Leg cramps in the during pregnancy
Generally, leg cramps can be caused by many factors, such as from injury during exercise, lack of certain nutrient intake, and exposure to cold temperatures. Cramps themselves can take several seconds to several minutes to be relieved. Striking the legs is common.
Here are the reviews about the cause of leg cramps:
The first cause of leg cramps is related to hormones. Interference with hormone levels can cause swelling of the legs and ankles, which triggers pressure on the nerves. Moreover, the swelling also disrupts the blood flow to the muscles. This case causes cramps from lactic acid buildup and poor oxygenation.
- Lack of calcium intake
Calcium is an important type of mineral needed for muscle contraction and nerve transmission. Calcium deficiency can cause foot cramps and tingling. Lack of calcium can make your muscles and nerve endings become more sensitive than usual. However, the cause of leg cramps due to a lack of calcium can occur suddenly.
Commonly, the cause of frequent cramps and tingling is due to injury. Cramps and tingling due to nerve compression trauma can occur after getting a spinal cord injury or a broken leg. Scars around the nerves and arthritis of the spine or legs can trigger abnormal sensations and even muscle spasms.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
According to the Merck Medical Library, rheumatoid arthritis of the ankle can cause tarsal tuneel syndrome. The pressure from the nearby swelling will trigger tingling in the legs and cause foot cramps. Try to keep your feet upward to relieve symptoms. In some chronic cases, the doctor may recommend surgery.
- Diabetic neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy is one of the complications of diabetes with symptoms of numbness or numbness in the legs or limbs. This can be a cause of frequent cramps and tingling. This complaint is caused by the damaged peripheral nervous system due to uncontrolled blood sugar levels.
Infection (tetanus) can cause inflammation of blood vessels and trigger the formation of scar tissue in the blood vessels, disrupt blood circulation, tingling and leg cramps in the muscles of the lower extremities.
The cause of leg cramps also often occurs in women who are pregnant, especially when entering the few last months. This leg cramps may occur due to lack of magnesium and potassium intake or cause by the blood circulation to the legs that do not run smoothly.
This also the main cause of leg cramps. Some people may not realize about body fluid intake. If you experience severe dehydration, it can cause electrolyte disturbances which then cause your feet to cramp and tingle.
- Certain diseases
Certain diseases can also be a cause of leg cramps. Several certain diseases here are liver, peripheral arterial disease, joint calcification (osteoarthritis), multiple sclerosis, peripheral neuropathy, hypothyroidism, and type 2 diabetes. Consult your doctor immediately to determine the exact cause of leg cramps and get better treatments.
- Side effects of drugs
When you are taking drugs such as asthma medication, antipsychotic drugs, corticosteroids, static, and diuretics, it can be a cause of leg cramps.
If you are too tired to do certain activities, it can be a cause of leg cramps. Football, weight lifting and activities even running are examples of sports that can be the cause of leg cramps. Foot cramps can get worse if you do these activities during hot weather because that can be accompanied by an increased risk of dehydration.
- Poor body position
Keep in mind, the flexibility of the muscles is determined by the balance of the body posture every day, whether standing, sitting or lying down. If you are used to standing for a long time, but suddenly you are required to sit for a long time, or the opposite condition, it can be also the cause of leg cramps.
- Take certain drugs
The medicines you consume can also be a cause of leg cramps. Osteoporosis drugs, statins, pain relievers, asthma, birth control pills, and hypertension drugs are some types of drugs that can be the caused of leg cramps.
Tips for Preventing Foot Cramps
After knowing what causes leg cramps, you also need to know how to prevent foot cramps. The following steps can be done, including:
- Drink 8 glasses of water every day
In addition to preventing dehydration, fulfilling your body fluid intake can also reduce the possibility of electrolyte imbalances in the body. The amount of fluid in the body must be maintained, both before and after having heavy activities or exercises.
- Exercise regularly
Regular leg stretching will relax the muscles and have benefit for preventing cramps. If you get the foot cramps to occur at night, gently stretch your legs. This will help stimulate blood flow in the legs.
- Increase your needs for potassium and calcium
These two minerals are important to help treat fluids in the body. Pregnant women can regularly consume potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, poultry, and fish. While for fulfilling calcium need, you can consume low-fat yogurt or fat-free milk.
- Wearing the right footwear
As you are pregnant have any consideration on the footwear wearing. Here, high heels should be avoided. It is recommended to wear the right footwear with insoles that support the body well.
- Take a warm bath before going to bed
A warm bath will relax the muscles in the legs and reduce the possibility of leg cramps.
- Using a thick blanket
Since the cause of leg cramps can occur due to exposure to cold temperatures, you can use socks plus thick blankets to get warmer the whole body.
Further about Leg cramps during pregnancy
For your information, besides nausea and vomiting, hard to sleep in pregnant women will also experience leg cramps. Foot cramps usually occur in the second trimester of pregnancy. Cramps often feel at night and will interfere sleeping.
Specifically, here are common causes of leg cramps during pregnancy:
- Lack of mineral intake. Some studies have found that lack of calcium, magnesium, and potassium is the cause of muscle cramps. But research has not been able to prove that consuming supplements can prevent leg cramps during pregnancy.
- As the mother’s uterus and abdomen enlarge, some muscles suppress the blood circulation of the foot to the heart and nerves around the legs that sometimes resulting in the cramping in the legs.
- Foot cramps can also occur if we stand too long or unconsciously sit by crossing both legs for quite a long time.
To prevent foot cramps during pregnancy, try a few tips below:
- Do stretching the leg muscles before going to bed, by slowly twirling the ankles. This can be done while watching TV or during leisure time throughout the day.
- Avoid being too tired and go to sleep on your left side. This position is believed to be able to facilitate blood circulation to and from your feet.
- Increase the consumption of water and try bathing with warm water before going to bed.