I get asked …… leg cramps

Hi Diana, I suffer from bad leg cramps during the night.  The pain can be quite excruciating and I wondered if you know of simple ways to reduce this cramping?

Maureen Liddle Norwich

Dear Maureen….I know the feeling!   Painful leg cramps were something I experienced a few years ago until  I was advised to take magnesium, which I find helps lessen the incidence of cramp. Magnesium is a mineral that helps turn the food we eat into energy and makes sure the parathyroid glands, which produce hormones that are important for bone health, work normally. But symptoms of poor magnesium intake include muscle cramps, facial tics, poor sleep, and chronic pain. Since magnesium plays a role in neuromuscular transmission and muscle contraction, it’s thought that magnesium deficiency may predispose one to muscle cramps. Magnesium supplements are often recommended to prevent cramps, but you should be able to get all the magnesium you need from eating a varied and balanced diet.  The amount recommended is 300mg a day for men and 270mg a day for women.   Good sources of magnesium are found in green leafy vegetables – such as spinach, nuts, brown rice, bread (especially wholegrain), fish, meat and dairy foods.
Be aware that taking too much magnesium supplement could be harmful, but having 400mg or less a day of magnesium from supplements is unlikely to cause problems. My daily magnesium supplement has helped me.

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