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Old 10-10-2013, 13:48   #1
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hand and leg cramps at sea for old people

Hello I am an old guy, but not as old as some on this list.

A thought or dream I have is once I retire 10 years hence, to try crewing on others boats in warmer climes or maybe braving such trips on my own boat as the captain.

Since I turned fifty some years ago, I have started having cramps in my extremities when they are hot or cold. For a while this was just my legs, but the other day I went for a day sail and a swim in a local lake, the lake water was just 80 degrees, which I recall was about the temperature of the water in the Caribbean and Near Hawaii. So I figure I might have problems in even these warmer climates.

So if some of you have this problem, have you found some ways to cope and still remain useful to yourself and the rest of the crew while at sea.
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Old 10-10-2013, 14:01   #2
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Re: hand and leg cramps at sea for old people

It not just a problem for the old guys. Ill be 45 this month and have the same issues. If I drink lots of water and keep limber I don't get cold cramps. If I get dehydrated or don't do my evening stretches I get calf and thigh cramps when I get cold.
This is how I monitor my stretchyness. If I can put the palms of my hands on the floor with my legs locked, I don't get cramps.
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Old 10-10-2013, 14:09   #3
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Re: hand and leg cramps at sea for old people

Banana's?
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Old 10-10-2013, 14:19   #4
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Re: hand and leg cramps at sea for old people

I think your looking at it wrong. I would not cope with this at all. . I would just fix it. Get exercise, get hydrated, warm up, stretch, make sure your getting a proper diet, especially potassium. Don't drink too much of anything, except water. Drinks like coffee dehydrate you, so limit them. There is usually only 20 lbs between feeling great and feeling ok.
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Old 10-10-2013, 14:36   #5
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Re: hand and leg cramps at sea for old people

Try changing or rebuilding your bunk - I noticed that cramps are common if you cannot stretch comfortably at night. Your body might be telling you 'hey, this new bed is too narrow/short for me!'

Diet helps but it will not remove the cause.

You may talk to any doctor that co-ops with sportsmen - they are very good at pinpointing body trauma factors and suggesting viable solutions.

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Old 10-10-2013, 14:48   #6
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Re: hand and leg cramps at sea for old people

try hydrating and consuming salt and potassium salt, is called nusalt. cramping is a sign of dehydration, not first signs either. if those donot help, see your md.
if you are having nausea in am, same--dehydration. drink water with a dash of salt in it and add nusalt also. electrolit in mexico, pedialyte in usa. drink it half strength so your stomach does not reject it. same with gatorade.

btw--bananas do not have as much potasssium as you believe. use dried fruit for htat. cranberry pancakes are excellent,as is adding raisins to your oatmeal or cereal in am.
and your brain needs sugar as well as sodium. š
guts need sodium and chlorides. heart needs potassium. calcium is needed everywhere.
cramps are yelling at you to replace calcium, and magnesium. these are all lost in dehydration, so must be added somehow.

coffee leeches calcium pout of your teeth and bones, as well as dehydrating you.
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Old 10-10-2013, 14:53   #7
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Re: hand and leg cramps at sea for old people

Google quinine water.

The original Schweppes Tonic Water contains enough to really help some people. My dad considers it a part of his daily diet, as he started having leg cramps in his 60s. It was suggested by his doctor.

However, there are side effects if too much quinine is taken, but a glass of tonic a day is MUCH less than that.

Should people with nocturnal leg cramps drink to... [Psychol Rep. 1999] - PubMed - NCBI

Is Quinine in Tonic Water Safe? - The People's Pharmacy«
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Old 10-10-2013, 14:55   #8
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Re: hand and leg cramps at sea for old people

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbodine88 View Post
Hello I am an old guy, but not as old as some on this list.

A thought or dream I have is once I retire 10 years hence, to try crewing on others boats in warmer climes or maybe braving such trips on my own boat as the captain.

Since I turned fifty some years ago, I have started having cramps in my extremities when they are hot or cold. For a while this was just my legs, but the other day I went for a day sail and a swim in a local lake, the lake water was just 80 degrees, which I recall was about the temperature of the water in the Caribbean and Near Hawaii. So I figure I might have problems in even these warmer climates.

So if some of you have this problem, have you found some ways to cope and still remain useful to yourself and the rest of the crew while at sea.
Well, consider wearing a shortie suit when you swim.

Also, depending on whether you are willing to spend money on this, honestly talking about it with a physical trainer or physical therapist might help.

Other factors I'd look at are the possibility of dehydration, mentioned above; but also calcium and potassium levels, because friends have had those implicated.

If you look in the mirror and think it sounds like too much work or you're looking at someone sad, maybe you're depressed. One of the best ways to fight depression is to go for a one hour walk each day, walking as fast as you can. Notice when you're able to go farther for your time. For others, therapy helps. You deserve to take the best care of you that you can.

Go get 'em tiger!
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Old 10-10-2013, 15:02   #9
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Re: hand and leg cramps at sea for old people

quinine water will not answer the problem. it will mask the symptoms. it is the easy answer catch all that does not work.
it is better to solve the problem than to mask the symptoms by taking a quinine product. even with quinine water you will have electrolyte imbalance caused originally by the dehydration.
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Old 10-10-2013, 15:10   #10
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Re: hand and leg cramps at sea for old people

get your blood sugar checked,maturity onset diabetes,can cause some of these symptoms espesially in people over 45
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Old 10-10-2013, 16:39   #11
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Re: hand and leg cramps at sea for old people

Yes, What Atol says. Be sure to tell your doc about these cramps just to make sure this is not a circulation/cardiovascular thing.

If all is well, Zee has it spot on( IMHO )
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Old 10-10-2013, 17:31   #12
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Re: hand and leg cramps at sea for old people

One thing to try is compression stockings at night, a suggestion from a very fit young bike trainer which cut through my embarrassment. Helped quite a bit.

But what Zee said! Find the diet and exercise issues and work on those long term. By Long Term it can take time to adjust from changes that built up over years and probably will not be instant results. Can't stretch enough ever. Keep at it.
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Old 10-10-2013, 17:36   #13
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Re: hand and leg cramps at sea for old people

if th ecramping is sudden onset and if you have dizziness when you stand..drink and follow what i said about electrolytes. it is most important. it is first thing to check even before diabetes check. screwed up electrolytes will make every other underlying condition more deadly.

the FIRST thing any SAILOR should think about is dehydration. that is what makes sailors ill. not diabetes,not other things. if at sea and sudden onset cramping..it is dehydration. treat it right so you can live to talk about it.

as for compression stockings at night--i double dare ye to wear them in tropics at night. talk about sweating a pool....you do not want to do anything to increase loss of fluid from body. you are already losing enough fluid to kill you,l literally, why lose more unnecessarily. ditch the hose idea. drink half strength electrolyte solution and rest a bit, then water and then more electrolyte. if you are still dizzy--go to er and have a bag of dehydration cocktail. or just continue to drink the electrolyte alt with water taking in additional gallon to make 2-3 gallons in one day ... sailors lose fluids rapidly and forget to replace them. therefore most dísailors are dehydrated. donot overthink your problems--keep it simple.
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Old 10-10-2013, 17:46   #14
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Re: hand and leg cramps at sea for old people

You should have a thorough physical by a physician. You need to establish why you have a higher build-up of lactic acid/Oxygen deficiency in your muscles that's causing you extensive cramping. It's a natural byproduct from exercising to have lactic acid generated; just the speed of re-absorbing it, is a matter of your wellness. DO NOT mess with POTASSIUM SALT, without the direction of a physician; unregulated levels will stop your heart and kill you. (Potassium Chloride injection is one of the substances used in executing a death-row inmate.)

SCUBA divers get leg cramps from time to time. A slight twist of the fin/foot usually will remedy the cramping. I am against home remedies and quick fixes.

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Old 10-10-2013, 17:57   #15
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Re: hand and leg cramps at sea for old people

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Originally Posted by Teknav View Post
You should have a thorough physical by a physician. You need to establish why you have a higher build-up of lactic acid/Oxygen deficiency in your muscles that's causing you extensive cramping. It's a natural byproduct from exercising to have lactic acid generated; just the speed of re-absorbing it, is a matter of your wellness. DO NOT mess with POTASSIUM SALT, without the direction of a physician; unregulated levels will stop your heart and kill you. (Potassium Chloride injection is one of the substances used in executing a death-row inmate.)

SCUBA divers get leg cramps from time to time. A slight twist of the fin/foot usually will remedy the cramping. I am against home remedies and quick fixes.

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the amount of potassium salt able to be licked out of hand in a crisis is so small, all it will do is help the cramps dissipate. potassium salt is necessary to have on board(in the body) for cardiac function. too much kills as does too little. most cases of dehydration have minimal amounts of potassium salts in system, so licking it from hand will only save your life.
yes i have watched folks, even friends, die from lack of proper treatment in these instances. their potassium level was extremely low, one did not even register on the scale and was re done 3 times, third time as she died.
DO lick the salt and potassium salts when you are dehydrated and drink a lot of water along with it....like a gallon .


yes,mauritz, i have practiced 30 plus years in emergency , intensive care , and post op care as well as cardiology and arhythmias. i do know my medicine.


i also know ,my human bodies and pathophysiology.
and i know dehydration and heat prostration and heat stroke. AMONG OTHER THINGS....
if you are not at sea, you have no excuse for not having a check up.at sea, you need to make sure all is in order, boat as well as your own body.
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