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Cramping Legs

Dear Doc, Sometimes in my sleep when I am turning, I feel my leg cramping up. At these times I will just try to relax and breathe deeply, and slowly flex the muscles until I feel relief. Once the cramp happened in my toes and at the bottom of my feet, and it felt like my foot was being folded in half so my big toe would touch my little toe. What is the cause of this kind of cramping, or any kind

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Cramping Legs

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Dear Doc,

Sometimes in my sleep when I am turning, I feel my leg cramping up. At these times I will just try to relax and breathe deeply, and slowly flex the muscles until I feel relief.

Once the cramp happened in my toes and at the bottom of my feet, and it felt like my foot was being folded in half so my big toe would touch my little toe. What is the cause of this kind of cramping, or any kind of cramping in the legs and feet? – Candace Campbell Cramping in muscles usually results from dehydration.

Dehydration in addition to a loss of essential electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Electrolytes play an important role in muscle contraction and function.

I would recommend ensuring you have adequate intake of water. Women should consume 1.5 litres of water per day and men 2 litres. If, however you work an extremely active job where you will be sweating profusely, the amount required may increase and you would need to supplement with water and electrolytes. When we sweat we lose both electrolytes and water.

These can be replaced by drinking coconut water, bananas and fruit. Some individuals may opt to use supplements or electrolyte replacements in certain severe scenarios such as gastroenteritis, or other severe forms of dehydration such as after a marathon.

It is also beneficial to massage the muscle and apply heat to help relieve the cramp.

Dear Candace,

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