Q. I awoke one night with the muscles and nerves in my legs feeling like fireworks (little explosions-big explosions-the grand finale!). They were so active that they started twisting into cramps. This literally kept me awake all night. The cramps were in all parts of my legs and feet–nowhere else in my body.
Blood tests didn’t reveal any problems, so the doctor shrugged and gave me muscle relaxants so I could sleep at night. I took them for months. If I stopped the drug, the problem returned.
One day I read in your column about a man who was taking a diuretic and began having cramps in his legs at night. He found low-sodium V-8 stopped the problem.
Since I was taking a diuretic at the time, I thought I would give it a try. It stopped the cramping and severely curtailed most of the weird muscle/nerve activity. I faithfully drink two glasses of the V-8 every evening and I haven’t taken a muscle relaxer since the first glass.
A. Low-sodium V-8 juice provides plenty of potassium. When this mineral is in short supply, many people develop cramps. Diuretics frequently deplete the body of potassium, and that may be why low-sodium V-8 helps some people.