What Causes Leg Cramps at Night for Diabetes Sufferers?


Quick Answer

For people with diabetes, the most common cause of leg cramps is peripheral nerve damage, according to Healthline. This type of nerve damage is frequently due to long-term high blood sugar levels. A diabetic person experiencing leg cramps should report these symptoms to a doctor as soon as possible to obtain treatment and prevent the condition from worsening.

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Full Answer

Nerve damage in the legs, also known as peripheral neuropathy, is a common condition for people with diabetes, explains Healthline. This condition causes numbness and tingling in addition to cramping and pain. As the disease progresses, the patient may develop more serious issues that can lead to foot or leg amputation. Therefore, even mild symptoms of neuropathy warrant consultation with a physician to diagnose or rule out this condition.

Careful management of blood sugar levels is crucial in preventing this condition from worsening, states Healthline. In many cases, over-the-counter pain medication is sufficient for providing pain relief; however, some patients experience severe pain that requires the use of narcotics or other prescription medications. Physical therapy with targeted leg exercises is helpful in treatment of this condition. Other measures that provide relief include soaking the legs in a warm bath; use of a stationary bicycle to improve blood circulation; and use of a bed cradle at night to protect the legs.

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