My Mother-in-law suffers from severe cramps in her leg at night and feels it is caused from drinking wine. Is this a cause?

Severe cramps in the legs at night are also known as night cramps or leg cramps. Night cramps is neither a serious condition, nor is it an uncommon ailment. In order to understand its causes, effects and remedy, let us first understand what cramps are. Cramps are generally referred to as muscle cramps; this is because they are associated with a tingling feeling in the muscles of the legs, hands or feet. Muscle cramps are caused due to sudden contractions of the muscles, leading to a pulling sensation in the leg. While this is not a serious condition, it can be very painful and annoying.

There are no specific causes for the occurrence of night cramps; however, it is a well known fact that cramps are caused due to dehydration, lack of vital minerals in the body and from maintaining an uncomfortable posture for a long period of time. Water is one of the most essential components of the body. The body requires an adequate amount of water for its functioning. If the body does not get this required supply of water, it reduces the supply of water to most parts of the body. The shortage of water leads to muscle contraction, especially in over worked parts of the body. Another reason for this condition is that with age the body loses a substantial amount of vital minerals. The absence or lower levels of calcium, potassium and magnesium in the body may also lead to sever muscle cramping. The simple action of maintaining an uncomfortable posture for a prolonged period of time can also make a person experience cramping. For example, try sleeping with your hand folded under your back for five minutes, you will notice a tingling sensation followed by cramps in that particular arm. When a particular part of the body is subjected to an uncomfortable position for a prolonged period of time, the body is unable to supply that part with blood. The absence or reduced supply of blood triggers muscle contractions in that area, thus leading to muscle cramps.

Coming to your question on whether drinking wine daily can cause night cramps? The answer is both yes and no, depending on the amount of wine consumed by your mother in law. If she drinks half a glass of wine per day, then she is most probably experiencing this condition due to dehydration, lack of mineral content in her body or due to a bad sleeping posture. However, if she consumes more than one glass of wine per day, then she could experience night cramps as a result of drinking too much wine. Wine like other alcohol causes dehydration when consumed in excess, thus leading to a cramping sensation.

You can ask your mother in law to follow these simple suggestions in order to alleviate this condition.

  • Drinking a minimum of 3 liters of water a day will ensure that she avoids this painful condition.
  • Stretching the muscles before sleeping will also provide your mother in law with considerable amount of relief from night cramps. Yoga would be the most effective way of ensuring this.
  • Make sure that your mother in law fulfills her daily requirement of calcium, potassium and magnesium, which can be found abundantly in fresh vegetables and fruits.
  • Lastly providing your mother in law with a water bed will make a world of a difference to her, as she experiences night cramps on a daily basis. A water bed makes sure that the blood flow remains constant. This is because the water moves beneath the body, simulating blood circulation.

answered by c

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