Foot and leg cramps may be due to a deficiency in vitamin D, according to MedlinePlus. In such cases, vitamin D supplements may help alleviate symptoms but should only be taken under a doctor's supervision.
Abnormal levels of electrolytes or minerals in the body can also cause foot and leg cramps, says MedlinePlus. Particularly important minerals include potassium, magnesium and calcium, according to WebMD.
Additional potential causes of muscle spasms include brain disorders, kidney disease, and dehydration, MedlinePlus notes. Late-stage pregnancy and thyroid disorders may also be to blame.
To prevent cramps, stretching and warm baths before bed may be useful, WebMD adds. It also recommends drinking sufficient water, particularly before, during, and after exercise. Swimming and strength building exercises are particularly effective, and electrolyte replacement beverages such as Gatorade may be useful. Finally, it is best to keep legs warm and to avoid pointing the toes while sleeping.
Those suffering from recurring leg and foot cramps should consult a physician, according to MedlinePlus. During the visit, the doctor may perform blood and urine tests. These tests may check key mineral or hormone levels and may also check kidney function. Treatment will vary depending on the cause of the cramps.