If you want to know what you can do about your hormonally induced leg cramps, I wrote this article for you. Welcome back to my Hormone Healing blog. Today, I will talk about leg cramps and how your hormones induce them and what you can do about this, naturally. Everybody, almost everybody, has experienced leg cramps some time during their life. The cramps could be in the legs. They could be in your feet. Anywhere in your lower extremities is where you usually feel these cramps.
Most of these cramps are due to an imbalance in water and minerals, but sometimes you can actually have more cramps when you are hormonally challenged. The women who are premenstrual and in their menstrual cycles, during that low estrogen time, experience more cramps, a lot more leg cramps. Menopausal women are really prone to leg cramps as are pregnant women prone to leg cramps too. So why is that? Because the hormones, specifically estrogen, control blood flow. And without an adequate amount of blood flow to those muscles, your legs are not getting enough hydration and you do not get enough minerals to control the contraction-relaxation phase of your muscles.
Let us focus on that. Your muscles actually contract because of the mineral calcium. Calcium is what is released in the nerve-muscle bundle to create the contraction of muscle fibers. And until that calcium is dumped out of those receptors and magnesium fills its place, relaxation occurs. So if you have an imbalance between calcium and magnesium, you are going to have a lot more muscle contractions that do not relax. We call those cramps. There is another reason for muscle cramps, and it is related to exercise and it is related to hydration. And that is where you are exercising really heavily and you have not drunk enough water, you have not had enough fluids beforehand, that your muscles are actually holding on to lactic acid, and that can cause some contractions and cramping as well. That is a little bit different.
Hormone Healing Tip 1: Exercise to Increase Blood Flow
So what are you going to do to deal with your leg cramps and prevent them? Number one, exercise. Exercise actually boosts circulation to those muscles. The more blood flow in and out of those muscles, the better it is for the muscles. The more oxygen they get, the less likely they are going to cramp, the more minerals that are flowing to those muscles and away from those muscles. Exercise is super important.
If you are standing all the time or sitting all the time, you actually have a slower blood flow, especially to your legs, which are dependent. That is why you see some more swelling. So even if you’re having to sit a lot, get up, move around. Actually contract those calf muscles. The same as when you are on an airplane. That will help to prevent those leg cramps. Make sure you exercise every day. Walking at least is good, swimming is good. It does not matter what you’re doing. Move those legs.
Hormone Healing Tip 2: Hydration is Key
Hydration is key. Did you know that you need at least one half (1/2) ounce of water per one pound of your body weight. What does that mean? If you are a 120-pound person, you need sixty (60) ounces of water a day. That is almost a gallon. So you need to make sure you are getting enough water throughout the day.
It is really, truly key, though, that your water is balanced. If you get too much water without enough electrolytes, then you are going to throw your hydration off. But your muscles need to be hydrated, and you need enough hydration in order to have good blood flow to your muscles in the first place.
Hormone Healing Tip 3: Boost your Mineral Intake
Number three, boost your mineral intake. So remember, magnesium helps relaxation, and calcium helps contraction. Well, we want strong contracted muscles. Most of us get enough calcium. We get calcium through most of our foods, especially dairy products. We see a lot of calcium there. So most people that are eating a lot of protein can get quite a bit of calcium.
Calcium is also found in legumes, and it is found in grains, so there’s calcium in other foods as well, including tofu, which is a legume, a bean, has a lot of calcium in it as well. It’s the magnesium where we tend to fall a little bit short. And where you get most of your magnesium are in dark green vegetables.
Here we go with those vegetables again. You can actually, you want to try to get at least one third (1/3) of your vegetables every day should be in those dark leafy greens. The darker, the better, the more magnesium. And remember, you need to cook those greens. At least one half (1/2) of the greens that you are eating should be cooked greens, not just raw. It is very difficult to break down the fibers in those raw vegetables in order to get enough magnesium, and cooking them helps you to release it, as well as sauteing those greens with a little olive oil and then at the very end, turn off the heat and squeeze a little lemon juice or lime juice. That will actually help you absorb the minerals, especially magnesium, from the greens. Try to eat greens at least a few times a week at minimum to get your magnesium balance up. You can also take magnesium as a supplement.
Now, the problem with magnesium as a supplement if you take too much of it, it can cause diarrhea. So you have to be really careful because it loves water. It pulls water into your gut, so you’re going to have a lot more diarrhea. That’s how old-fashioned milk of magnesia works. What you want to do is make sure you are taking a type of calcium for your body that is least likely to cause diarrhea. Calcium carbonates, calcium sulfates, they are more likely to cause diarrhea. A citrate, a little less likely. Threonate definitely is unlikely. Glycinate, not as likely. Those are the chelates that hook onto the magnesium. You want to make sure that you’re getting enough magnesium in your diet in order to prevent those leg cramps. So now that you know what you need to do to help to prevent those hormonal leg cramps, it’s not easy if the rest of your hormones are out of balance. That is why I created Genesis Gold