/ Poor Nutrient Absorption
It has been noted that heavy drinkers fail to absorb certain nutrients, such as thiamine from food. Or may have a poor diet in the first place.
A symptom of thiamine deficiency is leg and foot cramping .
Unfortunately, individuals with a high alcohol dependency can often substitute alcoholic drinks for food.
Why Do We Get Leg Cramp After Drinking Alcohol Experts Explain All
Theres nothing worse than coming in from a night out, falling asleep and waking up later with the most horrendous leg cramps. But why does this happen after having a few alcoholic beverages?
Muscle cramps are involuntary, painful, spasmodic contractions of the skeletal muscle, explains Jonathan Chick, medical advisor to Drinkaware.
Although cramps are a common clinical complaint, their cause and treatment are not well established.
In a healthy person, exercise is the most common cause of cramp as it increases lactic acid in the muscle, he says. So if you apply this theory to drinking, cramp might occur because youve been exerting yourself while dancing or standing for long periods at the bar.
Additionally, if you drink alcohol but have not consumed food, blood glucose may fall as a result and this is another cause of build-up of lactic acid, Chick says.
Chick adds that regular, excessive drinkers admitted to hospital with alcohol withdrawal tend to have low magnesium and potassium levels, which can disturb muscle function.
Such patients sometimes feel cramp immediately, he explains. It can continue for weeks after stopping drinking which probably reflects semi-permanent damage to the nerves serving the muscle. It can recover with abstinence and nutrition.
He suggests that these form of cramps might be partly due to thiamine deficiency, as regular heavy drinkers fail to absorb thiamine from food or may have a poor diet.
Common Causes Of Leg Cramps
Most people experience leg cramps at some point in their life. From the occasional aching sensation to recurring pangs, people cope with leg crampsalso known as charley horses or muscle spasmsto varying degrees.
Cramps are involuntary contractions that occur in the muscles for anywhere from a few seconds to minutes on end . Mild or severe, the onset of cramping is typically sudden it may begin during intense exercise or at rest, in bed at night or after hours of being seated at your desk.
However, just because leg cramps can begin suddenly doesnt mean they come out of nowhere. Muscle spasms in the calves, hamstrings, and thighs result from a number of common causes, many of which can be addressed simply by being aware of what might trigger them. These are some of the main causes of leg cramps:
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Ways To Relieve And Prevent Leg Cramps At Night
The good news is that although they can be painful, nocturnal leg cramps arent typically serious. While it can be a bit of trial and error, here are seven home remedies you can try to help relieve discomfort and potentially stop painful wake-up calls.
- Stretch your hamstring and calf muscles during the day and before you go to bed.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day and watch your alcohol and caffeine consumption.
- Try mild exercises before bed, such as walking or riding the stationary bike for a few minutes.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating right, exercising regularly and getting enough proper sleep.
- Take a warm bath or shower to soothe tight muscles.
- Wear supportive shoes with proper arch and ankle support.
- Keep sheets and blankets loose around your feet so you arent as restricted to move around at night.
If none of these remedies work, youre continuing to have severe persistent cramping and its impacting your sleep and daily function, call your doctor, Dr. Lee-Iannotti said. Nocturnal leg cramps shouldnt impair your general well-being.
Nocturnal leg cramps, or charley horses, are a real nightmare, but dont let them get you down. Find relief with a Banner Health specialist, by visiting bannerhealth.com.
Dehydration Means Your Performance Is Reduced
Alcohol is a natural diuretic in laymans terms, it makes you pee more which is why you generally wake up gasping of thirst when youre hungover. Dehydration can affect everything from your energy, to your endurance, to your bodys core temperature, which is all bad news if you have a big game or a workout planned.
When youre dehydrated, your bodys stocks of electrolytes like magnesium, potassium and calcium are depleted. These are vitally important to the maintenance of fluid balance, muscle action and muscle coordination. Water-soluble vitamins like B6, B12 and Vitamin C are all depleted by dehydration too, making you more prone to illness and reducing your bodys ability to function at its best.
Attention wine-lovers: scientists have just unveiled the holy grail of facts about red wine. According to a study by scientists at the University of Alberta, consuming a glass of red wine has the same physical performance, heart function, and muscle strength benefits as working out for an hour at the gym.
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What Causes Leg Cramps After Drinking Alcohol
Leg cramps and pain in calf muscle is common problem in many people. Cramps can also occur in thigh muscles as well as in muscles of feet.
There are two main reasons for pain and cramps in leg after heavy drinking. Alcohol drinking causes accumulation of lactic acid in the body. Build up large amount of lactic acid in muscles of legs can produce pain and cramps.
Another leading cause for pain in legs associated with alcohol drinking is loss of fluid from the body. It is well known fact that drinking too much of alcohol causes dehydration. It causes too much of urination. Important salts such as potassium, magnesium and sodium get depleted due to excess loss of water from the body. Imbalance of electrolyte and minerals leads to pain and cramps in muscles, especially the muscles of leg.
Spasms in leg muscles can be one of the symptoms of alcoholic neuropathy. Drinking too much of alcohol can damage peripheral nerves. Drinking can cause vitamin deficiency especially vitamin B12, B6, folate and niacin. These vitamins help the nerves to function at its optimum. Deficiency of these vitamins can cause damage to the peripheral nerves. Diabetics who drink are more vulnerable to this problem.
Treatment For Leg Cramps From A Gp
A GP will examine you to try to find out the reason for your leg cramps.
They will suggest a treatment depending on the cause.
This might be:
- stretching exercises
- quinine tablets if exercise has not helped
Quinine is not suitable for everyone. The GP will discuss potential risks and side effects with you.
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What Can I Do To Make Leg Cramps Go Away If They Happen
You want to get rid of a leg cramp the moment it strikes. You might be finishing up an exercise routine, or you might be awakened in the middle of the night. In moments like that there are, unfortunately, no magical injections that can instantly relieve your pain. However, there are eight steps to take to possibly get rid of a leg cramp:
Drinking Away The Pain: A Slippery Slope
One of the benefits of moderate drinking is that it may help you relax and ward off stress, which helps manage and prevent back pain.
However, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that about 28% of people with chronic pain turn to alcohol to manage their pain. This presents several problems.
Ultimately, chronic alcohol use to dull back pain can cause you to develop a greater sensitivity to pain. If you withdrawal from alcohol after months or years of abusing it, you may feel pain to a greater degree than you did before. Because of this, many people go back to drinking as a form of pain management. This long-term, excessive use of alcohol causes significant and harmful problems for your overall health and safety.
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How To Stop Leg Cramps At Night
The following tips may help you avoid leg cramps while sleeping:
- Drink plenty of fluids. Fluids allow for normal muscle function. You might need to adjust how much fluid you drink based on factors such as the weather, your age, activity level, and medication youre taking.
- Stretch your legs. Stretching your calves and hamstrings before bed can reduce the frequency and severity of nocturnal leg cramps.
- Ride a stationary bike. A few minutes of easy pedaling might help loosen up your leg muscles before you go to sleep.
- Change your sleeping position. You should avoid sleeping in positions in which your feet are pointing downward. Try sleeping on your back with a pillow behind your knees.
- Avoid heavy or tucked-in bedding. Heavy or tucked-in bedding could push your feet downward while you sleep. Choose loose, untucked sheets, and a comforter that will allow you to keep your feet and toes upright while you sleep.
- Choose supportive footwear. Poor footwear can aggravate issues with the nerves and muscles in your feet and legs, especially if you have flat feet.
Future Research And Implications For Practice
Further research should be undertaken to investigate the existence of an alcohol dose-related effect. Our study offers practitioners 2 major new elements for their daily practice. Advising patients about the impact of alcohol consumption on NLC may be an effective way to prevent these painful episodes. Alternatively, discussing NLC may be another icebreaker for general practitioners to approach alcohol misuse.
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What Medical Problems Can Cause Leg Cramps
Sometimes leg cramps happen to you for no reason, but other times they could possibly be a sign or symptom of a health condition. If you have any of the following conditions, its possible that your leg cramps are a result of that condition. Also keep in mind that if you dont already know if you have any of these conditions, your leg cramps may be a sign that you do. Always consult your healthcare provider if you think your leg cramps are a symptom of a more serious medical condition.
Leg cramps can possibly be a sign of lifestyle choices such as:
- Alcoholism: An addiction to alcohol.
- Dehydration: The lack of sufficient water in the body.
Leg cramps can also possibly be a sign of serious conditions including:
Cancer treatments like chemotherapy can cause nerve damage, which may cause leg cramps.
There are rumors that leg cramps can also be a sign of the following conditions. Fortunately, that is not the case. Leg cramps are unlikely to be a sign of:
- Labor .
- Zinc, vitamin B12 or vitamin D.
This Might Just Be The Best News Ever
A study says that resveratrol, a natural compound found in red wine, can improve physical performance, muscle strength and help maintain a healthy heart.
Lead researcher, Jason Dyck, spoke to Science Daily about the findings:
We were excited when we saw that resveratrol showed results similar to what you would see from extensive endurance exercise training.
Researchers at the University of Alberta, Canada, found that resveratrol, also found in nuts and grapes, could potentially help people who want to exercise but find it difficult.
It is also likely to intensify the benefits of exercise for those who can only manage short bursts of strenuous activity.
I think resveratrol could help patient populations who want to exercise but are physically incapable. Resveratrol could mimic exercise for them or improve the benefits of the modest amount of exercise that they can do.
It is very satisfying to progress from basic research in a lab to testing in people, in a short period of time.
However, this only applies to one glass of wine and any more than that is likely to undo all the good work.
Oh and if you needed another reason to indulge in a glass of red this evening: it can help target acne, improve bone density, reduces cholesterol and apparently, it makes us look even better looking than usual.
This article was first published on Her.ie.
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Why Do I Get Cramps In My Legs After Drinking Alcohol
Since centuries alcohol is considered to be a social drink. However, many people do not realize that drinking even small amount of alcohol has several untoward consequences on health. After drinking, alcohol is absorbed in the blood and gets distributed throughout the body. Alcohol abuse for long duration can seriously jeopardize a persons life. The toxic substances present in alcohol can have bad effects on each and every cell.
Consuming alcohol can have long term as well as short term effects on health. One of the bad effects in short period of time after drinking alcohol is aches and cramps in leg.
For example one person may experience cramps in extremities after drinking a small glass of wine. Another person may get leg pains after fair amount of alcohol consumption. Let us know the reasons for cramps in leg after drinking alcohol.
What Are Leg Cramps
If you haven’t already, you will probably experience leg cramps at some point in your life. They can hit at the worst possible moments whether you’re lying in bed at night or taking a run on the treadmill, that sharp stabbing pain can feel totally debilitating. If leg cramps, also called charley horses, persist, they can become even more irritating, perhaps knocking you off your typical exercise or sleep routine.
A leg cramp is a sharp, sudden contraction or tightening of the muscle in the calf, which usually lasts a few seconds to a few minutes. If a cramp does hit, you can ease it in the moment by stretching the muscle gently. To find a long-term solution to leg cramps, however, you might need to take a closer look at their many potential causes.
To keep leg cramps at bay, make sure you’re nourishing your body and getting enough rest. You’ll also want to rule out any underlying issues that could be contributing to leg cramping, such as peripheral artery disease or thyroid issues. See a doctor when cramps prevent you from exercising, or if they seem to happen spontaneously without a trigger.
Here, experts weigh in on the major reasons you might be experiencing leg cramps, so you can keep those muscles free of charley horses for good.
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How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Getting Leg Cramps
Experts cant promise that youll never have a leg cramp again, but there are some steps you can take that might reduce your risk!
- Make sure that you stay hydrated drink six to eight glasses of water each day. Dont drink as much alcohol and caffeine.
- Adjust how you sleep. Use pillows to keep your toes pointed upwards if you sleep on your back. If you lie on your front, try hanging your feet over the end of the bed. Both positions can keep you in a relaxed position.
- Gently stretch your leg muscles before you go to sleep.
- Keep blankets and sheets loose around your feet so that your toes are not distorted.
- Wear shoes that fit you well and support your feet.
- Perform frequent leg exercises.
- Stretch your muscles before and after you exercise.
- Experiment with mild exercise right before bed. Walk on the treadmill or ride a bicycle for a few minutes.
How Can You Prevent Them
These tips may help prevent muscle cramps:
- Drink plenty of water and other fluids.
- Limit or avoid drinks with alcohol.
- Make sure you are eating healthy foods that are rich in calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
- Ride a bike or stationary bike to condition and stretch your muscles.
- Stretch your muscles every day, especially before and after exercise and at bedtime.
- Dont suddenly increase the amount of exercise you get. Increase your exercise a little each week.
- Take a daily multivitamin supplement.
If you are taking medicines that are known to cause leg cramps, your doctor may prescribe different medicines.
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