Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) Support Group

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a progressive, genetic disorder of the kidneys. It occurs in humans and other organisms. PKD is characterised by the presence of multiple cysts (polycystic) in both kidneys. The disease can also damage the liver, pancreas and rarely the heart and brain.

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Foot Cramps/Spasms

Re: My Mom's PKD

My mom has been experience cramps/spams in her feet at night for several years now. It comes and goes. She told me that lately, the cramping is so bad that her foot actually bends sideways (Ouch). I understand with PKD there can be muscle spasms. Has anyone else experienced this type of cramping? I've tried searching the net for info, but not having much luck. I would like to know if it's an indicator of some kind as to how her kidneys are functioning.

Replies

deleted_user
deleted_user

these foot cramps, spasms, charlie horses, call them what you want, are generally a symptom of electrolytes out of balance. the kidneys keep these in perfect balance when they work well. when they don't the cramps can be terribly painful.
when your mother has labwork done try to get a copy and see if her sodium, potassium, phosphorous etc. are in normal ranges.
I hope your mother speaks with her doctor about these cramps. she may have to change her diet to get relief.
LHanley
LHanley

I too suffer occasionally from foot/leg cramps, but, my electrolytes are all normal (they are tested every six months). Internet searches reveal nothing but "foot and leg cramping seem to occur more frequently as one ages." Oh boy, lucky us. However, I found that taking a Vitamin D pill everyday has lessened the occurrence.
Like Spiderwoman said, first stop - check the labs.
Lisa H
PS Glad to hear that you are still in good health!!!
LHanley
LHanley

Oops. Sorry, I got my posts confused. I HOPE you are in good health!
norma67
norma67

I have had these cramps forever! The over 60 crowd seem to have the most trouble. I spend half of my nights in the bathroom with steaming hot wash cloths on the affected area. For me, it's the only solution. I've tried drinking more water during the day, stretching at night before bed, all sorts of crazy things and nothing works. They come at will and go away when they bloody well feel like it. My electrolytes are all in order, so it's not that with me. I have no clue what is causing them and the doctor's don't seem to know either. My sister that is on dialysis gets them while being dialized! Ouch and that really hurts! It seems to be a kidney related issue is about all I know. Good luck to you!

Love,
Norma...
CoachRichie
CoachRichie

Yeah.
I had foot and leg cramps. Mostly at night.
You can check the diet for the right balance of minerals, but for me, they only went away when I started dialysis.

Peace and Blessings!
CoachRichie
deleted_user
deleted_user

Everything you are saying makes a lot of sense. Now that my mom's creatinin is on the rise, the cramps have become more frequent and intense. Since her diagnosis, her diet has always been really good and she takes vitamine D daily. She is a big beliver in everything healthy. If it becomes any worse I will definately recommend that she call her doc to see if anything else is out of wack with her labs.

Thanks, Misty Rose
ihavepkd
ihavepkd

From first hand experience, magnesium levels also need to be considered when looking at cramping muscles. It's part of the whole picture but often is overlooked as it's not a standard part of the renal panel and electrolytes! So if cramping is an issue (including menstrual cramping, which is probably not your mother's issue, but may be an issue for others), you may need to ask or remind the doctor to look at those levels as well. And remember, calcium and magensium work together to maximize the effectiveness of both (and should not be taken with iron or soy products, and iron should be taken with Vit C, but not be taken with soy....there are all sorts of separation issues to maximize absorption of vitamins and minerals).

For feet, there are some splints your mother may be able to use to help keep her foot stable and avoid the cramping entirely. Stretching the feet and exercising the muscles may help as well. Orthotics in the shoes may also help. All voice of experience (my problem was low magnesium and later low potassium and I've always had a problem with my arches just flattening out when I stand up so I wear shoes as slipppers and use orthotics in all my shoes (yes, even heels on those very rare occasions I wear them).

Best wishes,
Ruth
deleted_user
deleted_user

just from my experience, much as we preach low sodium we should be careful not to go too low because we can also cramp up from too low sodium, especially when on dialysis.
I very often emphasize for those on dialysis who are still producing urine in normal amounts that allowing too much fluid removal, in some cases no fluid should be removed, can lead to terrible cramping. what they do in centers is to administer saline to undo the damage they do by removing too much fluid.
often it can be difficult to convince these people to not pull fluid because, as I've often said, they sometimes take a "one size fits all" approach and removing fluid is the norm.
once after a session my hands were all crampy and I sent Jim to bring me some chicken soup to bring my sodium back into balance.
remember, low sodium, not no sodium.
LHanley
LHanley

Well hello Ruth! Glad to see you back and thanks for the tip on magnesium. BTW, I've also found that when I wear flip flops too often, the cramps come on - which may not be a problem for MistRose's mom, if MB means Manitoba, brrrr!
Lisa H
tryn2bpositive
tryn2bpositive

A tea of rose hips, lemon grass, nettle, and chamomile drank throughout the day has really diminished my cramps. You get the separate ingredients in bulk at a natural foods store. Half chamomile and lemon grass and about 1/4 rose hips and 1/8 to 1/4 nettle. It's very tasty. I call it "Pond Water"
I use a big pickle jar from the wharehouse stores, throw the mix in with filtered water and set it in the sun.
Sweeten with agave or honey if you have a sweet tooth but it's quite flavorful and sweet on its own.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I get leg/ankle/foot cramps at night lately also. I have to jump up and walk around to get rid of them. It is totally annoying! Thank you all for your great advice. I'm not a tea person but the tea recipe sounds good. Thanks again!
LHanley
LHanley

The tea sounds good to me as well. Had foot cramps today - as soon as I put on my flip flops! Will I ever learn?
rogerjd
rogerjd

I suffered with leg cramps a lot when I was at CKD stage 4. In fact sometimes the cramp would be contnuous for a couple of days which was really painful and I could not walk. I am now at end stage and no longer suffer from cramps. My medications have not really changed much although over last 18 months I have been having sodium bicarbonate in pill form from my doctor. I also now have trouble eating and manage on a bowl of cereal every day. I have put the 'missing' cramps down to my now restricted diet.

Hope this helps you understand your mother's cramp