Major increase in leg cramps

(Robin) #21

I always have leg and foot at cramps at night, if I forget to drink a larg-ish glass of salted water, with some magnesium citrate powder just before bed.

Does that mean something is lacking in my diet? I dunno… but if water ,salt, and Mag is what’s missing and is the cure… no big deal. Nothing to analyze, just take care of it.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #22

How are you doing for salt, magnesium, and potassium? If you are getting enough salt, it is easier for your body to regulate the other two, but you may also need to supplement them. Plenty of information on this site about how to do that, just search on “cramps” and it should all show up.

Commercial supplements often contain minerals in forms that are cheap to produce, but that are less bio-available, so I agree with the idea that our diet should supply all we need. But on the other hand, some of us have been damaged and may need a bit of help.

Remember, too, that the kidneys excrete sodium more readily once insulin drops, so we do need to work a bit harder on keto to be sure we get enough salt. Over- or under-hydrating does not help, so drinking to thirst is key, there. Magnesium and potassium are both found in meat (especially in marrow), so a cup or two of bone broth a day can be a good idea. Especially if it’s homemade and simmered long enough for the minerals to leach out of the bones.


You might be right that if the body is damaged then perhaps supplements are neccessary. I’ve always preferred to get everything I need from my food, but I realise, in this modern world that is difficult and not one everyone can do it. I do wish one could just look inside the body and immediately know what’s wrong and fix the problem. The healing we all desire on different levels may only be achieved to a certain degree, but that is still better than the alternative. I don’t believe in perfect health, but I do believe we can do a lot of things to put ourselves in remission from various diseases and conditions and live the best lives we can. And living symptom free equals quality of life. I may sound a bit negative there, but honestly I’m not. I have a great life, in fact I love my life and my family and in spite of a few health hurdles life threw down my path, my quality of life is not lacking. My partner and our children are healthy and well. So I know I am blessed. And so I am galvanised to seek the best health I can for myself within the bounds of reality. As that is all I believe any of us can do.

(Judith) #24

Septimus, how did you know your electrolytes were unbalanced?

(Duane) #25

It isn’t sodium you are missing, it is magnesium. You need electrolytes. My problem wasn’t leg cramps…it was tachycardia. You can either buy a supplement or make your own mix. I did the latter and mix 1/2 tsp of the electrolyte mix to 32 oz of water. I add 1/4 tsp to 16 oz of bottled water and have a bottle at the ready wherever I am working. Recipe is 1/2 cup of canning salt (pure sodium chloride w.o. iodine and other additives), 1 3/4 tsp of potassium chloride (Nu-salt) and 1/2 tsp of magnesium glycinate (which you can get from Amazon).


Thank you. I will look into whether a magnesium supplement is something I can take, whether it may interact with my Tamoxifen, will ask the pharmacy about this as it might be worth supplementing however I have of late experienced a decrease in the leg cramps.

(Duane) #27

You can also get a magnesium “lotion” to rub on legs (from Amazon) to get the magnesium via absorption through skin. I haven’t had cramping, so cannot say how well it works.

(Robin) #28

Hi. I had to get off tamoxifen due to severe cramping. That’s probably causing it, not your diet.
BUT, I m still prone to getting cramps unless I take my nightly dose of magnesium powder and salt in water.


Hi Robin, you might be right that Tamoxifen is what’s causing it as I had leg cramps before I started keto. In any case, although still there, they seem to have lessened. I have dropped my total carbohydrates from 10 to 5, and upped my salt intake. I’ll have to look into a magnesium supplement. I have recently experienced a loss of appetite, but I suppose that is normal on keto? I have since starting my WOE lost 5 kilos and dropped down from a size UK 8 to a size UK 6 dress size. So long term because of the ongoing weight loss I don’t know how I’ll do on keto, but I am enjoying the food and have so far no issues with this WOE. But clearly it works better for someone with a lot of weight to lose to begin with.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #30

So your profile says you began a ketogenic diet on October 12. It is now November 23, and you’ve lost 5 kg/11 lbs. and dropped two dress sizes. That seems as though you are doing very well indeed on keto, no?


Well yes, so long as I don’t just keep dropping. As I was going to give the ketogenic WOE a year to see if I could sort out my lipoedema. In terms of benefits from keto I have discovered several so it does seem promising, and the bruises on my legs have decreased. So although I still have the lipoedema I am hopeful it will, on the keto WOE, resolve.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #32

Ah, that’s a different concern from what I was reading into your other post, sorry!

If you continue eating this way, you should eventually stop losing fat and hit a point of stable weight. If you continue eating enough protein and fat, your body might even put on some muscle and increase your bone density; it’s been known to happen, as long as people eat enough.

We think of keto as primarily a weight-loss diet, but it’s actually not; the metabolic healing from eating this way causes weight-normalisation. It’s just that most people in our society who need a keto diet are overweight or obese.

Something to remember, when considering how much to weigh, is that our perceptions of “normal” have been skewed over the past fifty years. I well remember watching the 1950’s movie Houseboat on television as a child, back before the dietary guidelines were first promulgated, and thinking that Sophia Loren was very shapely, but quite well-padded. I recently came across pictures of Ms. Loren from that era and was surprised to see that she now looks thin, not zaftig. That’s because “normal” has changed. When your fat loss reaches a settling point, you may be told you look emaciated, but you probably won’t be, especially if you aren’t fearing fat and calories.


It’s individual. I don’t have that on keto but when I eat as little carbs as do, it may happen. Or not. In the beginning of a sudden diet change it has bigger chances I think… I ate so little when I tried carnivore, well on some days, my body realized the lack of energy in a few days… I didn’t eat little enough to lose fat most of the time! But then my body got used to my new woe and I eat much more now, occasional overeating happens and I really don’t want that, I just can’t avoid it.
Many carnivores eat pretty much so it’s not just me and my not even carnivore diet :slight_smile:

Even mere keto drastically drops the food intake for many, significantly but not too much for others but some of us eats like before. At least I did it until fat adaptation, that dropped my calories but my body adapted and it stopped.
There are no rules about it. Keto often lowers our energy intake but it’s not true for everyone.

I talked about hunger and need for food, by the way, if you mean that when you say appetite, I think most people do. My appetite definitely never dropped on keto as I loved my food. It often does on carnivore (to the negative) and it is a huge problem as I need forcefulness or tricks to eat then. But I always manage somehow. My body and mind will adapt eventually.


Hi Paul, thanks for sharing your thoughts. It is interesting what you say abour how our ideas of normal have been skewed over the years. Personally so long as someone looked and felt healthy I would never call them emaciated, I would associate the word with grave illness. Even back when I had cancer and the nurses commented I looked thin, I was far from emaciated. I am the same weight now as I was then, 51-52kg. The lowest end of the normal weight range for my height (159cm) according to NHS, is 47kg. In the end I am enjoying my food, not depriving myself but time can stretch now between my meals as I just don’t feel that hungry. But when I do eat I eat a proper meal and take enjoyment in it. In fact I enjoy the foods far more on the keto/carnivore WOE than I ever did on my high carb, low fat diet, bacon still being my favourite go to food. I believe my body will tell me if it’s feeling less healthy and then I may adjust, but for now, yes I think it’s going well.


Hi Shinita. It may be then because I’ve dropped the carbs significantly. I started with keeping to under 20, then to under 10 and the last few days just 5 or so. And I could easily drop those. As meat, fish and eggs now are enough to satiate me. My favourite dessert remains my coffee with cream which my partner feels is too rich, but I find it just a pure delight.

(JMarie 2769cedbf6aca43a0b51) #36

Thank you. That is all true. I appreciate all the helpful feedback.
This whole thing is all so different for me and sometimes I don’t see how people maintain this kind of eating plan/ IF.
I’m glad I’m off sugar and anything to do with white flour stuff but I just don’t understand how you make it work after the weight comes off.

(Robin) #37

I don’t “understand it” either, but here I am. In maintenance for years and zero cravings. Plus, I make it all this time because I remember how I felt before.


Why, what is your problem with it? IF and keto can be very, very natural… But people are different, obviously. I probably never will stick to keto ever and it’s perfectly fine. I handle a few off days per year very well. And it’s very bad not to do IF, IF is what is good for me, preferably with a tiny eating window. It’s just normal for many of us.
But my SO is totally unable to do a single low-carb day as it feels physically horrible for him. So he doesn’t do that.

I don’t see difference between before and after fat-loss, well it makes sense as I always stayed fat on keto :slight_smile: But more than 1-2 days is so long to me that I can’t do that “just temporarily”, it’s some level of commitment. So if I lose fat after 10 years, I just continue, it’s pretty normal at that point anyway but if it felt restrictive to begin with, I would have quit anyway…

(JMarie 2769cedbf6aca43a0b51) #39