Showing posts with label Potassium. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Potassium. Show all posts

Low Potassium and Muscle Spasms or Cramps in Elderly - Potassium Foods and NSAIDs


Muscle spasms, also known as muscle cramps, are painful indeed. Do you suffer from occasional or even not so occasional muscle spasms, foot cramps, leg cramps, etc.? The cure might be as simple as eating a meal rich in the mineral potassium.

There could be a couple dozen medical reasons for muscle spasms. If you go to the doctor or a medical clinic, they will be more than happy to help you. They will arrange for you to be given all sorts of medical tests. They will call in a few specialists along the way. There will be lots and lots of appointments for you to keep. Yes, they will do all this for you.Why? Because they really care. The several thousand dollars they will bill you is entirely incidental and will never even have entered their thoughts during the entire process.

Did you know low potassium in your diet is the most common cause of frequent muscle spasms and cramps? Maybe, just maybe, you would like to eliminate that possibility first before embarking on the above adventure.

Everyone knows bananas have potassium. But it turns out hey are actually number 10 on the high-potassium nutrition food list. What’s number one? I was pleased to discover lima beans graced that spot. And there are more ways to cook and prepare them than you can shake a banana at. And they are all delicious.

Foods Rich in Potassium

  • Lima Beans (as mentioned)
  • Spinach
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Salmon
  • Avocados
All of them are more potassium-enriched than bananas.

So give yourself a diet rich in potassium (don’t go overboard) for a few days and see how it goes. The muscle spasms and cramps just might go away and your problem is solved. It worked for me, foot and leg muscle spasms in my case.

And do be careful about too much potassium. Too much potassium is even worse than too little potassium. Your heart muscle, for one, will not take kindly to it. I've found when I start to feel the beginnings of muscle spasms, a single potassium-rich meal solves the problem.

Here is a page from the National Institute of Health which has more information about potassium and includes an expanded food list. It also has some very necessary warnings.

Beware NSAIDs

If you happen to know your muscle spasms, cramps, or other muscle pains were caused by too much muscle strain or other physical activity; ibuprofen actually works. You can buy Advil or you can buy the store generic brand with the exact same dosage for half the price. It should be mentioned ibuprofen is part of a class of drugs known as NSAIDs. In addition to general warnings about NSAIDs, NSAIDs don't get along well with a lot of other medicines and prescription medications. If you are taking other medicines or prescription medications, be sure to read what those medications have to say about being mixed with NSAIDs. I also found out recently doctors won't do elective surgery if the patient has recently been taking ibuprofen; turns out ibuprofen thins the blood and surgeons don't like that when it comes to surgery.

Also, the FDA is now saying NSAIDs increases one's chances of having a heart attack or stroke. Moderate doses for a few days are fine, but high doses or usage for more than a few weeks is not a good idea. My doctor also informed me recently that the kidneys are not very thrilled about NSAIDs either.