The following dialogue will give you the answer.
P(patient): I got Polycystic Kidney Disease 5 years ago and now I am experiencing some real bad leg cramps that make me want to cry and can hardly sleep at night.
D(doctor): I’m sorry to hear that, what can I do for you?
P: I have some questions, could you please answer me?
P: Why do I get leg cramps when I have polycystic kidney disease? Is that normal?
D: In many PKD forums or articles, leg cramps have been always a hot topic. It is a common symptom of PKD.
P: Then, what causes leg cramps?
D: Generally, for people with PKD, leg cramps happen for the following reasons:
1. Electrolyte imbalance
Kidney has the function of keeping electrolyte balance. For PKD patients, damaged kidney fails to work properly, as a result, electrolyte disturbance like low-calcium, low-potassium and high phosphorus occur. Low-calcium and low-potassium will cause leg cramps.
It refers to an increased acidity in the blood and other body tissues. Acidosis usually occurs for patients with PKD in an advanced stage. Under that condition, glomeruli cannot permeate acidic materials so that acidosis occurs. Also, the calcium level in the blood will decline. Therefore, leg cramp easily happens.
If your body loses too much fluid, blood volume will decrease as well as blood pressure. Then blood vessels of your arms and legs will be narrowed, failing to provide enough blood and oxygen for muscles. At this time, leg cramp comes up.
P: I see! Thank you for your detailed explanation. The last question is “How to manage leg cramps?”
D: I will give you some tips based on the causes.
1. Supplying calcium and vitamin D as well as minerals;
2. Stretching and massaging your legs;
3. Keeping your legs warm.
P: I see, thank you very much.
D: It’s OK. Best wishes!
From the above dialogue, you must know how to manage your leg cramps. The above remedies can help ease PKD patients’ leg cramps. Besides, you should also seek some treatments to protect your kidney function and shrink kidney cysts timely. Otherwise, your leg cramps may appear again and again.