Foods High in Potassium Muscle cramps may sometimes be associated with low levels of potassium in the body. Low potassium levels can be associated with poor nutrition, loss of fluids due to chronic diarrhea or vomiting, and other conditions. Avocado Spinach other testing. You may be referred to a specialist in neuromuscular diseases. What You Can Do Below are several preventive steps you can take to curb or avoid muscle cramps: X Drink fluids to avoid dehydration – rehydrating with sport drinks is advisable with sustained Low Potassium Muscle cramps may sometimes be associated with low levels of potassium in the body. Potassium, which is key to normal cellular function, may be reduced for a number of reasons. l The most common reason is the use of diuretics. These medications are often prescribed to control high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart failure. But because diuretics help rid the body of excess fluids, you’re more prone to dehydration and the loss of potassium. l If you’re taking a diuretic medication and are bothered by muscle cramping, talk with your doctor. Your doctor may check your potassium and, if it’s low, may recommend taking a potassium supplement or changing your drug regimen. l If your potassium is low, work closely with your doctor to make sure it gets back into the normal range and that you are receiving appropriate follow-up care. l Low potassium levels can be associated with poor nutrition, loss of fluids due to chronic diarrhoea or vomiting, and other conditions. 88 February 2018 HEALTH & NUTRITION Banana Potatoes Beans Citrus juices heavy exercise and sweating. X Warm up before more intense exercise. Cool down and stretch after. X Avoid over-working muscles. X Before bed, gently stretch muscles that tend to cramp at night. If you do get a leg or foot cramp, gently stretch the contracted muscle for relief. You may find it helps to compress or massage the affected muscle. Sometimes a heating pad or hot bath may offer relief. If your muscle cramps don’t respond to these preventive measures, your doctor may suggest taking medication, such as quinine, to help relieve cramping. However, quinine is known to cause potentially serious blood reactions in some people. Discuss with your doctor the pros and cons of its use as well as what other medication options might be suitable.