For muscle and calf cramps, the supply of high-dosage magnesium has proven to be beneficial. The mineral regulates the electrolyte balance and in this way contributes to vital muscle function.
Calf cramps despite taking magnesium
A persistent magnesium deficiency is very often a primary cause for the occurrence of calf cramps. In particular, a lack of magnesium combined with muscle strain during or after physical exertion, for instance, can lead to a disruption in the body’s mineral balance that results in frequent and sudden (lasting) muscle contractions.
In addition to a lack of magnesium, there can also be various other causes of calf cramps. In rare cases, muscle cramps can be indicative of a serious illness. Triggers for muscle cramps can include an electrolyte imbalance, the use of certain medications, and a wide range of other illnesses, such as muscular or neurological diseases (related to the nervous system), among other things.
Individuals who are certain that they meet their daily magnesium requirements yet still experience regular leg cramping should therefore consider other reasons for their cramps. A physician should be consulted in the case of long-term, severe symptoms. It is worth noting, however, that magnesium needs to be taken on a regular basis in order to prevent muscle cramps due to a magnesium deficiency. In the event of a deficiency, it can take several weeks to replenish magnesium stores.
Imbalance in electrolyte levels
In addition to magnesium, the body also needs other electrolytes, including calcium, sodium and potassium. These must always be present in the living organism in a specific ratio to one another. If the electrolyte balance is out of order, this can lead to impaired muscle function and muscle cramps. Maintaining a well-balanced electrolyte level, therefore, means not only having an adequate supply of magnesium, it also takes the appropriate amount of calcium, potassium and sodium, among others. Those who are regularly affected by muscle cramps need to consistently be aware of their overall electrolyte needs; one of the ways to do this is by drinking mineral water rich in these minerals.
Muscle cramps in the calves and other areas can also be a direct symptom of muscular diseases. Muscle diseases that trigger immediate, lasting and pathological muscle tightness can be the result of various genetic defects.
Because our muscles are controlled by nerve signals, neurological illnesses can also be the source of muscle cramps. Examples of these underlying diseases include nerve paralysis, slipped discs in the spine and bone marrow-related illnesses.
Use of medication
The use of various medications can also cause calf cramps. Among others, diuretics, laxatives and ACE inhibitors (for high blood pressure) can trigger muscle cramps. The use of birth control pills can also cause muscle cramping occasionally. You can find more information about these side effects on the package insert of the medication.
There are many other potential causes of muscle cramps besides a magnesium deficiency. If severe muscle cramps are experienced on a regular basis, the cause should be determined by a physician.