2

votes

Sudden intense muscle cramps- mostly in arch of foot but also in legs. I eat mineral rich stuff- could this be because of sugar?

Commented on January 12, 2018
Created October 11, 2011 at 7:49 AM

I am really confused by this. I started getting cramps awhile back so I added seaweed, bone broth, cheese (I know I know) and calm magnesium tea almost every night. Everything was fine until tonight. I was bad and ate some coconut ice cream. Yes it had sugar in it, I stayed under 50g for the day but I still know it was bad. My question is could that be the cause of my sudden and intense cramping? I was laying in bed and my feet just started twitching and cramping and as I tried to stretch those out my legs started up too. What in the world? This was AFTER I had 2 bowls full of an extremely nutrient dense soup I made. Bone broth, the gelatin/half the fat from a roasted chicken, green stuff, carrot tops (high in potassium) etc.I ate a piece of nori and drank some magnesium tea. NO relief. I would think that today- when I managed to actually get a good dose of minerals- I would NOT be suffering like this? I really want to go to bed ugh. Any ideas?

update

You know.. I wonder..

  • I forgot to add some potentially pertinent info. I had been suffering from .. er.. the runs almost all day. More than likely from trying to eat paleo while out. I am now thoroughly convinced that they put crap in EVERYTHING. Even a side of eggs! Or at pita pit their fork style meals. Well whatever caused it I wonder if having the "runs" while my mineral balance is already precarious from having the runs all day may have made things get critical fast. Then dosing up on soup and magnesium (which can be laxative).. Well lets just say I just woke up and felt like everything was gonna explode.. 1 and 2.

*hangs head.

Medium avatar

on January 12, 2018
at 05:17 AM

I also actually think it's sugar. Or, to be more precise...carbs. I found this thread (old though it may be...) tonight searching on this very topic because I'm experiencing the same thing as we speak. And this is a recurring experience for me. I've been eating keto/lchf for at least a month now. Well, today I decided to try an eating plan (I'm forever trying to lose these darn 40 pounds!) and ate pretty much all hclf today...making sure, in accordance with this body building & weight loss plan, to include protein with each meal...except for dinner. And for dinner I had a large sweet potato (not yam) topped with this peanut ginger coleslaw I make followed by a whey protein chocolate shake sweetened only with one frozen banana and a packet of stevia. I have nad no sweet and starchy foods like this for a long time now...and last time I did...I got the foot and leg cramps. Well, ya, so predictable...they happened again when I ate this meal tonight. And...I'm making sure to include plenty of pink Himalayan salt in my diet...So, anyhow. It's back to lchf/keto for me. I don't have this problem when I stick to that way of eating. The glycogen rush described by someone else in comments is a thought provoking concept and something I hadn't considered before. I know about the sodium/magnesium/potassium issues with keto from my prior research.

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on October 12, 2011
at 11:26 AM

How are your stress levels? Sometimes chronic stress can cause these symptoms as well.

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on October 12, 2011
at 11:25 AM

How are you stress levels. Sometimes chronic stress can cause these symptoms as well.

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on October 12, 2011
at 11:24 AM

The RDA for calcium I feel is not enough, remember that some cultures are eating north of 2000mg a day and sometimes higher than 5000mg. Unless you are really killing the raw cheese I think it would be hard to eat that much without eating some type of cooked greens or egg shell. For me vinegar gives me a headache, I just dump the eggshell powder in whatever I'm drinking.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on October 11, 2011
at 11:00 PM

What Greyman said -- when I'm VLC and ignore my salt intake, I get major-league, middle-of-the-night, jump-outta-bed-howling leg and foot cramps. Salt straightens me out; I add plenty extra to my bone broth. (Mmm,bone broth...)

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on October 11, 2011
at 01:22 PM

I use sea salt liberally on my food, but don't need to add any when I eat out. I buy it in one pound bags at Asian markets for like $2, and it lasts me forever.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on October 11, 2011
at 01:21 PM

Nah, you need that sodium every day, not just once or twice a week. Chronically low levels of sodium can do just as much damage to your internal organs as getting too much!

3432683fc74c2d2a40efe1e8f16ac1f6

(1130)

on October 11, 2011
at 12:51 PM

ancestral_stars: Good luck! If you want to discuss further, you can drop me an email.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on October 11, 2011
at 11:56 AM

I will have to make a point to do that. Though on days when I eat out (pita pit-fork style etc) I can taste the salt so strongly I figured I was still getting enough.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on October 11, 2011
at 11:55 AM

I have been toying with the idea... a little more carbs and this fog seems to lift from my brain. I am fat adapted and do not crave carbs anymore.. so maybe it means I really do "need" more.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on October 11, 2011
at 11:55 AM

I will have to pick that up. Yes I am low carb - <50g a day because I have weight to lose and am likely metabolically.Thank you=)

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on October 11, 2011
at 11:54 AM

Hmm- no I would say that I consume a fair amount of raw cheese. But it may be worth looking into though as I know that diary may have a form of calcium that your body cannot use. I have made eggshell vinegar before maybe its time to do it again. Though Ironically haha- the vinegar used to give me muscle cramps (without enough mag calcium excites the nerves too much). I have been toying with the idea of increasing carbs slightly. As of right now usually I probably get 20 and occasionally on a higher carb day up to 50. When I eat a few berries or something I feel like a mental fog lifts.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on October 11, 2011
at 11:51 AM

While I am paleo I sometimes cheat on the paleo aspect (while never on the low carb one). Be it from being stuck out without anything to eat (student with a weird schedule) or whatever. So I still eat some conventional foodstuffs (like at pita pit etc- fork style no pita). I figure if I can taste the salt so strongly that I am getting enough. Plus the soup I made had a mixture of salt from seaweed, straight seasalt, and a bit of carrot tops (potassium rich). So I dont think salt is the problem at the moment.

B5cc60ce970d2efed2de1f01c3b33e86

(410)

on October 11, 2011
at 11:20 AM

Maybe water intake?

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on October 11, 2011
at 10:39 AM

Salt ?

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17 Answers

5
7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on October 11, 2011
at 02:34 PM

You're probably a little dehydrated from the diarrhea, which is causing the cramps. It's pretty common. I doubt it's the sugar. Though it may be due to the fact that you don't seem to be eating much salt. When you have diarrhea it's important to replace not just lost fluids but electrolytes, including sodium.

5
3432683fc74c2d2a40efe1e8f16ac1f6

(1130)

on October 11, 2011
at 11:15 AM

Are you on low-carb? If so, you have to eat enough sodium, in other words, salt. I recommend to read "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living", where the authors recommend 5g of sodium per day. The reason is, that on LC your kidneys will not store that much sodium, so you have to increase sodium intake in your food.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on October 11, 2011
at 11:55 AM

I will have to pick that up. Yes I am low carb - <50g a day because I have weight to lose and am likely metabolically.Thank you=)

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on October 11, 2011
at 11:00 PM

What Greyman said -- when I'm VLC and ignore my salt intake, I get major-league, middle-of-the-night, jump-outta-bed-howling leg and foot cramps. Salt straightens me out; I add plenty extra to my bone broth. (Mmm,bone broth...)

3432683fc74c2d2a40efe1e8f16ac1f6

(1130)

on October 11, 2011
at 12:51 PM

ancestral_stars: Good luck! If you want to discuss further, you can drop me an email.

4
3351f6c8ec1ea64435e419f380ca6468

(1255)

on October 11, 2011
at 02:24 PM

Take a look at this - it discusses multiple culprits for cramping - you may just be dehydrated.

3
1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on October 11, 2011
at 11:43 AM

One thing about eating Paleo/Primal that people don't take into consideration, is their drastic reduction in sodium intake. It's easy to overdo sodium when eating SAD, but you need to add some salt to the food you're cooking meals at home otherwise you won't get enough.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on October 11, 2011
at 01:21 PM

Nah, you need that sodium every day, not just once or twice a week. Chronically low levels of sodium can do just as much damage to your internal organs as getting too much!

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on October 11, 2011
at 01:22 PM

I use sea salt liberally on my food, but don't need to add any when I eat out. I buy it in one pound bags at Asian markets for like $2, and it lasts me forever.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on October 11, 2011
at 11:56 AM

I will have to make a point to do that. Though on days when I eat out (pita pit-fork style etc) I can taste the salt so strongly I figured I was still getting enough.

3
B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on October 11, 2011
at 09:41 AM

Could be a lot of things, but I seriously doubt it is sugar. I eat quite bit of sugar (maple syrup, molasses, Coke with real sugar, plenty of ice cream, etc.) and a diet that is high in natural CHO.

Increasing carbohydrates may help, I would suggest something like potatoes which have a lot of minerals and water soluble vitamins. A calcium deficiency might also cause this, if you do not consume a lot of dairy increasing this may help. If you do not want to increase dairy then I would suggest you try boiling some eggshell and then grinding them in a coffee grinder or using a mortar and pestle you can put this in your coffee or whatever you want to drink it with or you can throw it in the crock pot.

A folate deficiency or b12 deficiency can also be suspects with these types of symptoms. Potato will take care of most B's. And animal products will take care of b12, but I'm assuming if you're eating a whole foods diet that you're getting plenty of b12.

Then of course always make sure you are eating plenty of potassium, salt, and magnesium.

When I was low CHO I had these symptoms and just eating white potato solved the problem.

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on October 12, 2011
at 11:26 AM

How are your stress levels? Sometimes chronic stress can cause these symptoms as well.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on October 11, 2011
at 11:54 AM

Hmm- no I would say that I consume a fair amount of raw cheese. But it may be worth looking into though as I know that diary may have a form of calcium that your body cannot use. I have made eggshell vinegar before maybe its time to do it again. Though Ironically haha- the vinegar used to give me muscle cramps (without enough mag calcium excites the nerves too much). I have been toying with the idea of increasing carbs slightly. As of right now usually I probably get 20 and occasionally on a higher carb day up to 50. When I eat a few berries or something I feel like a mental fog lifts.

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on October 12, 2011
at 11:24 AM

The RDA for calcium I feel is not enough, remember that some cultures are eating north of 2000mg a day and sometimes higher than 5000mg. Unless you are really killing the raw cheese I think it would be hard to eat that much without eating some type of cooked greens or egg shell. For me vinegar gives me a headache, I just dump the eggshell powder in whatever I'm drinking.

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on October 12, 2011
at 11:25 AM

How are you stress levels. Sometimes chronic stress can cause these symptoms as well.

1
Medium avatar

on October 11, 2011
at 06:36 PM

Sounds like a potassium deficiency, which was exacerbated by the diarrhea. Something to keep in mind is that the electrolytes are competing for absorption, so you may want to separate them instead of trying to get everything in one bowl of soup. I take a magnesium supplement at a different time than the salt I eat, which is at a different time from the kiwis/papayas I eat for potassium.

1
B96486cc39cf24fdf259424f833a5d5b

(493)

on October 11, 2011
at 04:45 PM

Severe leg and foot cramps can also indicate very low magnesium levels. Might consider getting a supplement.

1
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 11, 2011
at 02:00 PM

What seems likely is that you have some sort of mineral imbalance. Supplementing heavily can lead to problems if you're not keeping correct ratios of nutrients in mind. A varied diet rarely needs supplementation.

It's not likely you're over-doing the carbohydrates at ~50 g/day.

1
0e9ddbd345ed53954d2c3eb4edc954c9

on October 11, 2011
at 09:16 AM

I very much doubt it'll be the sugar. I experienced your situation, was eating lots of mineral dense foods and then supplemented to try and figure it out. It kept getting worse and became the worst pain I had ever experienced.

The solution was to increase carbs, I think you'll find the same will work for you.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on October 11, 2011
at 11:55 AM

I have been toying with the idea... a little more carbs and this fog seems to lift from my brain. I am fat adapted and do not crave carbs anymore.. so maybe it means I really do "need" more.

0
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on July 06, 2013
at 10:45 PM

I'd lean to the salt/mineral imbalance due to the runs (you're probably a bit dehydrated too).

Re. the eggs, unless you're getting fried eggs, you don't know if they're adding anything to them. IHOP's known to add pancake batter to their scrambled eggs/omelettes to make them "fluffy" for example.

0
C2995622f8004875b13883ee15363688

on July 06, 2013
at 03:35 PM

i am diabetic and gluten intolerant. for me it can be overindulgence in wheat. not all bread is the same. i had a pork hamburger with a kaiser bun and woke up 3 times during the night dreaming of-no HAVING the arch of my foot cramping like a charlie-horse, OW! since i found out i was diabetic, and started cutting carbs, my research led me too the fact that modern wheat is a terrible mutant crop and may even be responsible for diabetes, bone disease auto-immune disease and a whole list of symptoms. it's hard to track down because what does NOT have wheat in it?? check soups, wheat/wheat starch is a thickening agent. even in condiments. soya sauce has wheat. think whole-wheat is better? HAH! there are just more different protiens included to be allergic to! i recommend getting 'wheat belly' by dr william davis, book or 'blackstone audio' version. it is NOT sugar! sugar is not all the same. as a diabetic FRUCTOSE is the worst possible, your body does not even recognize it, it must be metabolized by the liver into glucose, what your body uses. your body does not feel full, no matter how much you eat. and for the record, your body RUNS on sugar, any carbohydrate you consume is just a long polymer chain of SUGAR molecules, your digestive enzymes break them down into sugar for use or storage, and there is no such thing as a 'slowly digestible carb' becuase your enzymes are not intelligent, they just do their job, your entire digestive system is designed to get those calories quickly before they are passed through. it's a survival mechanism, no matter what YOU want to belive.

0
C2995622f8004875b13883ee15363688

on July 06, 2013
at 03:34 PM

seriously, dairy has undigestible calcium?? do you know the function of the mammary gland?? it's a magical chemistry factory that combines 3 things that are not soluable to each other into a compound that places mammals at the top of evolutionary chain( water calcium fat and sugar), living and feeding young in every climate and condition with fast growth and devolopement, where there is often no food for the young. i grew up on a diary farm. i think some of you should use this amazing internet to do some research for yourselves instead of gossip.

0
E7e57f3e3a156df4072ca85d463f8ed3

(358)

on October 04, 2012
at 01:54 AM

Other than dehydration, have you changed shoes or taken up extra running/walking or going barefoot? A half inch change in heel height can cause foot & leg muscle cramping.

0
0ea747d651c21d4028eafd3e12e302f5

on October 04, 2012
at 01:40 AM

The extra information I can add is that if I try to overcome the cramp issue by taking an extra dose of magnesium and calcium supplements then I find I will get the diarrhea. My research and a friend @wellnessninja informed me that magnesium that is not absorbed will make its way through the digestive system and have a laxative effect.

I have been suggested to try taking a Zinc Tally test to measure my bodies ability to absorb the magnesium. I have also increased my sodium uptake. So fingers crossed this fixes the cramping. Not Fun!

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 14, 2012
at 02:31 PM

Well whatever caused it I wonder if having the "runs" while my mineral balance is already precarious from having the runs all day may have made things get critical fast.

Yes. This happened to me a few weeks ago. I had a nice leg of lamb at a restaurant. It had some sort of sauce with it. I don't usually do well with sauces but I took a chance and put a little taste of the sauce on each mouthfull. It was very nice but a little while later, I had a belly ache. I had the runs for the next two or three days after that and got very bad cramping in the feet.

0
Dd316a1c8334f5f54a1310f14c99e200

on June 14, 2012
at 05:46 AM

You need to stretch your hammies. Your leg muscles are connected from the glutes all the way to your toes. If one group of muscles is tight it can lead to tightness and/or cramping in another group. Tight hamstrings are usually the culprit. Just try a sit and reach routine for a week and see if there's improvement.

0
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 11, 2011
at 08:12 PM

I actually do think it was the sugar. When I ate a VLC diet, this would happen to me if I had a lot more carbohydrate than usual.

My best guess to the mechanism is described in meredith's recent speculation about weight loss following starch intake on VLC, in which she outlines the effect of becoming hyperglycemic by eating starch while under the physiological insulin resistance of VLC, ultimately resulting in dehydration. Dehydration is a common cause of muscle cramps.

055f8e108b9f6cd2c45e6fd588237a4b

(0)

on October 29, 2014
at 12:30 AM

I think it is sugar too. I am having the same symptons. I have been eating Keto for almost a month but had this problem before. I am trying to stay in ketosis because I have always had Low blood sugar and have been an alcoholic for 50 yrs and just quit drinking (1 yr. ago) After ceasing alcohol the sugar cravings naturally came roaring back. I got so sick of binging on sugar and flour snacks (it was almost as bad as the alcohol addiction) I decided to go Keto. Point is the foot and lower leg cramps accompianied the sugar binges. and now that I am living with virtually no carbs I still get the cramps with the smallest intake of sugar. I got them today from a glass of carrot juice. Don't know how much sugar that is but it is pretty sweet.

Dehydration may be a factor. Need to up the water and (salt?)see.

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