Leg cramps at night and bruising


Thank you, I’ll ask about those supplements at the pharmacy :slight_smile:

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #22

The issue is simply that insulin causes the kidneys to reduce the rate at which they excrete sodium. This means that lowering insulin (by eating less carbohydrate) therefore allows the kidneys to return to their normal, higher rate of excreting sodium. So a bit of extra salt helps. If you are feeling dizzy, lightheaded, headachey, then you may need more sodium. Another symptom is constipation.

The other problem is that the governmental dietary recommendations for salt consumption are unhealthily low, in the U.S. extremely so.


I watched one of Dr Jason Fung’s videoes on salt and it was a real eye-opener. As I followed an extreme low sodium high carb, low fat diet for many years, it obvously wasn’t good, as I’ve been sick for many years. I will up my sodium intake and see if that will help, to start with. I eat a lot of salty meats and fish too, like bacon, smoked mackarel, beef burgers and otherwise salt food to taste, but will start adding more of my pink himalayan rock salt to my other dishes.

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #24

Two studies were published a few years ago, both with large numbers of participants. One was the PURE study (Prospective Urban and Rural something-or-other), I forget the name of the other. But they both showed a strong correlation between sodium intake and health.

The range with the best health seems to be 4-6 grams of sodium daily, from all sources. The health risk rises steeply as sodium intake drops below 4 g/day; the risk rises more slowly as intake rises above 6 g/day (this is what’s called a J-shaped curve). Interestingly, even people with high blood pressure are healthiest when they stay within the sweet spot of the curve. But for salt-sensitive hypertensives (a minority of patients with hypertension), the risk above the sweet spot rises as steeply as the risk below the sweet spot (a U-shaped curve). But the sweet spot seems to be the same for everyone.

Using the atomic weights of sodium and chlorine, we can easily calculate that 4-6 g of sodium is contained in 10-15 g of sodium chloride. And remember that this is the recommended range of intake from all sources. So if your diet already includes a lot of salty foods, it may not be necessary to add much extra salt, in order to stay within the sweet spot.

I find that constipation and migraine headaches are two reliable indicators that I have been forgetting to eat enough salt, and the sign of too much salt is in stools that are very messy. When I stay in the sweet spot, everything is fine. The other indicator is taste: if adding salt makes the food taste better, I need the salt. If it makes the food taste too salty, I’ve had enough. A few months ago, I really overdid the salt, and boy, did it taste terrible!


Interesting. I also noticed bruising when I started a keto WOE 2.5 years ago. I started taking a bit of vitamin C powder and more recently have been paying great attention to meeting all micronutrient and mineral requirements — from food if at all possible— using the Cronometer app. I have had ups and downs along the way but generally am feeling pretty good right now. I have stopped noticing bruises so I guess I am better in that regard (but it’s also possible I just stopped caring).

Reading the forum over the years, I would say you would be the exception if you did not get leg cramps on a keto diet. Most people (including me) seem to end up supplementing magnesium. In my opinion, this reflects a deficiency in the diet that shouldn’t be ignored. I do my best to make sure I reach a recommended 320 mg daily by eating pumpkin seeds, avocado, and other magnesium rich foods plus supplements.

Good luck to you. Sounds like you’re doing great so far!


I guess salt always tastes very salty - but when we don’t need it, it gets horrible indeed (my tastebuds’ experience barely changed when I changed my woe, I mean this in general for food - but my interest, enjoyment did, sometimes very dramatically). I have that if I go way above my sweet spot 4-5g salt a day. Maybe odd but my woe can’t seem to matter, I always feel right just there (and I automatically stay there, only strayed when I did carnivore based on very salted processed pork and some liver as my meats. that was terrible, I must be around 10g salt if I can guess but as I have no idea how salty my pork was, maybe not. I stopped using salt altogether, I only got it from my small amount of salted meat in the end). I wonder if I will do what some carnivores do and drop it dramatically (eating some unsalted meat and maybe a few unsalted eggs, that must be like 1g salt for me)… But it makes sense humans don’t need a ton of salt, where would they get it in the wild from and why just other animals aren’t enough? It’s bad enough for the herbivores who really need more than what they get from their food…

BUT we know some people truly need much salt. Very much. One carnivore lives on almost none and the other salt their food AND drinks salty water all the time or else problems arise.


Oh. I thought people eats all those nasty green leaves and getting plenty :slight_smile:
I always hated therefore ignored them, I had no meat either… So yep, I needed a Mg pill here and there, not often (I still was way, way below the recommended Mg intake but I couldn’t do much about it and I wasn’t in pain so hopefully my body handled it well enough. I wanted to do better but I just couldn’t. I am not a supplement eater, something in me resists).
So I thought if one eats everything on keto and focus on Mg, it’s not so hard to get enough to avoid cramps. Due to magnesium as some people have sodium or potassium problem and that triggers it as I have heard.

Keto changes something as I never had cramps on low-carb or high-carb and I hardly ate lots of magnesium even then… It seemed I usually got them when I went into ketosis (I did on and off keto all the time, it’s my thing. now I more like do on/off carnivore-ish and after some years I have a chance at staying keto on my off days. yay. new experiments!). I always was fine for several days and usually weeks after a single pill. And my cramps are not too bad (I am bad with pain so it means it barely felt like a pain, more like some discomfort) and super short lasting (typically a few seconds). My biggest problem with it was that it signals magnesium problems for me and magnesium is super important, let’s solve it before it affects my nerves or something similarly major. Maybe these all mean I was just a tad below my magnesium need…? But I had one 120mg(?) Mg pill every month or so, it was NOTHING…
And if adding meat and cutting out plants (mostly) solved it, why it came back? I eat more meat than ever.
It’s so complicated.
But I had enough, I want to solve this already.

(B Creighton) #28

Having started keto just a few weeks ago does make loss of electrolytes at the top of my suspicions for the cramping. Loss of electolytes is a common symptom, and often causes “keto flu,” but is readily addressible by supplementing some minerals. I supp with ZMA every night though, and had no noticeable symptoms when I started keto, whereas my wife did, until I told her she needed to supplement with magnesium and zinc. Her cramps went away. That resolved her symptoms. She may have added more salt as well.

The only thing I come up with about the bruising is that maybe you have some weakness in the veins. Keto may be clearing some athersclerosis, which is making weak areas in the veins… Vericose veins makes me think you may be deficient in vitamin K2. Most Americans are. You may try supplementing with vitamin K2. Grain fed chickens and beef are deficient in K2, because they aren’t getting any vitamin K1 to be converted to K2 in their gut by Bacillus subtilis, unless it is supplemented in their feed which is rare. Further, antiobiotic use can kill off Bacteriodes and other probiotics which make K2. There are some strains of Bacillus subtilis available that are supposed to be able to colonize the human gut. There is evidence that K2 along with vitamin D helps remove calcium deposits in veins and arteries, and strengthens bones.

I echo Paul’s suggestion to inform your Dr about the bruising, and see if she has ideas.

(Betsy) #29

I understand that it is said that when eating the ketogenic diet one does not need to supplement vitamin c, but I still think there are some conditions that may actually require it, such as inflammation.

With respect to the bruising, Vitamin C is often prescribed and here is what I found about lipedema and Vitamin C:

Therefore, it is valuable for the inflammatory state that follows from lipedema ; second, another function to remember of vitamin C is the support in the synthesis of collagen. These two biochemical actions can be helpful in the condition of lipedema that also affects connective type tissue.

That is from this link:


Hi, thanks for your reply and suggestion, it’s a really interesting article and I’ll look into its various recommendations for lipoedema, as although I have experienced a reduction in lipoedema pain it’s not all gone, thank you for this, it’s food for thought, and much appreciated.

(Betsy) #31

You’re welcome. I learned somethings helpful for my own condition in thinking about your post.

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #32

I haven’t listened to this yet, but it popped up in my YouTube recommendations, so I thought I’d post the link. Daisy is a smart cookie and knows a great deal about keto health concerns. The people she interviews are always interesting and know what they are talking about.