Calf cramps: How to Get Rid of Them

Calf cramps: How to Get Rid of Them

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Why do some people have calf cramps despite taking magnesium? You can learn about the causes of the symptoms as well as what can be done to alleviate them.

What causes calf cramps despite taking magnesium?

In fact, a magnesium deficit is a common cause of calf cramps at night. This is because magnesium is critical for the complex interplay of muscles, ensuring that they may relax after being tense. When the body lacks magnesium, the calcium it produces causes the muscles to spasm involuntarily, resulting in a cramp.

If you get enough magnesium but still get calf cramps, it could be due to a variety of factors; for example, calf cramps despite magnesium could be an indication of a variety of disorders.

Other mineral deficiency as a contributing factor

Magnesium is crucial for more than just muscle support. Electrolytes include minerals like sodium, potassium, and calcium, which the body needs. Muscle function is disrupted when we are deficient in them, which can manifest itself in the form of muscle cramps, among other things.

Anyone who knows they are getting enough magnesium (women over 25 should get 300 milligrams per day, for example) should have a doctor do a test to see if another mineral shortage is causing the calf cramps. If there is a specific deficiency, a more balanced diet will frequently correct it.

Calf cramps caused by medication

If calf cramps persist despite adequate magnesium intake, it's recommended to read the package inserts for several drugs. Some drugs cause muscle cramps; information on this can be found in the side effects section. Calf cramps can be caused by a variety of drugs, including:

  • Antihypertensives are drugs that lower blood pressure (so-called ACE inhibitors)
  • Diuretics are a type of diuretic that helps (diuretic drugs)
  • Laxatives

If symptoms can be linked to a specific drug, patients should consult their doctor to see if there are any other options.

When diseases are to blame for calf cramps despite magnesium

Various disorders should be ruled out as possible causes of the symptoms that are not caused by a magnesium shortage. Muscle-related diseases, for example, may cause cramping. The following illnesses could be the cause:


  • Signals from some nerves are required for muscular control in neurological illnesses. Calf cramps can be exacerbated by a neurological condition such as nerve paralysis or a ruptured disc.
  • Muscle disorders ("myopathies"): Muscle weakness is a common symptom of many muscle diseases, which can often be linked back to genetic factors. Despite adequate magnesium, nighttime calf cramps are common as a result.
  • Diabetes: Diabetic patients frequently have low magnesium levels. This is due to two factors: They excrete more magnesium through their urine, and they frequently have to avoid carbohydrate-rich diets that are high in magnesium. Diabetic patients should, as a result,
  • Parathyroid hypofunction is a condition in which the parathyroid gland produces a hormone that affects the body's calcium levels. When the parathyroid gland is underactive, the calcium level lowers, causing pains that might linger for several hours.
  • Kidney disease is a condition in which the kidneys are partially responsible for the body's fluid control. Kidney disease can result in an increase in the excretion of essential minerals through the urine, resulting in a persistent shortfall.
  • Circulatory diseases: Muscles that are unable to operate effectively can be caused by circulatory abnormalities. Muscles contract more quickly and cramp due to a lack of blood circulation.

Overworked muscles cause calf cramps.

Calf cramps affect athletes more frequently than other people. This is due to several factors. Competitive athletes, in particular, have a tendency to give themselves and their muscles insufficient rest between workouts. As a result, the muscles are constantly tense and prone to cramping. Those who exercise frequently excrete more magnesium due to increased sweating and may develop a magnesium deficit.

Calf cramps due to underloaded muscles

The opposite of the previous point is also possible: those who do not move at all or too little in everyday life not only break down muscles but also have to reckon with the fact that the muscles react with cramps at every sudden effort.

Muscle cramps during pregnancy

Pregnancy increases the risk of muscle cramps, especially in the calves. Pregnant women have a significantly increased need for minerals, including magnesium. If this need is not met, calf cramps are more likely to occur, especially at night. As pregnancy progresses, the uterus can also put pressure on various nerve pathways - this can also cause cramps.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Promotes Calf Cramps

Abusing drugs and alcohol has many harmful effects on the body. It can also cause damage to the muscles. In addition to cramps, uncontrollable muscle twitching and/or tingling or numbness can occur.

What should I do if calf cramps persist despite taking magnesium?

If cramps only happen once in a while, they aren't a cause for concern. If muscular or calf cramps occur frequently, a doctor should be consulted to determine the reason and treat it. If an underlying disease, for example, is considered, it must first be treated. Cramping can also be avoided by taking the following steps:

  • Consume a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, fish, high-fiber foods (such as whole grains), lean meat, and a few dairy items.
  • 30 minutes of cycling or swimming three times a week is generally all that is required for regular exercise.
  • Prevent mineral shortages, which can be helped by eating a balanced diet, among other things. Pregnant women, in particular, should take extra precautions to meet their heightened needs.
  • If muscular cramps are a side effect, switch to a different drug.
  • Stop abusing alcohol and other drugs.
  • To maintain muscles relaxed, do daily loosening exercises.
  • Improve circulation by alternate showers or light massages, for example.

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