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Potassium or iron deficiency??

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Old 04-23-2005, 02:14 PM   #1
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Potassium or iron deficiency??

I am a 115lb 5ft5 female, recently lost 20 pounds. I eat about 1700-2000 cals a day. I have a very active workout schedule, but about a month ago, and a few times since then, I have woken up in the middle of the night with excruciating pain in my calves. It hurts tremendously, then it it just sore the whole day. Am I lacking in potassium or iron? Or what can be the cause of this? Please help

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Old 05-08-2005, 05:35 PM   #2
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Re: Potassium or iron deficiency??

Are you getting plenty of calcium?

Old 05-08-2005, 06:34 PM   #3
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Re: Potassium or iron deficiency??

I agree with the PP. It sounds like a calcium deficiency. I was just diagnosed with a potassium deficiency and I didn't have that as a symptom, just muscle weakness, some dizziness and skipped and irregular heartbeat from time to time.


Old 06-05-2005, 11:20 AM   #4
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Re: Potassium or iron deficiency??

I get that sometimes, too. I find if you stretch your leg by pointing your foot towards your knee (Hopefully you understand what I mean) the pain will quickly go away. But it probably is a calcuim defiency or an iron defiency. Because I'm lacking in both and have the same problem.

Old 07-29-2005, 01:29 PM   #5
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Re: Potassium or iron deficiency??

Although I'm not an expert on vitamins, I agree with the calcium deficiency. Without enough calcium, your muscles can't function properly; they need plenty of calcium ions to work, or painful spasms will occur. If you're not convinced, eat a few bananas and see if the problem goes away. If so, it's probably a potassium deficiency.
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Old 07-30-2005, 02:38 PM   #6
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Re: Potassium or iron deficiency??

It's either calcium, magnesium, potassium or all of them..
I would get a cal/mag supplement cause magnesium is needed for the calcium to be assimilated properly. Plus, a magnesium deficiency could cause problems.
Eat plenty of fruits for potassium. OJ is real good.

Old 08-05-2005, 08:46 AM   #7
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Re: Potassium or iron deficiency??

Are you talking about muscle cramps? If you are it is most likely a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium counterbalances calcium preventing calcium to rush into the cell and activating the nerve in the muscle. If you have little magnesium in your diet and are deficient, then calcium can gain 'free entry' into the muscle causing the nerve cell to be overly activated causing muscle spasms. Insufficient magnesium will therefore cause muscle spasms in your legs and including spasms of the heart muscle and airways. It may also cause fatigue, migraine headaches, tension and soreness. If you already have enough calcium in your diet and increase your calcium intake without magnesium you may find that your cramping may get worse.

Magnesium is found high in walnuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, salmon and spinach.
I hope this clears up a few things for you

Last edited by rachel18; 08-05-2005 at 08:51 AM.

Old 07-12-2006, 10:38 AM   #8
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Re: Potassium or iron deficiency??

I just realized this is an old post....but just in case someone else is reading it with same symptoms....

My nightly calf muscle cramps were from lack of potassium. As long as I take plenty of potassium, the cramps stay away, but a couple days away from potassium, they come right back. Other people seem more helped by's the muscle "relaxer". I always thought calcium caused muscles to contract (while magnesium relaxed them--why Mg is given if you go to ER with possible heart attack). However, all these electrolytes work together, so a depletion in one can still cause problems with the others.....


Old 12-04-2006, 11:43 AM   #9
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Re: Potassium or iron deficiency??

It could also be a magnesium deficiency that works in conjunction with calcium for muscles contractions. It's not safe to only take calcium you need to have a ration of around 2:1 calcium/magnesium. Otherwise you can get really sick, I would suggested just eating brocolli for calcium or pumpkin seeds for magnesium.

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