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Chemo and cramps

Freida
Posts: 191
Joined: Nov 2011

Did anyone have problems with cramps during chemo? Bill has been doing remarkably well with the chemo as far as nausea etc, but has been suffering severe cramps in his legs and around his abdomen. He mentioned it in passing to the PA last week but I think he kind of understated it enough to where the PA did not think much of it. This morning he said he could not sleep last night because the cramps were so bad - it's the first time he has really mentioned it other than the brief comment to the PA. Anyone else have the same problem - have a solution? (FWIW his pre chemo blood tests have been coming back good)

dodger21's picture
dodger21
Posts: 83
Joined: May 2011

Hi Frieda,
my friend, who has ongoing chemo for another type of cancer has exactly what Bill is going thru'. I've had to stop the car on the freeway once cause her leg cramps were that bad. Let me speak to her and I'll get back to you in about a day or so.
Danielle

Freida
Posts: 191
Joined: Nov 2011

Thank you. It would be really useful to hear her experience. I have been looking online for ideas and so far have read suggestions for bananas, a pill you can buy at walmart for leg cramps, Gatorade, and tonic water. Of course then there is the concern whether something should be taken if it interferes with the chemo drugs (I know some high dose of certain vitamins should not be taken). He already takes a potassium pill because of another medication he is on, so I'm not sure the bananas would help.

Kenem's picture
Kenem
Posts: 21
Joined: Oct 2009

The next time you have a blood test done, ask if they will check your magnesium. Low magnesium will also contribute to leg cramps.

Magnesium pills are available over-the-counter or by RX.

Freida
Posts: 191
Joined: Nov 2011

Thank you. I'll make sure to do that.

Ericalynn's picture
Ericalynn
Posts: 207
Joined: Jun 2011

John would get them when he got dehydrated. We started asking for an IV bag of fluids ( Sherry/William suggestion) on Friday's after 5-FU was removed for the weekend. The fluid made a world of difference in how John felt.
Let us know what the doctor says
Erica

Freida
Posts: 191
Joined: Nov 2011

Thanks William and Erica
He is pretty good about drinking lots of water(at MDA they said at least 3 liters a day of non caffeinated non carbonated fluids a day), which the nurse said is probably what has helped keep other side effects at bay. Yesterday he started drinking gatorade instead of (or in addition to)just plain water to see if that replaces whatever is missing in his system. He says the cramps seemed better last night and he did sleep better. So fingers crossed. We will ask the doc when we see him (or before if it continues to be a problem).
Freida

Gatoraid's picture
Gatoraid
Posts: 71
Joined: Aug 2010

These are often created by lack of hydration that is a common problem during chemo. Two things that have worked for me is Calcium and potassium. A banana a day seems to work for the potassium and chewable calcium tablets. These along with proper hydration hopefully will give you some relief. I truly hope that this helps.

Jim aka gatoraid

dodger21's picture
dodger21
Posts: 83
Joined: May 2011

Hi Frieda,
Sorry I was a bit late getting back to you.
My friend has eased her leg cramps by trying the following:
1. She takes magnesium tablets which help
2. She makes sure she stretches thru out the day
3. Cramps can be due to a low cell count which is usual during chemo and anaemia
4. Quinine in tonic water can also help some people

Hope he is going alright.
Danielle

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