A bottle of Tums antacid

Q. Let me share my remedy for leg cramps. I find that Tums give fast relief, better than a spoonful of yellow mustard. I keep a packet at the bedside and in my purse.

A. You are not the only reader to report that calcium supplements such as Tums can help counter cramps.

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  1. Jon
    Swift Creek/Lake Wheeler, NC

    I have a distinctly severe problem with leg cramps, and have had since a very young boy (now age 70) when I was afflicted with Rheumatic Fever, which seemed to “settle” in my legs. After an active day, I will have extreme cramps in either or both legs that wake me up, screaming in pain. What I have discovered over the years is that pickle juice — for which I have a craving it seems — and mustard do seem to help. However, I also take gabapentin, baclofen, potassium and magnesium. As one or two of your callers mentioned, pickle juice, olive juice and mustard also help with indigestion. However, Tums/Calcium tablets seem to set me up for a good night of cramps, especially if I take them just before bed.

  2. scientificink

    Years ago, I was advised by a physician at UCLA medical school to take 2 – 3 500 mg calcium daily. I now take 3, one in morning, one at midday and one in evening. I only get leg cramps when I forget or don’t have the calcium with me.
    This physician said to take oyster shell calcium. There’s some controversy about possible mercury content in this calcium but I’m not convinced and for now I’d rather not have debilitating leg
    Also, these days, the calcium also has vitamin D which seems to be OK!

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