Suggest treatment for severe pain and cramps in the abdomen

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Posted on Fri, 11 Nov 2016 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: I have started getting what I would describe as extremely painful "Charlie horses" in my abdomen. They can be anywhere from directly under my breasts to my pelvic area. They are almost paralyzing when they hit d/t the extreme pain. I went to the dr who told me I was weird. I take magnesium and potassium supplements already which is what he recommended with no effect. They seem to be getting worse and I can get as many as 3-5 at a time. You can feel the taughtness and knot with your hand when they hit and then actually feel it release anywhere from seconds to a minute later. I don't have to be doing anything when they hit-they can come when I have barely moved. I had abdominal surgery for a hysterectomy and severe endrometriosis 32 years ago without complication. I have had my gallbladder also removed. those are the only abdominal surgeries. I have extremely poor spinal problems (evaluated at Stanford and found to be nonsurgical candidate d/t advanced deterioration of the spine and complicating factors) so I am on a pain regieme and disabled at this time.
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Answered by Dr. Kathy Robinson 5 hours later
Brief Answer:
some suggestions

Detailed Answer:
Hello and thank you for your question.
Severe cramping is often caused by electrolyte disturbances, relative dehydration or inadequate exercise and stretching.
The potassium and magnesium are fine to try but if they are not working I would stop them and start a multivitamin/multimineral supplement daily instead.
Make sure you are drinking plenty of water, at least 6-8 8 oz glasses per day. Avoid all alcohol and caffeine.
Try to stop smoking if you smoke. Substances in tobacco are irritating to the muscles. Stop drinking sodas if you drink them also.
Next, make sure you are doing at least 30 minutes of walking daily for aerobic exercise with stretching before and after. Taking yoga can help you learn some great stretches to relieve cramping.
In addition heat and anti-inflammatory medications may be helpful initially until this situation is resolved.
Please let me know if you have further questions.
Dr. Robinson

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Kathy Robinson

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1989

Answered : 3478 Questions

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