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What causes muscle cramps in legs and hands?

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Posted on Fri, 22 May 2015
Question: I have been experiencing periodic muscle cramps over the last almost 5 years. They are not limited to leg cramps. I experience them in my left hand where my fingers seize up and do not obey. Also the most painful ones are occurring under my breasts, and sometimes around my ribs on my back.

The pain takes my breath away.

The ones around my ribs and back are so painful, that I find that when stretching they do not clear up. I have physically beaten and pinched the muscles and flesh around my ribs to try to get them to stop.
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Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Can be due to thyroid or electrolyte imbalance.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Thanks for trusting us with your health concern.
There are different possible causes for the symptoms that you are experiencing. One of the potential causes is hypothyroidism which is a low level of thyroid hormone. This is a hormone that plays an important part in the metabolism of the body.
Hypothyroidism is commonly associated with cold intolerance and muscle spasm, the inability to tolerate cold would lead to shivering. It is diagnosed by a examination (there are certain features that are present when a person with hypothyroidism is examined) and by a blood test to assess the level of the thyroid hormone.

In addition to hypothyroidism, electrolyte imbalance (levels checked by blood tests) and excess activity can result in muscle spasms.

In addition to the physical causes of your discomfort, it is possible for physical complaints to be worsened by anxiety or stress.

Muscular spasms can be treated by (1) treating the underlying cause (2) keeping yourself well hydrated (3) stretching the muscles involved (4) the use of anti inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen, cataflam with meals provided there are no contraindications to their use (5) a muscle relaxant may be necessary

It may be best, if possible to visit your doctor for a thorough assessment and treatment plan.

Please feel free to discuss further. I will be glad to answer the follow up queries that you have.
Wishing you good health.
Regards.
Dr. Rakhi Tayal.
For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL http://bit.ly/Dr-Rakhi-Tayal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Rakhi Tayal

OBGYN

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 13989 Questions

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What causes muscle cramps in legs and hands?

Brief Answer: Can be due to thyroid or electrolyte imbalance. Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for trusting us with your health concern. There are different possible causes for the symptoms that you are experiencing. One of the potential causes is hypothyroidism which is a low level of thyroid hormone. This is a hormone that plays an important part in the metabolism of the body. Hypothyroidism is commonly associated with cold intolerance and muscle spasm, the inability to tolerate cold would lead to shivering. It is diagnosed by a examination (there are certain features that are present when a person with hypothyroidism is examined) and by a blood test to assess the level of the thyroid hormone. In addition to hypothyroidism, electrolyte imbalance (levels checked by blood tests) and excess activity can result in muscle spasms. In addition to the physical causes of your discomfort, it is possible for physical complaints to be worsened by anxiety or stress. Muscular spasms can be treated by (1) treating the underlying cause (2) keeping yourself well hydrated (3) stretching the muscles involved (4) the use of anti inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen, cataflam with meals provided there are no contraindications to their use (5) a muscle relaxant may be necessary It may be best, if possible to visit your doctor for a thorough assessment and treatment plan. Please feel free to discuss further. I will be glad to answer the follow up queries that you have. Wishing you good health. Regards. Dr. Rakhi Tayal. For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL http://bit.ly/Dr-Rakhi-Tayal