Follow
Share

Mom (90) has been having leg cramps for past 5 days. Saw cardiologist, had blood work, had ultrasound to rule out blood clots...everything checked out ok. Still having leg cramps. PCP on vacation and substituting doc suggests Tonic water to help with leg cramps. After first glass, mom became agitated and complained about roaring sounds and what is wrong. "I am going crazy"...I assured her she was not crazy (I have ringing in my ears due to neurological damage and have had for 9+ years) and turned on TV and Fan for background noise. Got out the computer and typed in Side effects of Quinine in Tonic water and --- some people have adverse effects and can develop irregular heart beats, head aches and ringing in the ears... Mom tends to have spells of irregular heart beats anyway...now I have to worry about this until we flush this out...Great I have problems sleeping on a good night and now have more to worry about because of a 50 cent bottle of tonic water!

Have you found similar reactions? What other things have you tried for leg cramps...perhaps with less side effects? Experience with other things that doctors have suggested that sound innocent but caused problems with your senior?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Just tried the ICY HOT spray --- On sale at rite aid this week --- and that works like a charm! Also on her arthritic knee...Bonus!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Don't bother. If it gives them some comfort, leave them alone. Stop them if you know of a better way. I use that Leg Cramp med. It is really fast and also stopped pain in the top of my foot.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

It sure could be! Anyway to get them stop I'll try!! :))
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Some times it is just a psychological effect. I can't imagine how a bar of soap at the foot of the bed can prevent leg cramps. Maybe if someone likes to rub her feet against the soap, it may be the movement that stops the cramps. I guess, if that's the case, anything would do.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thanks vja1951. And yes, my foot dr. told me it was old wives tale but that she had had too many people tell her it works so she passes it along.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thanks folks for all of your suggestions! We have a bunch of new things to try!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Blood tests not necessarily effective in determining magnesium and other trace mineral levels as they identify only what is in blood at time taken. Hair analysis offered by many holistic practitioners, MD's is much more accurate.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I had debilitating leg craps when I was a child (mostly at night when I tried to sleep) and was told it was due to poorly fitting shoes and flat feet. I was given expensive shoe inserts that did nothing, even made things worse. As I got older I found exercise helped a lot, and I think growing helped (getting taller, etc.).

But after I broke my leg (in my late 40s) the leg I broke got cramps on a regular basis – cramps so bad that I would uncontrollably scream out in pain and could not walk. The only things that helped were acupressure and TENS. You can do both w/o going to a doctor. I use the Tony Little TENS machine (about $99 at HSN – I have NO association with HSN or Tony Little) and I do my own acupressure. I was lucky because I happened on the acupressure point by accident and I knew about TENS therapy from previous injuries (for which I spent thousands on expensive TENS physical therapy).

Where the cramps are coming from (at what point in the leg or foot they start) is important to know, in order to know what acupressure point to press on or where to place the TENS pads. But I highly recommend both – each has virtually no side effects if done properly. You can consult a physical therapist for a while, just long enough to find out the pressure points and the place to put the TENS pads (and what strength to use), and after that you can do it at home with little to no cost (after the initial purchase of the TENS machine).

aurawave-perfect-tens-pain-relief-by-tony-little/7600286

Other causes of leg cramps can be something as simple as dehydration – and many people are dehydrated when they don’t realize it. So please make sure you mother gets enough liquids each day – liquids w/o added salt or sugar. Too little potassium, calcium or magnesium in your diet can contribute to leg cramps so make sure she’s getting enough of all of these – but it’s best if she gets it through her diet (food) instead of pills. And be VERY careful about taking calcium supplements as some research shows it can cause more harm than good.

PS) I have issues with ringing in the ears and sensitivity to sound (sounds others cannot hear) for many years. I found taking 5,000 IU of vitamin D every day helps a great deal. Please ask your doctor if this is something you can try for your mother. I’m not saying asking him if he thinks it will help (because most doctors will say vitamins can’t help, that’s what they are taught), I’m suggesting you ask him if he thinks it will harm her. If it wont’ harm her, I recommend trying it. It can make her calmer and in a better mood too.

About leg cramps – Mayo Clinic:

mayoclinic/diseases-conditions/muscle-cramp/basics/causes/con-20014594

I wish you and your mother well. I hope this information helps.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Leg cramps-not my idea of a fun time. It's important to get enough fluids in each day, if toxins aren't expelled from the body then they build up and can cause some cramping. Zinc and magnesium are also important in muscle function but I'd speak with her regular doc before adding a supplement just to make sure it doesn't interfere with any of her medications. Sometimes, raising the leg and pointing the toes straight out can help, also standing on it or putting that foot on a stair or block and pushing down on the heel can ease the cramping. Everyone is different. Hope you find something that helps.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Magnesium. Leggings. More water.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

the mustard works for me---the problem is that I forget about it since my husband's leg cramps don't happen very often nowadays
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I scoffed at the bar of soap at the end of the bed, but it works. No real leg cramps but restless leg syndrome was waking me up just as I was falling into a deep sleep. Hydration and mineral levels were ok. Figured I already had the soap (cheap generic bar of soap) & tried it. Bingo! Been there for several years now with no further 'twitching legs'.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Magnesium & potassium should definitely help, and are also effective for heart irregularities. Most calcium pills don't supply enough magnesium, so either add a magnesium supplement (usually with other supportive trace minerals) or look for a calcium supplement with a higher magnesium to calcium ratio.

P.S. I don't drink tonic water but it's good to know about the side effects of quinine!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Hylands Leg Cramps (available at WalMart and other places) works for my husband. It also comes in a PM form.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

To pargirl.

When I have leg cramps, I use a little pill called Leg Cramp. I wonder where they came up with that name? ha. It is fast and works for me. It is a lot cheaper that tonic water. Also if I get a pain in my foot at night, it works for that too. That soap thing sounds like an Old Wives tale.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Having been affected by 'restless leg syndrome' off and on for many years I found this info very helpful. And yes, the banana trick (1/2 for me enough) worked every time most likely because of high magnesium, potassium content. Now that I take a regular supplement and eat at least one banana daily has not been a problem.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My doctor told me leg cramps are due to dehydration and drinking more water does help me.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

So you eat the mustard...interesting. Well we'll give a few of these a try. They did blood work and her potassium, magnesium and calcium levels are all good...and they checked for blood clots...so really not sure what the cause is.

I have had ringing in the ears for 9 years...If you can find something that stops it for you...do it. There are days it drives me crazy...especially when both ears are ringing at different frequency!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I meant I still had the bars of soap.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I have had foot cramps and some calf cramps before also. Foot dr. told me not to laugh but to put any bars of soap at the end of the bed under the fitted sheets. I thought hey, I will try anything to not have those cramps so I did. I might still get a little cramp now and then but nothing like I was. I still have them and it's been a couple of years. My husband uses the mustard. He swears by it. Just a teaspoon. It's got turmeric in it and that's what does it. I've tried it and I say it tastes so bad that you forget about the cramping :)) I also drink tonic and have for years (not for medicinal purposes though) and my ears just started ringing....loudly! I wonder if that's what made them ring? I have drank/drunk it for years though and this just happened like a month ago. Hmmm.....
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

The best solution for leg cramps I have found with numerous friends and family is magnesium. Leg cramps are a key marker of magnesium deficiency.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I was told the waterpolo team have mustard w them so when cramps happen they give themselves a squirt of mustard. They say it works.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

As lucklu mentioned a bar of soap. It worked for my mom who placed a bar under her fitted sheet down near her legs. I don't know that she used Dove though.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Bananas for leg cramps work beautifully!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My father used to eat a banana every day to keep his potassium levels up. His doctor had recommended it to prevent his nighttime leg cramps, and it worked for him.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I had leg cramps especially at night when my legs get cold. When I wear pj bottoms and if it is winter wear long fuzzy socks that solves the problem. I also try to either have fresh oj or a banana or take a multi mineral table with potassium.
My brother and I take turns taking care of my 83 year old dad. He was complaining of leg cramps in the morning as soon as he would start to stretch before getting out of bed in the morning and sometimes even in the middle of the night. He was wearing just underwear to bed. I bought him pj bottom; he tried them. Since wearing pj bottoms he has not had a problem.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Leg cramps are discussed thoroughly on the People's Pharmacy website (Terry and Joe Graedon), as well as in their syndicated column and radio program. They give several home remedies along with the soap and tonic water, including yellow mustard, which works for me.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My doctor told me to put a bar of Dove soap in my bedding.The bar doesnt have to touch your legs .There is a chemical in it thats supposed to help.He also told me to rub my legs with icy hot before I got in bed.Good Luck with this.luckylu
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter