Pain Management/body aches/cramps

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Question
hello miss nurse. first i am on my phone so forgive my typos.

i am 26 female, i am obese. i suffer from inexplicable body cramps. i get muscle cramps in my legs (charlie horse) but i also get them in my toes, arches of feet, back of thighs, in my abdomen, in my rib cage, in my lower back, and in my upper back.

i have been to doctors but they dismiss me. "lose weight" so for 2 years i worked and dieted and i lost 80 lbs. no change.
"take vitamins/eat mutrient rich fruit/veggie"
i dont eat cupcakes and ice cream and candy bars, i eat real food. i take raspberry ketones, magnesium supplements, potassium supplements, metformin and paxil.

So my issue is even though i am trying to lose weight and im taking vitamins and still  have these cramps and it isnt like once in a blue moon this happens 15 times a night i wake up over and over i have to stand up out of bed and i twist and contort and still doctors just dismiss me and i am in pain and i dont know who to go to or what to research to try and figure out what is wrong with me

can you please offer advice

Answer
Kay,
Thank you for your patience. From what you've shared with me my personal opinion is that THIS CANNOT GO ON! First of all you are uncomfortable. Secondly, muscle cramps like this are possibly trying to tell you something. I'm not sure exactly what, but they are a signal that something is not right. I agree that you should be using foods and supplements with plenty of magnesium as well as vitamin E, but it appears that you already are. I don't see how you're getting any sleep at all! It may take a consultation with a neurologist or possibly a rheumatologist to properly diagnose what is wrong, but I had a few ideas too. You may find some relief with a quinine supplement. Quinine is a very, very old component which has been used to treat Yellow Fever or malaria. It also relieves leg cramping of a serious nature. It can be found, in fairly small amounts, in tonic water. However, there are better ways of getting this. Go to the drugstore and look for something that claims to relieve "nighttime leg cramps". There is a brand called "Hyland's Tablets" which can be found at Target for about 6-7 dollars. I did not have the time to look up the ingredients, but I'm sure that quinine is in it. Why don't you look it up and then give it a try?

I am concerned about your condition because it is happening every night and so frequently. As I said before, severe cramps of this nature are nature's way of telling us that something isn't right. It doesn't sound serious, however, it is painful and is interfering with your sleep and your quality of life.

I do think a consultation with a rheumatologist or possibly neurologist may be in order. But, I think you should try this supplement first, or while you are waiting for the appointment. It could just be indicative of an electrolyte imbalance, which can be easily treated. Maybe you could ask your primary physician to check your electrolytes, a very easy blood test. This would indicate if you are seriously deficient in magnesium or another important substance, such as calcium, sodium or potassium. Things such as this are easily treated. We just need to find out what the root of the problem is.

Can you start with a blood test for electrolytes first? Make sure the dr includes magnesium, calcium and potassium. Then, take it from there. Don't let the doctor brush this off. This is affecting your quality of life. If your electrolytes are all normal and the Hyland's do not help, a good doctor should then try to rule out a circulatory problem such as 'claudication', however, I don't think that is your problem, given your age.

So, first see the primary for a blood test, then if all is normal you are going in more informed, so make certain they rule out a circulatory problem. It is entirely possible that, before you lost all that weight you could have done some damage to your leg veins. Let's hope that's not the case, but please get this looked into. If you decide to try the Hyland's or another type of OTC supplement, keep in mind most of these are natural and contain no actual drugs, not even aspirin or acetaminophen. Most of these are homeopathic. I hope you find an end to this agony, Kay. I would love to hear back from you in a month or so as to how you are doing.  

Pain Management

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Patricia M

Expertise

I welcome questions from people who may want a "nurse's perspective" on the subject of chronic pain and pain management. I am a nurse, NOT a physician (MD).I can answer questions on medications, alternative approaches, and the various organs and body systems. There are many avenues to explore with chronic pain. I am against seeing patients suffer simply because healthcare professionals might suspect they are "drug seekers". There are methods of identifying true pain, and this makes patients feel as if they are taken seriously, which they should be.

Experience

Over 25 years working experience in Internal Medicine, Adult Cardiology, Post-Surgery care, Cancer, psychiatry and some experience as a lay-counselor in addictive medicine (dependence to alcohol and/or drugs, both legal and illegal drugs).

Organizations
I am an Expert with AllExperts in several areas: Pharmacy, Internal Medicine, Medical Errors. Feel free to check my Q&A history as well as my ratings, which are very high.

Education/Credentials
Diploma from hospital-based nursing school. Additional courses in pharmacology. I keep current in continuing education. Am currently working as lay-counselor which can lead to my certification as Substance Abuse Counselor.

Awards and Honors
Dean's List while in college.

Past/Present Clients
Internal medicine patients, cardiology patients recovering from heart disease and/or open-heart surgery, cancer, as well as recently working as a lay-counselor to individuals dealing with addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. NOTE: Just because I attempt to help patients with addictive diseases, I have over 25 years in Internal Medicine, have nursed patients with great deal of pain, and I am compassionate. I never label anyone as a "drug seeker". I have seen that done for years, and am against it. All patients should be evaluated for pain in a fair and comprehensive manner. Am an Expert with AllExperts in three other medical categories; feel free to check my ratings, which are high.

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