Why Does My Eye Twitch? Why Do I Get Leg Cramps?

by in Kitchen Sink, Minerals, Pain Management, Restless Leg Syndrome April 27, 2008

PhotobucketMost muscles twitch due to calcium and magnesium deficiency, especially the eye.

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

  1. Well I just learned something new. I did not know that sea salt is a good mineral (in small doses, of course) I switched from iodized salt quite awhile ago but only knew sea salt was better for us…… I know why. Thank you, Dr. Nicole.

  2. Hi Barbara! Sea salt actually has a similar mineral composition to the electrolytes in our blood so is a better salt than just standard NaCl…common table salt. Too much sodium is not good for anyone, but most people need a bit of salt in their food and the other minerals in sea salt like magnesium and what not contribute to the “salty flavor” so you end up consuming less sodium this way.

  3. I absolutely enjoy. Great everything. Post are good, good topics, great pics. Im a fan! But I really enjoy this article for being so informative. Is there a certain amount of calcium for a physically active male?

  4. Hi Dekon- thanks for stopping by! Most men need about 800mg of calcium and can attain that in the diet through about three to four servings of dairy or calcium enriched dairy substitues, leafy greens, quinoa (grain cooked like rice). If you are extremely active and noticing muscle cramps or fatigue you may want to up that to 1000mg and be sure to include rich sources of magnesium and other trace minerals in the diet for optimal muscle and bone health. Thanks for asking!

  5. I learned something new -thanks! My eye goes a-twitching every now and then and I thought that it was just tired. I should start taking calcium supplements again!

  6. oh wow now i know why my eyes twitch sometimes and yes when I take regular calcium carbonate it doesn’t twitch much this article is definitely full of right information

  7. Love your site 🙂 Blogrolled it!

  8. […] you have eye or muscle twitches? Could be calcium or magnesium or […]

  9. Thanks for the information here …. of course! Sea salt! I changed over to this some time ago as an alternative to the regular stuff but it didn’t click until now how it is an important ingredient in maintaining electrolyte balance. Its funny how you can read a thing time and again …. yeah we need sodium (doh!), calcium, potassium, magnesium etc …. and then one day it clicks hi! hi!
    .-= Nocramps @ muscle spasms and cramps´s last blog ..Painful Leg Cramps, What Can I do? =-.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *