Why Does My Eye Twitch? Why Do I Get Leg Cramps?
Although our eyes might twitch a bit when we are annoyed, a twitchy eye is typically the initial warning sign of calcium deficiency.
Basic Human Physiology 101: Calcium helps our muscles contract and when deficient the muscles begin to spasm in “tetany”. Magnesium helps our muscles relax.
Excellent sources of calcium are dairy and leafy greens. Magnesium is found in green vegetables and whole grains. A cal/mag supplement can be taken of about 500mg cal/250mg mag if you are worried you are not reaching the 800mg of necessary calcium each day. Do not take more than 500 mg of calcium at a time as the body can not utilize more than that and it may cause digestive upset such as constipation.
Post-menopausal women need 1200mg daily or 1500mg if they suffer from osteoporosis. I don’t think calcium carbonate (found in over the counter antacids) is the best form of calcium for those with osteoporosis as it is not as readily absorbable as calcium citrate or calcium hydroxyappetite. Calcium carbonate neutralizes stomach acid and we need stomach acid to digest minerals. If you are on a medication for acid reflux this may be contributing to your inability to properly absorb minerals. Adequate vitamin D levels are also imperative for calcium absorption.
This article on osteoporosis may be helpful to learn about mineral rich foods.
If you get painful leg cramps or “Charlie Horses” at night be sure that you are not dehydrated and that you are consuming electrolytes such as potassium and sodium to replete deficiencies after exercise. Take your cal/mag a few hours before bed. Sports drinks, emergen-C, and natural sea salt are excellent sources of these minerals.
To make a natural electrolyte replacement beverage simply dilute your favorite juice by about 50% (be sure it doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup) and add a big pinch of sea salt to about every twenty ounces or so. Most sports drinks are full of unnecessary high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors and colors.
If you still continue to get cramps or muscle twitches on a mineral rich diet you should ask your doctor to run a basic chemistry panel to ensure your electrolytes are in balance.
Thanks for asking. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any further questions in the comments.
~Dr. Nicole Sundene