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What are some reasons for leg cramps?

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Quick Answer

Leg cramps are caused by a variety of conditions from dehydration and overexercising to alcohol abuse, diabetes and pregnancy, states Dr. Rodanthi Kitridou for Everyday Health. Parkinson's disease and certain medications taken for asthma or psychosis can also cause leg cramps.

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Full Answer

There are many everyday causes for leg cramps such as exercising and exposure to cold temperatures, explains WebMD. Cramps can occur during exercise or as a result of dehydration. Many of the prevention techniques are simple, including stretching calf muscles before and after exercise and drinking plenty of water. Avoid extremely cold temperatures and water or wear warm clothing to keep muscles from spasming. A diet lacking certain vitamins and minerals can also cause cramps. This can be prevented by eating foods rich in potassium and calcium.

Leg cramping can also occur because of a disease that interferes with blood flow such as arterial disease, kidney disease and thyroid disease, notes WebMD. Diabetes, Parkinson's disease and alcohol abuse can affect muscles and nerves and also result in cramping, states Dr. Kitridou. To treat leg cramps from these diseases, an individual should consult a doctor. Leg cramp pain can be managed with massage; warm baths; and warm and cold compresses.

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