Muscle Cramps at Night
Leg cramps, sometimes called calf cramps, are sudden involuntary contractions of muscles that cause severe pain. As you get older, leg cramps tend to become more prevalent. In the past people used quinine to prevent leg cramps. Quinine used to be available without a prescription. Then it was only available by prescription. Finally, the FDA decided that the side effects of quinine were so severe that it has been banned from US markets. After that leg cramp, sufferers were forced to turn to home remedies. Believe it or not, tonic water has quinine in it and some people swear by it. Probably Gin and Tonic makes the pain go away for them. Some people say that pickle juice, or a teaspoon of mustard does the trick.
Magnesium helps prevent leg cramps.
The bottom line is that leg cramps are caused by a deficiency of fluids and magnesium in the body. The solution is actually very simple for most people, drink plenty of water and take a daily multivitamin that has at least 2.3 milligrams of magnesium. By the way, that is 115% of the recommended daily dose. You will find 2.3 milligrams of magnesium in Centrum Silver. Centrum Silver is specifically formulated for people over 50.
Restless legs syndrome.
According to the RLS Foundation's website, Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a sensorimotor disorder characterized by a distressing urge to move the legs and sometimes also other parts of the body, usually accompanied by a marked sense of discomfort or pain in the leg or other affected body part. RLS is triggered by rest or inactivity, and its symptoms are temporarily relieved or suppressed by movement. It follows a circadian pattern, with symptoms most intense in the evening and nighttime hours. The disorder can be relatively mild or may have profoundly disruptive effects on a patient’s sleep and daily life. It may be either idiopathic (primary RLS, which often has a familial component) or secondary, occurring in conjunction with other medical conditions, particularly iron deficiency anemia, pregnancy, or end-stage renal disease. It has been argued that iron deficiency represents a primary factor in the development of RLS, and this has been supported by CSF and brain imaging studies.
When lifestyle changes and nonpharmacologic therapies fail to sufficiently mitigate RLS, treatment with dopaminergic agents or opioids frequently brings relief. Therapy with select anticonvulsants or sedative-hypnotics is of value in some RLS patients. New research with familial RLS has documented linkage to three distinct genetic loci — at 12q in several French-Canadian and German families, and the Icelandic population at large, 14q in an Italian family, and 9p in several American families.
As of 2005, RLS is considered to be a complex disorder probably influenced by a variety of genetic factors and some prominent environmental causes that may operate through a variety of distinct biochemical and central and peripheral nervous system pathways.