Muscle Cramps are Commonly Caused by Mineral Deficiencies
Cramps, charlie horses, or muscle spasms are not limited to leg muscles. Muscles go into spasm when they don’t have the correct mineral mix in the appropriate fluid matrix.
Maybe it’s only a leg cramp, but if the leg muscles are low in minerals, so are the other muscles in the body like the most important muscle, the heart.
Muscle cramps are commonly caused by mineral deficiencies or dehydration. If the body is deficient in minerals, the electrical charges necessary for healthy muscle function cannot operate. If the body is dehydrated, even if the minerals are present, they are too concentrated to allow the electrical charges to EXERT their forces. If the extracellular fluid is too dense many of the magnetic and electrical properties of the cell and cell membrane are compromised.
The mineral deficiencies that generally cause cramping are magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Although sometimes phosphorous, vitamin D, and digestive problems are at the core of the problem. Remember we need adequate levels of Hydrochloric acid (stomach acid) to ionize the minerals from their substrate so we can absorb them.
If someone has been on proton pump inhibitors (acid reflux medication) for an extended period of time, you can expect mineral deficiencies.
This is a partial list of other medications that deplete our minerals.
- Magnesium is depleted by; antibiotics, diuretics, blood pressure medication, corticosteroids, estrogen derivative, cortisone, muscle relaxers, ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, birth control pills, laxatives, and immunosuppressive agents.
- Potassium is depleted by; codeine, antibiotics, diuretics, antifungal agents, aspirin, blood pressure medication, corticosteroids, laxatives, barbiturates, muscle relaxers, Parkinson’s medication, oxycodone, beta blockers, immunosuppressant agents, and antacids.
- Calcium is depleted by; antacids, antibiotics, diuretics, antifungal agents, corticosteroids, barbiturates, anticonvulsants, anti-histamines, chelating agents, mineral oil, and laxatives.
If your are taking any of these medications for an extended period of time and are experiencing muscle spasms it would be a good idea to supplement your diet with minerals and increase your intake of vegetables high in these nutrients.
Magnesium is found in; nuts, legumes, cereal grains, and dark leafy vegetables.
Potassium is found in; fresh fruits and vegetables, peanuts, meat, milk, banana, cantaloupe, spinach, and carrots.
Calcium is found in; Milk and dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, legume’s, nuts and whole grains.
My personal choice is a Buffered Lemon C powder by Ortho Molecular (Available at this office). Each teaspoon in a glass of water will supply 2,350mg of vitamin C, 350mg of Calcium, 350mg of Magnesium, and 99mg of Potassium. This is in the proper ratio that your body prefers. It also matches the DASH-I and DASH-II diets recommended by the National Institute of Health to lower blood pressure.
NOTE: Heart attacks; It is now known that many heart attacks occur in people with healthy hearts. Magnesium deficiency allows levels of calcium to increase, which can cause cardiac muscle spasm resulting in heart attack and frequently death.
You should also drink plenty of water. The rule I like to use is to divide your body weight in half and drink that amount in ounces. (200 lb body weight divided by 2 = 100oz of water per day).
Yours in Health,
Dr. Charles L. Eckert,DC, FASA, FIACA, DABCI, CBCN.