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Does Chronic Kidney Disease Cause Cramps In Legs And Feet

Time:  2014-02-18 06:09

Does Chronic Kidney Disease Cause Cramps In Legs And FeetDoes chronic kidney disease cause cramps in legs and feet? We know chronic kidney disease(CKD) patients usually experience various symptoms like nausea, vomiting, headache, high blood pressure, itchy skin. Also cramp in legs and feet is one of them.

Chronic kidney disease can lead to cramps in legs and feet. Then what are the causes of cramps in legs and feet?

1. Low level of potassium

Potassium is a mineral that the body needs to work normally, which helps the body uses energy and build muscles and make bone strong. Kidneys are responsible for balancing the electrolytes in your body and they help regulate the potassium level in your body. When your kidneys are damaged, low potassium and low calcium level occurs. In this case, cramps in legs and feet occur.

2. Medication side effects

Cramps in legs and feet can be a side effect of some medications. For chronic kidney disease, diuretics are usually used and they can cause muscle cramp. For instance, ACE inhibitors can cause potassium build up in the body, which will lead to leg and feet cramp and achy joints, bones and muscles.

3. Dialysis

Patients who have cramps associated with dialysis have been reported to have low parathyroid hormone levels than patients who have no cramps. Low concentrations of sodium in the dialysate bath, and increased ultrafiltration which is needed to filter excess fluid out of the body are factors related to the dialysis procedure itself, which will increase the risk of cramps in legs and feet. What’s more, volume contraction and hyponatremia are the most common factors which result in muscle cramp in relation to the hemodialysis procedure itself.

How to reduce the frequency of muscle cramps?

For cramps associated with dialysis, increasing the frequency of hemodialysis, or switching to peritoneal dialysis have been effective in reducing the frequency of cramping.

It is reported that vitamin E may be an alternative therapy for the management of leg cramps for CKD patients who are receiving dialysis.

Massage or stretch leg muscles when leg cramps occur.

Although kidney damage can cause leg or feet cramps, it is not the only cause. Other causes, like dehydration, heavy exercise and too little vitamin D, can also lead to leg or feet cramps, so finding out the root is essential for alleviating leg cramps fundamentally.

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