There are several reasons for leg cramps. Both women and men get some types of leg cramps, but women have some leg cramps that men do not get.
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When you exercise you can have heat cramps in different muscles including in the legs. According to Mayo Clinic, the cramps generally result from you having not had enough fluids. An imbalance of calcium or potassium may also be a factor.
The Mayo Clinic states that although leg cramps at night may be due to diabetes or PAD (peripheral artery disease), most the time the cause is unknown. They are more common with older people and pregnant women.
The March of Dimes notes that biological and physical changes during pregnancy may cause leg cramps during the second and third trimesters. The causes include muscle strain, blood circulation problems and not enough fluids.
Changes in hormones during menopause may cause leg cramps. Also, one side effect of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be leg cramps. Hormone-related cramps usually resolve.
Stretching, not sitting or standing too long, massage, drinking enough fluids and regular exercise may help avoid leg cramps.
Pain, not cramps, with inflammation especially after sitting a long time should be evaluated for a possible blood clot.
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