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Author Topic: Night-time leg cramps..........ooooooh ouch  (Read 5339 times)
Shaymon
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« on: June 04, 2011, 10:25:43 AM »


Hello all,

Here's one that perhaps the seasoned amongst IHD can shed some light on. NIGHT TIME LEG CRAMPS.....they hurt and are striking more often now. Its mainly in my right leg/foot but can strike also both at the same time....and boy do they hurt. They can strike at any time during the night and when they do  my legs hurts for a couple of days after too.

My questions are :-

What causes them and do you get them?

What is the best way to get rid of them when they strike (I usually have to try to stand and walk around if its not too painfull), and how do you get rid of them?

Can you prevent them?

And do they cause you pain after they've gone and if so for how long?

I really could do with some words of wisdom here please........thanks as always

yours

Shaymon
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Zach
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2011, 10:28:57 AM »

Try drinking a glass of tonic water before going to bed.  It just might do the trick.
Please let us know if it works for you.

8)
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Uninterrupted in-center (self-care) hemodialysis since 1982 -- 33 YEARS on March 3, 2015 !!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
No transplant.  Not yet, anyway.  Only decided to be listed on 11/9/06    ;)
I make films.

Just the facts: 76 kgs. (about 167 lbs.)
Treatment: Tue-Thur-Sat   5.5 hours, 2x/wk, 6 hours, 1x/wk
800 dialysate flow (Qd)  ~400 blood pump (Qb)
Fresenius Optiflux-180 filter--without reuse
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"Living a life, not an apology."
Cordelia
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2011, 11:55:06 AM »

Are you "Pre Dialysis?" I am wondering because I had the very same leg cramps in the middle of the night prior to starting dialysis. Very severe and they would strike in the middle of the night and would prevent me from sleeping. I don't mean to scare you but I highly advise/urge you to get it checked out.

Mine were violent during the night and I was stage 5 kidney failure. NOthing helped me until I was dialyzed, then the violent cramps went away. That's what solved it for me.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2011, 11:57:00 AM by Cordelia » Logged

Diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease at age 19.
Renal Failure at age 38 (2010) came about 2 hrs close to dying. Central line put in an emergency.
Began dialysis on Aug 15, 2010.
Creatine @ time of dialysis: 27. I almost died.
History of High Blood Pressure
I have Neuropathy and Plantar Fasciitis in My Feet
AV Fistula created in Nov. 2011, still buzzing well!
Transplanted in April, 2013. My husband and I participated in the Living Donor paired exchange program. I nicknamed my kidney "April"
Married 18 yrs,  Mom to 3 kids to twin daughters (One that has PKD)  and a high-functioning Autistic son
aisling
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2011, 12:03:31 PM »

Hi Shaymon,

This sounds quite familiar - I have had the same problem for years now, even when my GFR was still quite good. Here's what I noticed/what helped me:

- how to stop the cramps: know how to stretch for cramps in different places. It can be a bit of a trial and error situation (I nearly fainted a few times from leg cramps, and when I got cramps in my throat area it would feel like I'd be choking, but when you know how to stretch the muscles that cramp, they usually go away, at least for a while).

- what causes them? I'm not quite sure. My nephrologist once mentioned it might be due to my diuretics and he put me on a lower dose, but that didn't really work so, in my case, that's not it.

- how long afterwards do they cause pain? Well, it all depends on how bad the cramp is. After a bad cramp, I usually feel it the next day. Once, I had a particularly bad episode because I slept really deep; I didn't wake up but screamed in my sleep so badly, the whole house woke up, and it took my mum half an hour to get me awake and tell her what the problem was (so my legs had been cramping for half an hour), and this particular time I couldn't walk for three days.

- how to prevent them: I find that if I do some moderate exercise during the day, so for example a few gentle stretches or a short walk, in the long run I don't get as many cramps. Keeping your legs warm might help as well.

Hope this helps!
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Shaymon
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2011, 01:03:27 PM »


Hello Shaymon here again

Cordelia  - yes i am CKD stage 5, and thanks for the adice. I'm gonna see the neph again tuesday (scheduled appt) so I'll mention it again as thay are becoming more frequent.

aisling  - I understand where you are coming from coz at times after I hobble around like Yoda from Starwars for a few days. The calf muscles and feet feel like i've walked 20+ miles  and need several days to recover.

Thanks for the words guys

Shaymon
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Cordelia
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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2011, 02:27:51 PM »

Shaymon, I will be thinking of you. :grouphug; Let us know how it goes. :grouphug;

There was absolutely nothing that would relieve my cramps. I tried everything, getting up and walking around didn't even help. ::)

May I ask you something? For you, does your foot move without you controlling it? I had that happen to me, it was like a severe spasming in the cramp that would do this to me. It was the weirdest thing to watch your toes curl and your foot move without controlling it myself.  ::)

Definitely beginning dialsyis got rid of the horrible cramps for me. I wish you the best of luck :grouphug;

I know someone (not a dialysis patient) who gets bad leg cramps at night and she told me that if she drinks a lot of coffee, that can sometimes lead to severe leg cramps in the middle of the night. If you're a big coffee drinker perhaps decrease the amount of coffee or any kind of caffeine you drink before bedtime may help.

Are you really itchy yet? Stage 5 renal failure I became soooo itchy and sleep was very, very difficult! ::) By the time I'd get to sleep if I was lucky, by about 4/5 am in the morning, I was jolted and harshly awakened with the violent leg cramps. I remember cursing to myself that having my legs chopped off would honestly feel better than the violent leg cramps! ::)
« Last Edit: June 04, 2011, 02:53:06 PM by Cordelia » Logged

Diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease at age 19.
Renal Failure at age 38 (2010) came about 2 hrs close to dying. Central line put in an emergency.
Began dialysis on Aug 15, 2010.
Creatine @ time of dialysis: 27. I almost died.
History of High Blood Pressure
I have Neuropathy and Plantar Fasciitis in My Feet
AV Fistula created in Nov. 2011, still buzzing well!
Transplanted in April, 2013. My husband and I participated in the Living Donor paired exchange program. I nicknamed my kidney "April"
Married 18 yrs,  Mom to 3 kids to twin daughters (One that has PKD)  and a high-functioning Autistic son
galvo
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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2011, 11:24:09 PM »

Like Cordelia, my leg cramps, which were horrible, have ceased since dialysis began.
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Galvo
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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2011, 03:35:18 AM »

Like Zach said, drink Tonic Water.  It contains Quinine which is a muscle relaxer.
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kristina
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« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2011, 05:06:09 AM »


Hello, Shaymon,

I also suffered regularly with leg-cramps at night,
particularly the calf-muscle and it woke me up in excruciating pain.

I always thought it had something to do with the cold weather,
or something to do with temperature etc.

But then I found on the Internet a detailed description by a doctor,
of why this occurs and the way it was described
fitted my particular problem.

When I went to bed I often went to sleep on my back
with my knees raised upwards.
This was a habit formed through many years of reading a book,
resting on my knees in bed, before I went to sleep.
I went to sleep like this frequently.

Evidently, this stresses the muscles wrongly
and often leads to cramps later in the night.

I then disciplined myself and stopped my old habit
of going to sleep with my knees raised,
and instead stretch my legs out to lie flat.

This works for me, and I havenít had any cramps since.

Good luck from Kristina.
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2011, 11:20:49 PM »

I'm with Zach, Tonic water helps, and so does dialysis.
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Deanne
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« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2011, 08:21:24 AM »

Another vote for tonic water. My neph suggested it to me and it works. The cramps seem to go in phases for me. I'll get them regularly for a few nights. I'll start drinking tonic water and they'll immediately stop. Then I can have several cramp-free months without resorting to tonic water until the next round starts again. Mine seem to mostly hit my left leg. For a while it was my calf, now it's my anke. For a while I was getting hit with them during waking hours, too and once in my foot while I was driving. That was kind of scary.
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Deanne

1972: Diagnosed with "chronic kidney disease" (no specific diagnosis)
1994: Diagnosed with FSGS
September 2011: On transplant list with 15 - 20% function
September 2013: ~7% function. Started PD dialysis
February 11, 2014: Transplant from deceased donor. Creatinine 0.57 on 2/13/2014
paris
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« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2011, 11:51:33 AM »

I agree, tonic water.  It is dehydration that causes mine.  Funny that I read this today because last night I had calf cramps for the first time since transplant (9 months).  I realized, because it was an extremely busy day, I had not had enough fluids during the day.   I had them like crazy when pre-dialysis and everyone here helped me by suggesting tonic water.    Hope it helps you.
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Shaymon
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« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2011, 12:11:10 PM »


Hi Guys Shaymon here again.

Thanks for all the replies and it looks like that TONIC WATER gets the vote so I'm gonna go and get some and drink it last thing at night to see if it helps. For those of you that replied and get the cramps as I do you have my sympathy. I had them again this weekend and it has taken 3 days to be able to walk with a small degree of comfort although the muscles are still sore to the touch. I got an appointment with the Neph tomorrow so I'll make sure to mention it to them and see what they have to say. I'll report back so that you guys get the lowdown.

Cordelia - Yeah my foot really does some strange stuff...... big toe in Africa and rest of the foot moves to Asia.....kinda stuff you see in a horror movie real strange and so weird (and painfull too.)

I haven't got the itches as yet and really don't want them my sleep is disturbed enough at the moment with cramping legs, contorting toes, snoring wife and purring cats oh and at times wiredass dreams too, apart from that every 2 weeks or so I get a good night sleep.

Anyway enough of my jibber-jabber. Thanks again and will report back soon.

Yours Shaymon
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Cordelia
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« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2011, 12:38:02 PM »

I hope it helps, Shaymon :grouphug;

I hear you on the toes/foot going their own ways, I hear ya!  ;D

I'm really glad to hear you're not suffering with the itches yet, that's good! Oh, I totally hear you on the snoring of your spouse! When my husband snored when I was in stage 5, it got on my nerves so bad I had to go to another room to try and sleep, not that really helped, either! LOL!

take care and good luck with your appoiment too :grouphug; :waving;
« Last Edit: November 02, 2011, 06:49:23 PM by Cordelia » Logged

Diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease at age 19.
Renal Failure at age 38 (2010) came about 2 hrs close to dying. Central line put in an emergency.
Began dialysis on Aug 15, 2010.
Creatine @ time of dialysis: 27. I almost died.
History of High Blood Pressure
I have Neuropathy and Plantar Fasciitis in My Feet
AV Fistula created in Nov. 2011, still buzzing well!
Transplanted in April, 2013. My husband and I participated in the Living Donor paired exchange program. I nicknamed my kidney "April"
Married 18 yrs,  Mom to 3 kids to twin daughters (One that has PKD)  and a high-functioning Autistic son
Shaymon
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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2011, 12:05:20 PM »


Shaymon here,

Ok this will be the last post on this topic but please see next one called 'Quinnine Sulphate'

Saw the Neph today and mentioned about the leg cramps, she prescribed some tablets of quinnine sulphate that should solve the problem, or so she says. We'll see.

Any way here a big thanks to those who said 'Tonic Water' and looks like you guys got it right as tonic water contains .......yep you guessed it......QUINNINE.

I'm not one to scaremonger but please read the next post 'Quinnine Sulphate'

Again thanks for the good advice,

Yours

Shaymon
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sullidog
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« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2011, 05:51:39 PM »

Yep typical predialysis problem.
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May 13, 2009, went to urgent care with shortness of breath
May 19, 2009, went to doctor for severe nausea
May 20, 2009, admited to hospital for kidney failure
May 20, 2009, started dialysis with a groin cath
May 25, 2009, permacath was placed
august 24, 2009, was suppose to have access placement but instead was admited to hospital for low potassium
august 25, 2009, access placement
January 16, 2010 thrombectomy was done on access
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« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2011, 12:04:43 PM »

I got a prescription of Klonopin for restless leg. I use to get leg cramps a lot and after i started the Klonopin my leg cramps almost went away. I still get a few here and there but not like before when i was getting cramps 3-4 times a week. Im border line stage 4/5 right now. im listed and all set up for transplant whenever my donor is ready. 
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chris73
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« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2011, 06:44:08 PM »


Hello,Im almost 4yr post tx i get severe leg/ankle in the evenings/nights..I found  that  i put vinegar directly on the affected area they seem to ease off after i "rub"it in for a min or two.I feel for anyone that gets these very painful cramps when nothing seems to help. hope this helps....Chris
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11/10/07 esrd
12/07/07 permcath placed
dialysis started 2 days later
transplant 4/15/08  from close friend and coworker  of 12 yrs. Thanks Jeff!!
ToddB0130
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« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2011, 07:02:26 PM »

I've gotten the leg cramps (and some weird finger cramping),  not that frequently and it's never (yet) been so severe that it's lasted beyond the time it took for them to end while I was in bed.  Lucky so far .....  I'll definitely incorporate some tonic water into my fluids (who knew).  Still pre-D.
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Jean
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« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2011, 12:24:43 AM »

The tonic water works for me too. The leg cramps are so painful, I usually wake myself up crying. But for real fun, try having a pinched nerve in your left leg and muscle cramps in the right leg, while you are still P ing and they both conspire to wake you up at 5 A.M. Amazing how fast I can get out of bed when that happens!!! Then of course, you can have the toe cramps too, where the toes are curling up, the pinched nerve is pinching and the right leg cramp is cramping all at the same time. Talk about miserable. I so hope this never happens to you!!!We Kidney people know how to have fun tho, dont we???
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KidneySinger
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« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2011, 10:05:25 AM »

I was getting terrible cramps in every leg muscle.  It would start in the arch of my foot and move to my front and back muscles in my leg...it was like torture and when it happened in one leg - it happened in both.  I got to the point of dreading going to sleep at night because I knew it was going to be war.
I read about taking vitamin E and I tried it.
It worked for me but I read it only works for about 50% of the people....definitely worth a try.
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3rd generation of Alports Syndrome: 1st generation: 4 uncles died in 20's - next generation: 2 uncles transplanted at 40, 1 died from cancer as result of rejection medication, other still alive at 65 with 20+ year transplant from sister (a carrier of Alports) but mulitple cancer surgeries through the years...looks like he is 85 years old.
1961: Blood and Protien in urine since birth
Doctors telling me kidneys would fail - every year for 50 years now! No hearing loss, just ringing
(Really think ace inhibitors and beta blockers since high school helped my surprising longevity - if you are NOT on an ace inhibitor, please ask your doctor why)
2012: GFR: 18 at present - on transplant list but they are going to have to convice me after seeing my uncles.
Preparing for dialysis
Younger brother on dialysis now for 2 years
Fistula Surgery at Mayo Clinic: failed
Going in for 2nd attempt at a fistula with different doctor - different vein
9/7/12 2nd attempt at fistula - WORKING! Mayo ruined 2 veins and St Vincents got one working!
Need additional surgery when fistual matures to bring closer to the skin.
GFR 17 - so plenty of time
WOW...just when I thought I had plenty of time - my GFR dropped to 13 in a month - guess I better get that fistula moved forward.
Moved it forward and have a thriving...thrilling fistual...BUT
Just when I did all that, I decided to go the PD route...so glad I did.
Now do PD every night and all seems to be going very well...for about a year.
Now on hemo dialysis at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville
Every Mon Wed and Friday for 4 hours at 400 pump speed.
Its really not that bad.....
billybags
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« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2011, 12:41:08 PM »

Jean that sounds awful and I know it is because my husband also suffers with it, not so much now, for what ever reason. I know at one time his restless leg syndrome would go into over drive and I would end up being kicked. I would love to know how  your legs know it is bed  time and start to twitch, they have a mind of their own.They don't  blo**y do it in the day time.
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Jean
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« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2011, 01:11:44 AM »

Billy bags, I have no idea why I never have thought of that. Why cramps dont come in the daytime and only appear at night. The quinine helps a lot, but some days not at all. If I am on my feet too long I will get toe cramps in the daytime tho. Hmmm.
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One day at a time, thats all I can do.
Cordelia
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« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2011, 03:51:59 PM »

Mine were always in the night too.
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Diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease at age 19.
Renal Failure at age 38 (2010) came about 2 hrs close to dying. Central line put in an emergency.
Began dialysis on Aug 15, 2010.
Creatine @ time of dialysis: 27. I almost died.
History of High Blood Pressure
I have Neuropathy and Plantar Fasciitis in My Feet
AV Fistula created in Nov. 2011, still buzzing well!
Transplanted in April, 2013. My husband and I participated in the Living Donor paired exchange program. I nicknamed my kidney "April"
Married 18 yrs,  Mom to 3 kids to twin daughters (One that has PKD)  and a high-functioning Autistic son
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