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Old 11-01-2004, 12:52 PM   #1
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Six year old - leg cramps sugar related?

Hello. My son is six years old. When he was three, we were told he had growing pains. He would wake up in the middle of the night just sobbing. If we did not give him Motrin, he'd wake up roughly every two hours in pain. If we gave him Motrin, he'd be fine after 30 or 40 minutes and would sleep the rest of the night. After two years of that, the doctor no longer believes he has growing pains. He thought for awhile it might be psoriatic arthritis but the specialist said it is really rare in kids and he decided that wasn't it.

My son also has restless legs and, in fact, before his leg cramps set it, he is squirming in his sleep, kicking his legs. He doesn't get them all the time but they do seem to be in spurts.

Last night, my son woke up with the worst case of leg cramps. He was in severe pain. We thought it might be because we went trick or treating and he walked a long way but then we thought about the fact that he had quite a bit of candy. We don't usually give him a lot of sugar and, now that I think back, he seems to get leg cramps alot when 'special' things are happening (i.e. family visits, holidays, eating out). Maybe I am making too much of it but it has me wondering, has anybody read anything about RLS and leg cramps being related to sugar?

Any information is greatly appreciated.

 
Old 11-16-2004, 04:16 PM   #2
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aquabelle HB User
Re: Six year old - leg cramps sugar related?

Geogal,
Sugar may have some effect on your son's problem. My suggestion is what stopped this problem for me: take a 250 mg magnesium capsule or tablet. The muscles cramp mainly because of a a magnesium deficiency. The chain of cause may be other things like low thyroid hormone, or low potassium, and other conditions not likely in a child.
All I do know is that magnesium is great first aid that works in minutes. And is harmless to try.
Hope this helps,
Carol

 
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Old 11-16-2004, 05:49 PM   #3
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Re: Six year old - leg cramps sugar related?

Another thing to try is having him eat bananas every day..The potassium should ease his leg cramps~I hope this helps him soon..

 
Old 12-19-2004, 07:17 AM   #4
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Re: Six year old - leg cramps sugar related?

The cramps that your son is experiencing can be due to either insufficient calcium or insufficient magnesium or loss of sodium.

Sodium cramps are experienced when there is excessive perspiration that removes both salt and water from the body

Magnesium cramps are experienced at rest and calcium cramps are usually experienced during movement.

If there is a magnesium deficiency it will explain for the cramps during the night and also for the restless legs as this is also a sign for a deficiency of magnesium. You may want to get him on a supplement of magnesium and also start to bring more magnesium rich foods into his diet these include; almonds, cashews, wholegrain cereals, eggs, seeds (both sunflower and pumpkin seeds) and parsnips.

 
Old 01-01-2005, 05:32 AM   #5
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Exclamation Re: Six year old - leg cramps sugar related?

I get sugar cramps just like you say. My doctor tells me I'm crazy. Eating bananas doesn't help. I ate two today, actually, and I'm having sugar cramps in my arms right now. I've been getting them since I was a baby.

All I can tell you is that taking an Excedrin helps. Also keeping track of the amount of sugar you eat every day helps, but only to a certain extent, since it's not a given rule as to how much sugar will give you cramps. You might want to ask around in your family to see if anyone else gets them, since I think it might be genetic.

The cramps occur whenever I eat more sugar than *usual* (it's all relative!). Sometimes I get sugar cramps in my arms, and sometimes in my legs, and sometimes both. Moving my legs/arms (whichever is affected) makes the pain stop while in motion (which is probably why your son gets restless legs). Massaging the affected limbs helps some, but only during the massage, and the cramps come back right away when the massaging is over.

My dad did some research on this a while ago (since he gets them too), and he found this site that said they were from a liver disease. The liver gets overloaded with excess sugar, since it's not used to the amount of sugar that's been eaten, and backs up with lactic acid, which builds up in the muscles (just like when you run too hard), causing cramps in the arms or legs.

If you find out anything from your doctor, please tell me! I've never had a doctor take me seriously about this.

 
Old 01-01-2005, 02:41 PM   #6
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Re: Six year old - leg cramps sugar related?

I remembered some more "soft" rules that I take for granted ^_^;;

On days that I eat too much sugar (or bread, since I've gotten cramps on a day that I only ate bread, when I was used to eating more meat/veggies), I eat more of everything else as well! Since the cramps occur from more *relative* amounts of sugar, then even if I eat more sugar, if I keep the amount of sugar relative to meat and veggies the same as usual, I don't get the cramps. Of course, it's not a perfect rule, but I've mostly been sticking to that rule for a few years now, and last night's cramps were actually very out of the ordinary for me.

So here's an example: if I'm going to overindulge on pasta, then I better eat more meatballs and pasta sauce that I usually do, as well, or else I'm going to get cramps from the pasta.

Also, rubbing Aspercreme into the affected muscles helps, too.

 
Old 01-01-2005, 11:36 PM   #7
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Re: Six year old - leg cramps sugar related?

I know when I was a kid I had the same thing. And I wasted a several trips to my parents family doctor for them to tell my parents its just growing pain. Sure they would put some typical gozz on it that you buy at the drug store, but being a kid you think it helps.

I know My ankles and knees were always bad. So i'd go for the home remedies before you take a trip to your family care doctor! Good luck...and this may sound cheesy, but maybe try the gozz thing? reverse psychology on a kid works sometimes haha it did on me!

 
Old 01-06-2005, 05:11 PM   #8
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Re: Six year old - leg cramps sugar related?

Hello
I too had this as a kid-still do in fact...
Please make sure your child is checked out by a rhumatologist, I went through my whole childhood with pain and restless muscles -it continued into adulthood-then I found out that I have psoriatic arthritis and rhumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. I thought as a kid that no one believed me and that I must be crazy or something. Getting this checked can help your child to rest a little easier knowing that your doing all you can for him.
In the mean time I used to sleep with my legs propped up on the back of the couch and this helped ALOT-when the blood loss made my legs go to sleep i could sleep to-by the way as soon as he's asleep his legs will probably fall down from their position...Good Luck! Val

 
Old 01-17-2005, 04:38 PM   #9
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geogal HB User
Re: Six year old - leg cramps sugar related?

Thank you so much for the replies.

Valerie, we had my son checked by a specialist for psoriatic arthritis about a year or so ago. He has psoriasis but the specialist said it was very rare for children to have the arthritis. These are not your average growing pains. The skin turns red around the joint where the pain is and if the pain is near his knee or ankle, the tendons are taut and bulging out.

I don't know what this is but since we've really cut out sugar, he's had virtually no cramps. He's had a few episodes but nowhere near what he was having.

Thanks for the replies.

 
Old 08-04-2005, 02:27 PM   #10
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Re: Six year old - leg cramps sugar related?

I know how your 6 year old feels. I remeber being 4 years old and having the same promblem, I am now 36 years old and my legs get worst as I get older.
Tina

Last edited by Garbo; 08-04-2005 at 02:29 PM.

 
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