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What is the reason for leg pain while sleeping?

Q: I am 41 years old, a vegetarian, non-smoker, consume moderate alcohol and exercise 30-45 minutes a day. I have a peculiar but very annoying and irritating problem in my legs. When I try to sleep and the leg is in horizontal position, parallel to the ground, there is severe pain in the legs-calf muscle and around it. Then I need to kick my legs in the air, lift my legs towards the ceiling, keep the leg in raised position etc., to get momentary relief. With this pain, I am not able to sleep at all. It has been hellish in the recent past even though I have had this problem for a quite a number of years. Sometimes the pain is not severe but is highly disconcerting and because of this problem, I have not had sleep at all, for many days in succession and I am at my wits end. I toss and turn in the bed, take a few steps within the house etc., but nothing is working. If I stand erect or if the leg is in vertical position as I am sitting, the pain seems to go away but the leg is heavy like lead and feels tired. Some times, I feel the need to keep shaking the legs as I am sitting. On the advise of one of my friends, I have been taking Evion-400 one capsule a day for several months and the results are not there for me to see. I have also tried Moov Ointment and hot water fomentation. I am on medication for migraine and gastritis. What do I do?

A:You have nocturnal cramps. It would be useful to check the serum calcium and magnesium levels though they are usually normal in this situation. Some medicines have been shown to be of benefit and perhaps the first to be tried should be omega 3 fatty acids-one of the preparations being megamost 2 capsules twice daily.

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