Salt to treat cramps ? ? ?

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Biggkidd

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I'll be 50 in about a month and I have some health issues M.S. being the key one. All of my adult life I have had terrible cramps. I'm talking bone bending locked down for hours cramps. So bad I have even considered a lead pill cure more than a time or two! Well today was a bad one I couldn't hardly breathe it was so bad. Now I've been to Dr.s countless times for this issue and had all sorts of prescriptions for this, that and the other. Nothing much ever worked. Often it would cut the level of pain a little but not stop it or stop it from happening. Today as I was in pure agony something clicked and I thought I need salt so I upended the salt shaker in my hand and got a swallow of water with it. Did that 3 times back to back. Within just a couple minutes the cramps were all but gone. Let me tell you before the salt I couldn't hardly pick up a glass of water of which I've been drinking about a gallon a day maybe 1.5 some days. Anyway as I set here recovering I was still drinking water went out a did a few minor things like water a few plants etc. nothing strenuous. Another hour give or take went by I had about another quart or quart and half of water and BOOM cramps came back with a vengeance! SO I did the salt thing again and again within minutes no more than 3-4 the cramps had all but gone. Now all our lives we have heard salt will kill you don't eat to much salt etc. granted one thing the Dr.s all told me was I had low sodium but never a word that more salt in my diet could help with the agonizing cramps I suffered nearly everyday of my life. I'm not telling anyone they should do what I did I'm just sharing this because it might help you a friend or family member. In all I would guess less than a half a tea spoon of salt stopped today's cramps cold!!!!!!!!!!!!

YMMV

EDIT TO ADD
Today was a 4 shirt day so you could say I do some sweating!!!!!!!!
 

joel

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I use pickle juice & take calcium & potassium pills, also.
I get enough salt from my food.
 

Weedygarden

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@Biggkidd, there are several recipes for beverages for dealing with heat. They almost all contain salt, but they also contain other things. Have you read the thread, "Dealing with the heat." Dealing with the heat

I think there are a few things that can help reduce or prevent cramps. I have always been an over user of salt as has been pointed out to me a few times.

I agree with Joel about pickle juice and more. I think potassium and maybe magnesium can help as well.
 

Haertig

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Be very careful messing with your electrolytes like that. "The salt thing again and again within minutes", and 1.5 gallons of water a day - the cramps may go away, but so could your "golden years". It sounds like you are going to extremes. If you're in constant pain I can understand wanting to try anything. But I assume you still want to live, so maybe do a little research into what you're doing to yourself here. Don't think that just because doctors have not solved your problem so far that they haven't thought about electrolyte imbalances. That's probably the very first thing they thought about. But gobbling down handful after handful of salt is not a valid treatment, which is why they didn't recommend it to you. It could be dangerous if taken to the extreme.

Good luck. I hope you get this long-running problem solved soon. That has got to suck to have to deal with this.
 

Spikedriver

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A sports drink may or may not help. I drink a gallon and a half to two gallons of fluids a day, and I don't supplement with salt. I do get an occasional calf cramp. Generally it's not too bad. I take a sports drink which has sodium and potassium, and it usually goes away.
 

Patchouli

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That sounds horrible. Have you had your blood checked? Like someone else suggested, potassium and magnesium can sometimes help with cramps. Again, you can't overdo it but they have to build up in your system. I've seen it warned to never take potassium and magnesium at the same time.
Blood work-up would also show if you're low in Vitamin D, which could also be contributing to pain.
Iodine deficiency can also cause a range of symptoms including cramps, headaches, slow metabolism, fatigue. It's easy to look this kind of stuff up. Web M.D. is a reliable source.
I hope you feel better very very soon. I'm sorry you're in so much pain. I started taking chewable vitamins, they work better for me than swallowing big A pills/capsules.
 

Biggkidd

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I eat salt on most everything and plenty of it. But I am guessing all the sweating I do on a regular basis causes me to lose it faster than I eat it. It has been a life long problem and the docs have always told me I have low sodium and that I could eat all the salt I wanted to. Granted I doubt they meant like I did today but it is what it is. I use to drink a lot of gatoraid and such which helped some but this year I just wasn't able to handle the sweetness. Every time I try and drink it I want to gag
 

Spikedriver

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I eat salt on most everything and plenty of it. But I am guessing all the sweating I do on a regular basis causes me to lose it faster than I eat it. It has been a life long problem and the docs have always told me I have low sodium and that I could eat all the salt I wanted to. Granted I doubt they meant like I did today but it is what it is. I use to drink a lot of gatoraid and such which helped some but this year I just wasn't able to handle the sweetness. Every time I try and drink it I want to gag
There are little packets of powder that have electrolytes and are sugar free. At work they provide us with "Squinchers" brand packets but Walmart has Great Value ones. You could pre mix those in a half liter water bottle to have one on hand.
 

LadyLocust

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I'll be 50 in about a month and I have some health issues M.S. being the key one. All of my adult life I have had terrible cramps. I'm talking bone bending locked down for hours cramps. So bad I have even considered a lead pill cure more than a time or two! Well today was a bad one I couldn't hardly breathe it was so bad. Now I've been to Dr.s countless times for this issue and had all sorts of prescriptions for this, that and the other. Nothing much ever worked. Often it would cut the level of pain a little but not stop it or stop it from happening. Today as I was in pure agony something clicked and I thought I need salt so I upended the salt shaker in my hand and got a swallow of water with it. Did that 3 times back to back. Within just a couple minutes the cramps were all but gone. Let me tell you before the salt I couldn't hardly pick up a glass of water of which I've been drinking about a gallon a day maybe 1.5 some days. Anyway as I set here recovering I was still drinking water went out a did a few minor things like water a few plants etc. nothing strenuous. Another hour give or take went by I had about another quart or quart and half of water and BOOM cramps came back with a vengeance! SO I did the salt thing again and again within minutes no more than 3-4 the cramps had all but gone. Now all our lives we have heard salt will kill you don't eat to much salt etc. granted one thing the Dr.s all told me was I had low sodium but never a word that more salt in my diet could help with the agonizing cramps I suffered nearly everyday of my life. I'm not telling anyone they should do what I did I'm just sharing this because it might help you a friend or family member. In all I would guess less than a half a tea spoon of salt stopped today's cramps cold!!!!!!!!!!!!

YMMV

EDIT TO ADD
Today was a 4 shirt day so you could say I do some sweating!!!!!!!!
BK I didn't know that~ Hubby's sister has MS also. You might look up Dr. Terry Wahls if you've not already heard of her.
Link to an interview w/ her.
 

joel

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I used to take a salt pill every day in highschool to stop leg cramps like that. The kid takes them now to try to keep her blood pressure up. Salt can be useful.
Salt like sugar works different with different people, you should talk to your doctor, about all your treatments, even home made treatments.
 

Terri9630

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Salt like sugar works different with different people, you should talk to your doctor, about all your treatments, even home made treatments.
It was the kids cardiologist that put her on the salt pills
 

backlash

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The Navy made us take salt tablets every day. Working on the Flightdeck was hot sweaty work. At the end of the shift, our clothes would be stained white with salt sweat.
I still got cramps so bad I would wake up screaming and pound on my calves to try to loosen them up. Back then they didn't say anything about drinking a lot of water and that was my problem.
 

joel

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Hunny gets horrible leg cramps when he gets dehydrated. He has called me many times to bring him out pickle juice to help stop the cramps. Are you drinking enough and staying hydrated?
DW bugs me to no end about drinking enough water, not tea, coffee, pop or beer, has to be water.
It gets old, but it beats not being able to hear the nagging.
 

Dani

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DW bugs me to no end about drinking enough water, not tea, coffee, pop or beer, has to be water.
It gets old, but it beats not being able to hear the nagging.
I pester my hunny often. . . I can hear it in his voice. He doesn't always listen, but it has been a few years since I had to run the pickle juice out to him. . . It does work though since he is always willing to drink when in pain and not a pickle eater.
 

Supervisor42

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Be very careful messing with your electrolytes like that. "The salt thing again and again within minutes", and 1.5 gallons of water a day - the cramps may go away, but so could your "golden years". It sounds like you are going to extremes. If you're in constant pain I can understand wanting to try anything. But I assume you still want to live, so maybe do a little research into what you're doing to yourself here. Don't think that just because doctors have not solved your problem so far that they haven't thought about electrolyte imbalances. That's probably the very first thing they thought about. But gobbling down handful after handful of salt is not a valid treatment, which is why they didn't recommend it to you. It could be dangerous if taken to the extreme.

Good luck. I hope you get this long-running problem solved soon. That has got to suck to have to deal with this.
Agreed. Methocarbamol for me. I suffered for years with occasional muscle-spasms in my back and chest that would leave me torn-down for days so bad I couldn't even bend over to put on my pants. This was always after I had 'overdone it'. If I don't do something, it multiplies fast.
Since I dance with HBP, if I threw down that much salt, I would blow a blood-vessel for sure. :oops:
The Methocarbamol is very mild, and doesn't mess with your mind but works great to stop the spasms in it's tracks. It has been around for decades.
I average taking only about 2 tablets per month. But when I need them, they are essential.:thumbs:
I don't play with cramps no more.😡
This is not medical advice. Talk to your doctor.
(and don't go to the ER with 210/120 BP! You will find out what it's like to get 'pumped-down':oops:)
 

Biggkidd

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Agreed. Methocarbamol for me. I suffered for years with occasional muscle-spasms in my back and chest that would leave me torn-down for days so bad I couldn't even bend over to put on my pants. This was always after I had 'overdone it'. If I don't do something, it multiplies fast.
Since I dance with HBP, if I threw down that much salt, I would blow a blood-vessel for sure. :oops:
The Methocarbamol is very mild, and doesn't mess with your mind but works great to stop the spasms in it's tracks. It has been around for decades.
I average taking only about 2 tablets per month. But when I need them, they are essential.:thumbs:
I don't play with cramps no more.😡
This is not medical advice. Talk to your doctor.
(and don't go to the ER with 210/120 BP! You will find out what it's like to get 'pumped-down':oops:)
Took that for years and flexural also neither helped much.
 

Biggkidd

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I'll probably never hear the end of this but I quit going to doctors in 2017 and baring a major accident the next one I see will be in the morgue. Since then I quit all prescription drugs. I still take OTC as needed IE: ibuprofen, Tylenol aspirin etc... Also homemade meds. The docs meds were making me far worse. My health has been hundreds of times better since I quit the meds. I am able to do way more and I'm not out 3-4 days a week from the side effects. Another big bonus is no more monthly wasted days running here there and everywhere for every test known to man. I've been on borrowed time since 05 when the docs told me to get my affairs in order I probably wouldn't see another christmas. I am STUBBORN!

Pickle juice makes me throw up. I've tried or taken everything everyone has listed except adult pedialite.
 

Pearl

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I'll probably never hear the end of this but I quit going to doctors in 2017 and baring a major accident the next one I see will be in the morgue. Since then I quit all prescription drugs. I still take OTC as needed IE: ibuprofen, Tylenol aspirin etc... Also homemade meds. The docs meds were making me far worse. My health has been hundreds of times better since I quit the meds. I am able to do way more and I'm not out 3-4 days a week from the side effects. Another big bonus is no more monthly wasted days running here there and everywhere for every test known to man. I've been on borrowed time since 05 when the docs told me to get my affairs in order I probably wouldn't see another christmas. I am STUBBORN!

Pickle juice makes me throw up. I've tried or taken everything everyone has listed except adult pedialite.
I'm a 'no doc' person too! Right with you!!
 

Supervisor42

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. Since then I quit all prescription drugs.. I've been on borrowed time since 05 when the docs told me to get my affairs in order I probably wouldn't see another christmas. I am STUBBORN! ...
Have you picked out the colors of your casket yet?
Don't wait. Imagine spending eternity in 'banana yellow' gaah.
 
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Weedygarden

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My daughter drinks pedialyte when she gets gluten poisoned. I try to keep some on hand for those times, because she is in bad shape for three days. It is not cheap. It is $5 a bottle or more, so three days of drinking pedialyte to recover can be upwards of $60. When getting ready for the pandemic, I found powder packets of pedialyte. I keep some on hand for her now. There are different companies that have powders. I make up some of the recipes from the Dealing with the heat thread when I am hot and sweating. Even a soda is very helpful for me.
 

Biggkidd

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Have you picked out the colors of your casket yet?
Don't wait. Imagine spending eternity in 'banana yellow' gaah.
Preferably I'd be buried here on my land in the old ways. IE: a blanket or pine box. Barring that cremation will do. I've lived a good full life and done lots of interesting things. My biggest regret to date was listening to the doctors as long as I did.
 

Haertig

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I wonder is electrical stimulation would help with your cramps? I get neck and back spasms occasionally (luckily, rarely) and I use a TENS/EMS device to help release the muscle. Not exactly like your cramps, but similar (I'm assuming you're talking about leg cramps). I do not use the TENS settings on the device ("Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation"), I use the EMS settings ("Electrical Muscle Stimulation"). TENS is more a pain control technology whereas EMS is for tight muscles.

Here's where I got my unit:


Specifically, I got this model, the "LG TEC Elite" (they are always on sale, with extra discounts, and come to around $120 or so):


There are five bazillion different TENS/EMS units for sale everywhere. You would probably save money and just get an EMS unit without the TENS. ou can get replacement electrode pads for them on Amazon for really cheap (compared to the prices at a medical supply place). There are good and bad electrodes - related to how well they stick to you - so buy something with a lot of positive ratings if you do the Amazon thing.

The one I got is battery or plugin. It's maybe a bit on the large size - you could clip it on your belt but probably not keep it in your pocket unless you have larger cargo pockets.

I bought an EMS only unit once. In a shopping mall. At one of those temporary kiosks out in the middle of the mall walkway. And you know what, that little Chinese made unit works just fine for relaxing a spasming muscle. It certainly doesn't have the flexibility, variety of settings, and TENS function of the higher end one I bought later. And it is rechargeable internal battery only. It's much smaller and the battery goes for many hours of use between charges. Yes, it feels like a cheap Chinese trinket but it's lasted for over a decade now and is still going strong. I think it was $89 in the mall. Which I though was quite high priced for as cheap as it felt, but the wife bought it anyway. And really, bottom line, the silly thing works. If I could only have one unit, it would be the higher end TENS/EMS unit though.

The cheap Chinese unit has maybe eight different settings, of which I might use two. They are described as "bouncing pall", "rolling fist", etc. What the heck? Just find one that feels good (some can tickle of be painful). The better TENS/EMS unit can be configured every which way, but in the end I just pick something that feels good. You have your ramp time, your pulse width, your repeat rate, your decay time, your waveform, your amplitude, blah, blah, blah. You can hook up two pairs of electrodes and configure their placement as parallel or X-cross or whatever. A physical therapist might understand it, but I don't. I just stick the pads on where ever, randomly punch a few buttons until it feels good, and away I go. Always start off with the amplitude setting at low and move up from there. They probably all default to low on powerup. When you crank these things up - even the cheap Chinese one - you will fly out of your chair if you turn it up too high. Some settings hurt. Some setting tickle you to death. Don't put the electrodes on your chest across your heart. That would be worse than eating three handfuls of salt. It's not a defibrillator ... I think it would be more of a fibrillator, not a good thing.

I have no idea if one of these things would be good for your cramps or not. But I got a neck cramp typing in this post. So I suppose I should go get mine and fire it up.
 

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