysis of 3 of the studies including only pregnant women showed a significant difference in between the magnesium and placebo groups in the average number of leg cramps experienced per week. However the studies only contained a small number of participants (n= 361 in total and n= 198 in the subgroup analysis), and therefore was underpowered to find meaningful distinctions between groups. In addition choice predisposition might have affected results as individuals were included in the analysis whose leg complaints might have been confused with conditions not known to be connected with magnesium deficiency (i.e. restless leg syndrome).
Another recent systematic review assessed a further seven studies in patients with leg cramp treated with magnesium. The elemental magnesium dosage provided differed in between studies. The populations consisted of 322 mainly older patients and 202 women with pregnancy-associated leg cramps. After 4 weeks of treatment, distinctions in portion change from baseline of cramps weekly between magnesium and placebo groups were small and not statistically considerable.
The authors concluded that magnesium is unlikely to offer a significant benefit in lowering the frequency or seriousness of idiopathic leg cramps in older people. The second evaluation likewise consisted of three additional research studies on pregnant women; while a meta-analysis was not possible with these, arises from the individual studies were considered and discovered to be blended. One study found magnesium lowered cramp frequency and pain while the other two discovered no benefit. Although two of the research studies were comparable in design and setting, their results were various; this might have been because one of the studies did not have baseline measurement of cramp frequency. If cramp frequency before intervention was not comparable in between participants in these studies, it is not suitable to compare the number of cramps experienced during the treatment period.
Oral magnesium supplements is well endured
Both meta-analyses discovered that magnesium is well tolerated with the most frequent adverse effects impacting the gastrointestinal system (diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, flatulence and constipation).
Moderate-to-severe and symptomatic hypermagnesaemia is normally due to excessive extra consumption of magnesium (e.g. as antacids, enemas or by intravenous infusion), usually in patients with kidney disability. Be aware of the most common clinical features of moderate-to-severe hypermagnesaemia which are generally neuromuscular (e.g. loss of deep tendon reflexes, muscle paralysis, depressed conscious state and respiratory depression). Other signs include anorexia, nausea, skin flushing, hypotension, bradycardia/heart block and heart attack.
When thinking about magnesium supplements, ensure patients take an item containing magnesium just. Some magnesium supplements are combined with potassium and may add to hyperkalaemia in individuals taking ACE inhibitors or other medications which cause potassium retention. Consider examining kidney function in individuals using medicines that might impair or adversely affect kidney function and watch for signs of toxicity.
Dose of magnesium for leg cramps
The Food and Nutrition Board of the United States Government’s Office of Dietary Supplements sets the suggested daily consumption of magnesium at 270 to 400 mg for men and 280 to 300 mg for women. However, Dr. Beth Burch, composing for “The Eclectic Physician,” a journal of alternative medicine, suggests taking more than this amount for leg cramps. Burch advises her patients to take anywhere from 400 to 500 mg of magnesium twice a day. This is combined with approximately 1,000 mg of calcium. Speak to your doctor before taking either supplement to avoid potential complications.