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Leg Cramps and Diabetes

Posted on September 6, 2015 | No Comments on Leg Cramps and Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of health illnesses worldwide. Among the population of diabetes, 10% of the diagnosed patients have Type 1 Diabetes and 90% have Type 2 Diabetes. The uncontrolled level of glucose can lead to serious complications, and one of which is leg cramps. Leg cramps and diabetes are associated because of hyperglycemia. When there is an abnormal glucose level in the blood, the body reacts causing excessive urination leading to dehydration. When a person has a polyuria, vitamins and minerals such as potassium depleted, which also causes leg cramps. In addition, leg cramps also occur to diabetes person when there is a nerve damaged on the extremities, and this is referred as diabetic neuropathy. When both upper and lower extremities are affected (arms and legs), this is diagnosed as diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The complication gets worst when the affected nerves are too damaged. It is either the person feels pain in the legs though there is no stimulation, or the nerves are too damaged that the person can no longer feel any pain.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Numbness or tingling sensation in the lower legs or feet
  • Loss of sense of touch and coordination
  • Leg cramps that usually occur at night
  • Foot problems such as deformities, ulcers, bone and joint pain, and infections

Managing Leg Cramps and Diabetes

Leg cramps can also be severe, therefore, pain management is necessary. The person can take pain relievers as prescribed such as opioids, anti-depressants (Cymbalta) and anti-convulsants (Lyrica). Home remedies are also highly encouraged to a patient who has diabetes since long term medication remedy may cause other complications. A diabetic patient is also required to have a moderate physical activity such as walking to increase blood flow circulation. Soaking the feet in a warm water and use of bed cradle especially at night can also help in relieving discomfort.

As a general rule, the most important management for a diabetic person is to always have his blood sugar level monitored along with his diet to prevent further complications.

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