Crazy Night Time Leg Cramps with Hepatitis C

Crazy Night Time Leg Cramps with Hepatitis C

leg cramp cartoon liverPainful leg cramps are one of the craziest things you will ever endure. Not only are they ultra humiliating, there is nothing in the whole world you can do about it. They seem to strike when you are deep in REM sleep leaving you in the most vulnerable position ever. I cannot think of a simpler way to describe it: You kind of go insane for a while. While the story is usually funny the next day, it is never ever funny while it is happening. If you have End Stage Liver Disease or cirrhosis, or Hepatitis C you know that when your body becomes imbalanced or your muscles are overexerted, the leg cramps are pure craziness. Leg cramps from Hell…

Updated January 2015

I have had them for years. Little did I know that they were one of many signs that my liver was failing. At one point, internet advice had me keeping a bag of tortilla chips beside my bed along with a large bottle of water. When I felt that stab starting, I would guzzle water and cram chips into my mouth. Literally, I crammed them in. Sometimes the muscle spasms lasted off and on for up to an hour. I have tried everything in the book and, you guessed it – You’re going to hear about all the causes and cures for leg cramps that work and some that don’t. I am saving the best for last.

First, I have to tell this story.  Before I was diagnosed with liver disease, I was hosting a foreign exchange student from Italy when a leg cramp hit. She’d been with me for about a month. We were doing her favorite thing on a Friday night – sitting in the living room watching a movie. In her country, all the American films were voiced over by Italian actors. Their words did not match their lips! Martina loved hearing Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, and Angelina Joie’s real voice. So she was thrilled to settle in for a big salad and home-made pasta. You bet I let her cook! Mama Mia!

About an hour in, I threw my leg up on the coffee table and begged her to pull my toes toward my face. She thought she misunderstood me and just stared for a moment. “Please!” I begged her, “pull my toes!” She willingly obliged as I screamed out orders like, “Harder! No! To the left. Grab my pinkie. Hurry!”

I promise you this went on for over 30 minutes. I would tell her to go get chips and water. I  spilled it down myself in my agitation and pain while yelling, “More! Hurry!”  That poor girl was so upset and confused that she was in no mood for a movie after that. She spent the rest of the evening in her room on the cell phone to her parents.

Before you judge me, if you have never had severe leg cramps you have NO idea what I am talking about. This blog is for those who have endured severe, long lasting legs and feet cramping in pain. I have given birth using the Lamaze Method with no medication. The leg cramps that can come on when your body is out of whack is like a level 10 contraction that does NOT end. Calm and focused breathing with a contracting uterus is no match for a twisted up muscle in your leg. There is NO calm and NO control.

leg cramp massage
Tame this!

After being diagnosed with Hepatitis C and cirrhosis, I came to a better understanding of the connection. I did more internet research and put a bar of soap under the bottom sheet at the foot of my bed. Honestly? Is that the best advice on the internet? I was on high doses of diuretics like Lasix and Spironolactone and was told that they may contribute to the fluid and mineral imbalance that included ascites. I also had hepatic encephalopathy and had very little access to my brain.

During Hepatitis C Treatment with Incivik, Ribavirin, and Interferon the cramps multiplied. They came nightly and even started earlier in the evening. I hated for my grandchildren to see me contort in pain. My toes would point off in strange directions. Many times it gripped me all the way up to my butt. I had zero control.

Any attempt to stand and walk it off left me on the floor yelling, “Grab my toes!” With one bad cramp, my daughter, who is 5’2” decided she was going to untwist that leg. She wrapped her arms around me up to the knee and started wrestling my leg.

My oldest granddaughter came in after about 20 minutes. (Nana was getting loud with this one) She went to work on the toes. “Twist it! Yank hard!” I called out. I ended up in the floor and they dragged me all over the living room. We got so tickled that we finally gave up. I howled with laughter and pain at the same time. My daughter, in her wisdom, got the bottle of Xanax and gave me a whole one. I washed it down with tonic water. It only took a short time and I was out like a light. They still tease me about that one. Talk about scarring your little one’s mind while you’re on Hepatitis C Treatment. Poor kids.

Here in no specific order are the causes and cures:

Causes of Leg Cramps

Physical Exertion – When I walk/run are the worst nights. I have always fought shin splints and the leg cramps take those to a whole new level.

Mineral Depletion – Low magnesium, sodium, and potassium can cause leg cramps.

Dehydration – If you do not give your muscles enough water, they will tighten and cramp up. This is so true while treating or on any medication. Diuretics help ascites, but they can increase leg cramps.

Poor Support from Shoes – I love heels. But if I wear a 3 hour shoe for 8 hours, my legs are going to cramp. It also helps to wear a well designed running shoe. Try to avoid too many hours barefooted or in flip flops. A low, encased, stable heel can indeed reduce leg cramps.


Bar of Soap I put this so that if it doesn’t make your leg cramps go away, you can use it to wash your mouth out if you cuss your way through them. I read on the internet that if you put a bar of soap under the sheet at the foot of the bed it would help. My brainiac friend confirmed this to me by talking about reducing static electricity and thereby… blah blah blah. I used it for about a year. Who knows? I was trying other stuff and did not discount this entirely.

bar soap leg cramps
Thank God I’m a country girl remedy

Food – Spinach, yogurt, avocados, salmon, and bananas are all good sources of potassium. Dark chocolate, bran, almonds, seeds, and dried culinary herbs all contain a lot of magnesium. Many of these foods are part of my daily diet. Food sources of vitamins tend to be more readily available for your body to use.

Stretching – I honestly feel that beginning and ending my day with a few stretches has helped as much as anything for slight leg cramps. I lean against the bed and even stretch around before I get up. When I am in the middle of a cramp, if I can get up to walk and stretch, it helps. Be careful, because sometimes stetching can bring one on or make it worse. Been there.

Quinine – My transplant doctor said that tonic water with quinine was fine for use during treatment. They ran sodium levels on me and said mine was low. Well, of course my sodium was low. I was eating low sodium to avoid water retention. My feet and legs were swelling and I was on diuretics! Yet, I was having severe leg cramps nightly for months during Hepatitis C treatment. If you can figure that mess out, by all means, go right ahead. But I kept the tonic water in my little bedside basket. I used it to wash down the Xanax during treatment when a leg cramp hit. On this remedy – Talk to the doctor. This was one of those middle of the night internet reading binges that created fear and anxiety. Some sites said quinine killed their cousin through liver failure. Others said they had a prescription from their liver doctor. If you ask me? Stay away from those sites and ask YOUR doctor about quinine. quinine tonic cramp hepatitis liver

Water – Enough said. Please read my blog on drinking water. It is essential for everything, including leg cramps.

mineral drops leg cramps liverMinerals – My doctor is so strict about vitamins, but ok’s the occasional use of mineral drops before I go to bed. They taste awful, but deliver a great dosage and are safe. This is especially true when I have walked or ran that day. My leg cramps are less frequent, less severe, and shorter in duration when I use the mineral supplement. You may try an oral dose with your regular vitamin. I was a hard case and my multi with minerals did not help. Talk to your doctor.

Coconut Water – This is my new miracle. When I am training for a 5 K run/walk, I get leg cramps. For the last 6 weeks I have drank 16 oz of coconut water immediately after my run and have not had a leg cramp during that time. It is the longest I have gone without a leg cramp in several years. Of course I am also drinking more water when I run also, but read my post on coconut oil here.

There is nothing worse than being awakened by a leg cramps. It is startling. All of this talk about tonic water, quinine, and soap under the bed are old wives tales. That tells us that leg cramps have been experienced by many people over the years. I have found what works for now. I really hope that one or all of these tips will be useful for you.

I am here for you when your legs cramp up or whatever else you find yourself suffering from while dealing with Hepatitis C or cirrhosis. I would grab your foot and yank on your toe if you needed me to. I mean that. Karen:)

Update 2015: I’m through with liver cancer thanks to my liver donor. But even post transplant I’ve got leg cramps occasionally. I’ve been doing a combination of exercises and yoga. The leg cramps (and muscle cramps in general) can wake me up! I’ve been using a magnesium drink every night. You can get it at your health food store and a bottle lasts 4 or 5 months if you use 1 tsp. It also helps utilize calcium for bone strength. A natural relaxer, your heart rate will even slow down. Good stuff.

Calm leg cramps liver ihelpc
This will CALM down leg cramps!
leg cramps safe magnesium liver
I only wish I’d known about this sooner. Miracle stuff!

My husband brought home some pure Magnesium Oil made by Life-flo. Notice that it is NOT like the Magesium Flakes and other products that have Sodium Chloride in them. With liver disease, we do NOT soak in salt. I found it on the internet for $7 bucks! Worth it!

This is a pure Magnesium Oil with nothing else added. It comes in a spray bottle. I wake up at night and spray where the cramp is and rub in it. I cross my heart and hope to … well you know – This stuff Works! Instantly. I don’t promote a product for money. I DO wanna help my besties. Love, love, and leave a comment to let me know how it works for you.

I also have hand cramps recently – My Youtube video about Hand Yoga shows you how to do the exercise that brings relief. I am not sure if I want to show the legs.. Haha! We’ll see. Check it out. xo

leg cramps liver hepatitis

Crazy Night Time Leg Cramps with Hepatitis C Pics via,, Wikipedia,,

About Karen Hoyt

Karen Hoyt offers a no nonsense approach to living with Cirrhosis. A Hepatitis C treatment survivor, she created a liver loving diet and lifestyle that allows her to create awareness and advocate for her Best Friends at

63 thoughts on “Crazy Night Time Leg Cramps with Hepatitis C

  1. I don’t believe my eye. if we claim something we got to make some research on the subject. The leg cramps are related to Vasculitis or Cryoglobulinaemia. I had them all the time , but as soon as i started the triple it instantly went away. So …. Definition of Vasculitis …..
    By Mayo Clinic staff – Vasculitis is an inflammation of your blood vessels. Vasculitis causes changes in the walls of your blood vessels, including thickening, weakening, narrowing and scarring. Narrowing the vessels mean cuts the circulation….and the cramps are relentless in any given time.
    For entire definition, go to Mayo Clinic Website.

    1. Hi! Thanks for providing the definition of Vasculitis. I am really happy to hear that your leg cramps are totally gone!They can be relentless in many cases. I didn’t post the entire definition, but people can see your response and google it. Thank you again for taking the time to put the info out there. xo Karen:)

      1. Found these on the web related to Taurine which Holland and Barrett can supply:
        Dietary amino acid taurine ameliorates liver injury in chronic hepatitis patients.
        Hu YH1, Lin CL, Huang YW, Liu PE, Hwang DF.
        Author information
        • 1Taoyuan Veteran Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan, China.
        The effect of dietary amino acid taurine on the liver function of chronic hepatitis patients was investigated. The 24 chronic hepatitis patients with 2-5 times over normal activities of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) or aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were selected and equally divided into taurine treatment and control groups. In taurine treatment group, each patient took 2 g taurine 3 times a day for three months, and then stopped treatment for 1 month. Patients taking placebo without taurine for 4 months served as a control group. ALT and AST activities and levels of cholesterol, triglyceride and thiobarbituric acid relative substances of serum plasma in the taurine group were all decreased at the end of three month treatment. The study suggested that dietary amino acid taurine may ameliorate liver injury for chronic hepatitis patients.
        Taurine & Muscle Cramps
        Last Updated: Aug 16, 2013 | By Tracey Roizman, D.C.

        • Taurine may help alleviate muscle cramps.
        Taurine, an amino acid once considered nonessential, has been reclassified as a conditionally essential nutrient, based on new information researchers have revealed. Taurine plays a role in fat, protein and sugar metabolism and influences calcium levels and nerve function, according to registered dietitian Katherine Chauncey, Ph.D., Texas Tech Medical Center. Muscles also rely on taurine; thus, muscle cramps may respond well to taurine supplementation, in some cases

        1. Hey there! Thanks so much for this information. I hope that it will help someone out there. I am going to look in to this. I have not been having problems with cramps but I never say never so will be ready. I normally just used some calcium/magnesium. This is interesting, thank you again, Dee

  2. Thank you soooo much for this info! I never connected these permanent “charlie horses” in my calves and hamstrings, and chronic foot, toe and achilles cramps to Hep C. I’ve asked, and was told no, it’s not from that (one doc did say that pins and needles in your hands especially at night in bed are common). I’ve been told it’s not from arthritis and not from mineral imbalance either.

    I do know EXACTLY what you mean about the pulling – it’s a wonder my toes aren’t as long as my fingers by now. I have no one around to ‘pull me’ when my calf or hamstring so it’s a real nightmare (day-mare too) trying to stretch them out. I am going to look for those mineral drops, tho, and maybe make a smoothie or something with a few ounces of coconut water om the evening.

    Currently, the family doc has prescribed muscle relaxer Baclofen – helps a bit at night but it NOT a cure by a long shot – can’t take it during the day. A physiatrist I’ve been referred to has prescribed 200 mg of quinine in the morning, and the Baclofen at night. It’s only been a week, but I think the cramps are lessening. I’d cross my fingers – but I’m afraid they’ll cramp too…

    1. Hi!

      LOL! I hear you! It’s always funnier in the telling, isn’t it?

      My hands have cramped too! The quinine helped some. I haven’t had them in weeks except after I run. One thing that may be the best trick yet is to drink MORE than enough water if you feel them coming on.

      Here’s my thought: When a friend’s daughter went into early labor (uterine cramps) The doctor had her drinking 6-8 oz an hour. Once her delivery date got close, she slowed down on water intake and labor kicked in. She carried her baby for almost a month longer using that trick. hmmm.

      Do you think it’s the same thing? I wonder. I hope that you get the relief you need hunnyo. I’m glad you stopped by. I love new best friends. xoxo Karen:)

  3. Wow, I didn’t know leg cramps were a sign of liver disease. I had the worst charlie horses ever, sometimes at night I could not even walk ! I even took bengay and greased up my legs and then wrapped them with Saran wrap. No joke. It would literally make me scream out. All this was signs to the disease progression. Your blog is so helpful. Thank -you

    1. Jody –

      I’m lmbo. What’s up with the saran wrap? haha! It is amazing the crazy things we try to get relief! This is one that I never thought of before. We have so many of those symptoms in common, don’t we?

      I ran a lot last month and had leg cramps. I woke myself up kind of growling this low moaning sound. When I moved, it hit hard! I finally got up and guzzled water and scarfed down some tortilla chips. Then I went outside just so I could scream.

      Next time I’ll get out the BenGay and saran wrap. Thanks for the tip… I think! lol

      Love you girl,

  4. I have had hep c for a long while I suppose ……. 10 years ago I first found out I had it for sure . I was supposed to be dead by now , but I am still living on . I was wondering , so did you have a liver transplant ? lucky you if so , it is a lot of money in cash , or you must have good insurance ? My brother got his through VA . I am not so lucky . My cramps have been getting worse , please do not tell me that is a sign of getting worse ? I have used potassium citrate for my hep c cramps ……… from Lloyd Wrights book on hep c . My doctors have been as uncooperative as I have been I suppose , because I have continued to refuse their poisonous treatments . I had not heard of coconut water , or mineral drops before . sounds like good advice to me thanks ! sincerely Tom R.
    Thomas Richards recently posted…Is Too Much Protein Good or Bad for Your Liver My Profile

    1. Hello Thomas!

      It is great to outlive our death sentence, isn’t it? I did not have a transplant. The old one is still doing just enough to keep me going. I still work full time to keep insurance. Are you on medicaid or medicare? That can help with medical costs for transplant too!

      Honesty, I have had a lot of leg cramps for the past few weeks. Every night in the middle of the night. Of course it is always scary. Just like you, I think something must be going really wrong. I’m hoping it is only the dry air here. We’ve had a dozen grass fires in the last week or so. It’s is really dry with heat on in the house also.

      So I’ve been guzzling water like crazy during the day hoping that it will help. In the last 3 or 4 nights I haven’t had any. I didn’t change anything else. I also do the mineral drops and stretch before bed. I need to make a youtube of my leg stretches. I think they help.

      I’m so sorry to hear your’s are getting worse too. Please take care of yourself. Have you considered the new drugs? The side effects are not as bad. I would be interested in hearing what stage of cirrhosis you have. Also, how do you get the potassium citrate. Is that a capsule?

      I hope you get some relief and a good night sleep.
      xoxo KarenL)

  5. Thank you so much for this information. I have Hep C and stage 4 cirrhosis. The Center For Communicable Diseases thinks I probably contracted it 44 years ago and that’s pretty amazing since I only started getting severe symptoms in the last 5 years. I did the Pegasus treatment and the virus was undetectable after week 4 but showed up again 6 months post treatment. I have only started getting the muscle cramps in the last 2 years but they are getting more frequent and much more painful and longer in duration. I have a doctor’s appointment today and am going to ask about the quinine and other drugs you mentioned. Thank you again. Hope I get relief!

    1. Linda,

      I’m happy to hear from you. I think those of us with stage 4 should stick close together, don’t you? I’m really sorry that we had to get to know one another this way. Double sorry that the protease inhibitor didn’t work. Do you think that you are a candidate for the new drugs? I hope you’ll let me know if your doc mentions it today.

      My muscles all seem to cramp. Leg cramps for sure, but even my hands cramp with too much exercise. I’m going to do a little experiment with water intake and see if there is any connection. In the meantime, I hope you’ll keep me posted after ur doc visit. I truly hope you get some relief too.

      I posted a youtube today. Hand and wrist pain with slight cramping too. My little fingers curl up so weird. And yes, it hurts. Ah stage 4. The stuff we have to deal with.
      Again glad to meet you. Thanks for stopping by. I’m on a snow day and get to take time to read.
      xoxoxo Karen:)

  6. After a lifetime of leg cramps, I found a simple solution that works: I drink an ounce or two of Apple cider vinegar before bed. No cramps since I started a few months ago, it takes a week or two for them to stop completely. Some people put the. Vinegar in tomato juice to cut the sharpness. I take it straight. Hope this works for you.

    1. Rosie,

      Thanks for sharing your tip with us. I also use apple cider vinegar, but have never done so to deal with leg cramps. I’ve been training for a 5K and find them to be worse lately. I’m going to give this a try!

      I’m glad you stopped by and shared.
      xoxoxo Karen:)

  7. Karen, thanks for being here with us. I have ESLD (Child-Pugh 4) decompensated cirrhosis with ascites and edema. I tried most of the above “remedies” including Taurine and BCAAs, but with little tangible results. I will try the coconut juice, thanks. My liver doctor seems to attribute the severe cramping as a side affect of low levels of albumin, which is common in cirrhosis. Diuretics used to control my ascites (spironolactone and lasix) do seem to make my cramps worse. Perhaps because they are potassium binding (at least spironolactone is)? They are as painful as anything that I have ever experienced. Hence, I have learned to minimize salt to an extreme and take the diuretics only when I need. If you are on potassium binding diuretics, taking additional potassium may not be recommended. My “bind” is that the cramps often start in one wrist, go to the fingers, forearm, humerus, neck, jaw, abdomen, legs, feet and toes, but thankfully not all at the same time. If I can get up and walk around, 98% of the time the camping ceases for the moment. Two things that I’d like to share
    1) After starting an off-label treatment with olysio and solvadi (DAAs), the cramp duration and intensity has decreased. I am in my fourth week of treatment.
    2) I know this sounds weird, but an old friend told me about an energy/muscle treatment where one gently places both hands on both sides of the upper thigh. Then gently pulling down through to the soles and out the toes, while waffling the hands forward and back (anterior and posterior). The blockage point (probably nerve transmission) is usually at the knees. Similarly, this seems to work DOWN the arms, hands, and fingers with the elbow requiring more attention. You can do this yourself or have a friend do it. Thanks for being here and sharing.

    1. Don,

      This is really an interesting comment. I too have struggled to stay off of diuretics. I understand that Spironolactone is more potassium sparing. You’re right on that. But I had the opposite experience in that the cramps got worse on treatment. Not sure why, but I’m glad yours has decreased! Of course the lower sodium stuff helps. I’m not convinced that the coconut water helps. I am now thinking that it just helps to remind me to drink more on the days when I walk or break a sweat and get a little dehydrated.

      The pain is really maddening. I actually moan out loud sometimes! I hop around and try to work them out. It’s a crazy sight when the toes are curled! lol.
      Your idea about the massage is a sound idea. I want to try it. The problem is that I don’t like to wake someone up to help me. It usually starts at night. I’m going to make an effort just to see what happens though.

      Thank you for your comments. This blog is about our common experience with all things liver, Hep C, and cirrhosis. The exchange of information is valuable to ALL of us. Stay in touch!

      xo Karen:)

  8. My husband was just in agony a little while ago with severe hand cramps. I gave him about 3 ounces of pickle juice and the cramps went away in a few minutes. He was amazed.He is on Bumex and aldactone,and takes magnesium and calcium supplements. His cramps have been increasing in severity. I know this is old school but it worked better than anything else I’ve tried. But only used judiciously..We are waiting to see a specialist next month. Hepatitis C and cirrhosis. Good luck to you.

    1. Angel,

      What a great cure. I can’t eat pickles due to sodium restrictions, but a few potato chips help me in the night so I know that salt balance is part of the problem! I hope that you get good news that he can try the new medications and treat for Hepatitis C. I am confident that he will feel so much better once the virus is gone. Keep me posted on what the doctor says. Check out Ihelpc Karen on facebook and you will find tons of support. Many other wives are like you – helping their spouses through treatment.
      Take care of yourself dear one. Thank you so much for stopping by. Let me know if I can do anything at all.
      xoxo Karen:)

  9. My husband gets the severe leg cramps from Hep C and end stage cirrhosis and I was told to put vinegar on a rag and massage the muscles, it seems to work without adding salt to your body.

    1. Donna,

      Now that is one that I have never heard before! I just finished a bowl on home made chili and I put vinegar in it. There are so many benefits to vinegar that most of us never knew!

      I think this can be useful for some of our best friends in the battle.

      You’re a good wife to take care of him like that. Making me smile.

  10. My husband has severe leg cramps also so Thank You for your blogs! He also has severe itching do you? Or anyone out there ? Mostly legs and feet. Any help?

    1. The leg cramps are so painful. I’m so sorry your husband is having them. I have noticed that when I get up in the night and drink a tall glass of water, they go away quicker. Lately, I’ve been paying more attention to the little twinges I get in the evening. I can almost tell you when I will get the night time cramps.

      If I lay down and make circles with my feet it helps. I will point my toes and stretch them out. Then I push my heel out and make circles to stretch them. It sounds crazy, but it does lessen the crazy night time leg cramps!

      I wonder if your husband is getting enough water? I sometimes get the dry itchies. Sometimes it feels like a nerve tingling almost. Again, I just use a baby oil or olive oil and drink lots of water! I hope this helps!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Love to you!
      xo Karen:)

  11. Yes he drinks lots of lemon water. When he has to take his diuretics they (cramps)are worse. The other night they were so bad he thought his heart stopped and then he felt like he had no blood pressure. He also has psoriasis which itches but he says the itch comes from down deep. Since our new health care ….our wait times to see the Dr are out a month now. I worry about him.

    1. It’s hard not to worry. In the night it’s even worse. I can make a mountain out of a molehill in no time. I’ve really upped the water intake and find that the cramping is less frequent. But then you have to really watch the sodium or the ascites will kick in.
      Let’s think good thoughts toward each other tonight. No worrying. Think we can do it dear friend? I will try.
      xoxo Karen:)

  12. Thanks tons for sharing this particular with all men and women you truly identify what you’re discussing! Saved.

  13. I have the worst cramping like 300 flaming Charlie horses a day. I had it only in my calves and feet for three years along with complete skin numbness. Two days in to Sovaldi and Olysio treatment the cramping intensified. I became pretty much bed ridden. Tried every natural trick. More exercise, less exercise stretching the stretching was an instant debilitating pain. I have lost all feeling in the skin of both my legs and continue to have more and more painful cramps. My doctor denies that anyone experiences this cramping but many trips to many doctors and I get the same answer. You need to have the pain receptors blocked or turned off. No one will do anything about it. It’s so bad I can barely care for my young children.
    Today was the last day of medication. Does anyone know if this will stop? Has anyone had it continue? I barely sleep I hurt so much that I have to force myself to eat. I actually have lost almost fifty pounds since starting treatment. I was a little heavy but now my doctor says I am too skinny and wants to put me in the mental ward. I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
    Please someone tell me this will stop or at least slow down so I can walk and get off the couch and out of bed and me a mom again.
    Thanks for any input or advice

    1. Hunnyo- You’ve been through the ringer! Let’s start with leg cramps. I’ve just tried a new product and am going to update my blog right now. Check in out! You need help asap to stay on treatment. Doctor’s don’t know everything. I have had cramps last for up to 2 hours and nothing would help. Email me if you want to. kk?

      You’re not ready for the mental ward. You just need a break. I just read more.. that you’re through w treatment. You will begin to get yourself back together. It may take some time. You’ve been through a lot sister.

      I’m gonna put this on the blog now about the magnesium oil. Hopefully they will lessen once the drugs are out of your system. I still have them because of end stage liver diease. All my best to you. This is going to be your year to heal!!
      xo Karen:)

    2. My husband had cramps pretty bad but not as bad as you but bad enough he would feel like his heart was going to stop or the muscle was going to get ripped off the bone. Anyway he also has Lichens Planis (skin problems)so bad that the skin dr gave him a shot of Kenolog 40mg it not only cleared up his skin 99% his cramps have gone away????
      My dad has muscle problems and he was given prednisone same type of thing as Kenolog so who knows . My husband also takes 1000mg of magnesium a day. We told the skin dr about the relief of cramps but he could not comment he is a skin Dr. It might be worth asking your Dr. although just like our Dr.s no help with cramps.
      Just remembered Lorezapam helped with cramps some also. Hope you get some relief!

      1. Thanks for the tips Lynn. Isn’t it strange how our body works? It sounds as though steroids have a calming effect on the muscles. I never would have thought of that. I need to check out Lorezapam too. For right now, the Magnesium oil is working. I’m also guzzling tons of water during the day too.
        Your husband is right, it is one of the most severe pains I have experienced. Think of the uterus (which is a muscle) cramping during labor. Same intensity, but nonstop.

        I”m glad you left some info to help out best friends with leg cramps! xo Karen:)

  14. I have had hepc for years but now I am in so much pain .I have been reading all of your comments .But my pain is making me want to give up .I cry half the night and I have a daughter with downsyndrom and she sleeps with me she here me cry and trays to do her best to help me she rubs my legs and tears up trying not to cry with me God knows I want to live but I can’t afford half the stuff you all talk about I been drink lemon water and doing all I can to help my liver.and when going to the ER last not left me hopeless the Doctors don’t seem to care .and I know I needed my levels checked .but the gave me a pain shot and stunt me home I was in tears but I did express my feelings and told the Nurse what I felt in a respectful.way and you could tell he new I was right ” he kept on saying would you like to speak to the doctor .I was so angry the lady came back to draw more blood and they told her I was going home why did he just do right by me I have been off Drugs For 19 years why are we treated with so much in carryin Doctor’s. Can someone give me some remixes I can do at home that’s not exspecive .I will countiue to trust God and God bless you all for sharing with me I know that you care and I don’t alone Now

    1. First of all, have you treated for Hep C? You need to get treatment. Come over to my Facebook page and find yourself some friends who will be all over this. They can point you in the right direction for treatment. Look for ihelpckaren. Check out my friends. xo

      Next, the leg cramps can be helped with Magnesium oil. It’s about 7 bucks on amazon. I would make that a priority. But you really need to get rid of the virus so that your live can begin to heal. It needs a break from Hepatitis!

      Finally – You are never alone. I hear from dozens of people who are trying to get medicine, or even trying to find a place to stay. I thank God that you have a home for you and your daughter. By the way, if she has a caseworker, have you talked to them about helping you get medication for Hep C? I know you don’t feel good, but you HAVE to speak up for yourself honey.

      All my love and prayers. Please keep me posted. I’ll hold you in my heart. xo Karen:)

  15. God Bless u .and thank so much for responding to me.I am very greagful to you and the others .But I did take treatment I did the pill from last year .and know I am getting were I can’t walk and I am up all night with pain and most of the day I am walking and trying to eat right .and prayering all the time is there anything I can take to relieve this pain and what about milkthristel can you send me a diet and a list of things I can do I just want to live I am writing a book on my life story .and want so much to help others like my self . Please please send me a list of thing that I can maybe need to start doing I am not giving up ..I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me .I am trying to save money to get me a juicer but its not happening. Fast enuff .lol with so many others things that needs to be dine God bless .I want to live

    1. Patricia,

      Sweet one, you are really suffering. I’m glad that you are seeking help for eating well. I think Milk thistle can be dangerous for end stage cirrhosis. Read this.

      For your diet, eat several times a day and try not to eat too much meat. Peanut butter, and other proteins are better for you. Can you get some help with food stamps or ask a caseworker to help you get some protein shakes. Ensure will even help until you can save enough to get a blender. Watch for coupons for shakes like Boost or even a generic at your local grocery store or pharmacy.

      We NEVER give up. That is one thing for sure. I love your spirit! You will get through this hunnyo. Drink lots of water and try magnesium for the cramps. ok? xoxo Karen:)

  16. Thank you all from the bottom of my liver. LMLO. .. Although I’m trying to go on as nothing is wrong with me… I know what my body is going through is due to Sovaldi/Riba tx meds and not normal by far. 3rd week now. 21 more weeks to go. I’ve tons of web searching but very little on this particular question on my mind…: 5yrs ago Riba/Interferon tx – my viral load was at 8 million. Failed. – Now it is at 18 million, so if anyone has info on that… Please help me. Hep C from the 70’s. Bless you all for your posts. They help me understand.

    1. Hi there, I understand the fear, I am sorry you are going through this. Are you saying how can you be cured with your current treatment if your viral load is so much more this time? I am a little slow in the morning so on the one hand I think I should wait but on the other I want you to know someone is here and cares.
      I also relapsed the first time I treated with Interferon and Riba. I thought I was doing well, got the UND by the 7th week, finished it relapsed 6 weeks later. I was cured with the addition of Incivk 3 years ago.
      The newer medicines are working so well it is almost like a miracle. Make sure to drink a lot of water. Try to eat as healthy as you are able. Try to go for some walks while treating. There are some great ideas for liver loving food ideas on here even some fast food ideas 🙂 How are you feeling? I am interested. Are you having any leg cramps? A friend of mine recently finished the same treatment, she is now cured. You will be too my friend. Please keep in touch, ask any questions you may have. We are interested, we do care, we want to help
      Your friends, Dee and Karen

      1. Thank you Dee. I really appreciate reading your posts about Karen. Truly a Miracle Girl she is. God gives Hep C Survivors a 2nd 3rd, and sometimes 4th chance to fulfill our purpose and experience life. God made brilliant doctors and that is a miracle in it’s own right.
        As for me, 30 years listening to the reactions of my sick body on my own, (even a few french fries made me throw up) and not a clue, Drs. told me it was all in my head. I tried taking care of myself the best I could. I felt so alone. I passed out for 10 minutes from a hot flash at a normal yearly physical while waiting for my new Dr. to see me. He listened. He found the problem. Hep C genotype 3 stage 2. I felt relief immediately, finally I could do something about this.
        Riba/Inter tx caused severe platelet drops. 485 days of sickening side effects.
        5 years later, On this Sol/Riba tx I have tweaked my daily routine even more.
        Quit my job (cleaning after other peoples poop — my low immune system could never get my colds and flu’s to go away).
        I am willing to embrace my issues as an opportunity to live again.
        My husband is not willing to give up on me and that is a good thing.
        At night my body twitches like I have fleas? haha, jerks, spasms, legs and feet cramp up. I am irritable, I cry like a baby over the silliest things…. like when a contestant looses on Deal or No Deal. no kidding.
        On a positive spin, these meds are Kickin ASS ! LMLO
        Yesterday I started using baby oil and massage my myself for relief. I have Frankincense, Lavender, and Myrrh oils. They are really strong, so I plan to add a little of these to the baby oil tonight.
        Insomnia eliminates my extreme tiredness. Yes, this is a good thing!!
        I’m up so I keep busy, I sleep when I’m tired. !!!
        Walking, stretching, praying, gardening. my dogs love me.
        Only liquids from 6pm to 8am. Eat 5 times a day. The good stuff.
        A little electrolite water and 2 drops of Vit B12 under tongue.
        No Supplements which may give a false reading on my labs.
        Ginger Beer relieves my upset tummy.
        Peanut butter and honey relieve my headaches.
        This is all workable.
        Why is my viral load is so high? the myths that any one certain thing causes it to grow should be shut down. Truth is, all Hep C needs to replicate or grow, is it’s own self (it’s own host). The longer the years go by, the higher the viral load. The better I listen and care for myself, the better off I am.
        And yes I have a lot more to learn.
        Will this tx cure me with such a high viral load?
        That is yet to be seen. Proof is in the pudding. Lemon Pudding.

        I’ve discovered Ginger Beer settles an upset tummy.
        Lemon water makes me more thristy for more water.
        walking makes me want to walk more

        1. Hey there! I am happy to hear from you, thank you for writing. Ginger beer for nausea is a good idea. Thanks for sharing. When I treated, even though I tried to drink a lot of water I still had awful leg, feet cramps at night. I finally started trying to get more calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc. It seemed to help quite a bit, especially helped me relax. Of course you have to be careful with supplements while treating. I asked my doctor when I was on the Incivek, Peg, Riba and it was ok. I ate bananas a lot for the potassium. I also drank milk before bed. I did take supplements too. Now, anytime I get cramps I try to think if I am drinking enough water and start the supplements again.
          I ate so much peanut butter when I treated, due to the fat requirement that I had it all over my key board. When Karen was first diagnosed with cirrhosis she ate a lot of peanut butter, oatmeal etc. She wasn’t sure what to eat so that kept her going until she was able to learn what to eat. My doctor told me that yogurt could help my head aches, something to do with the whey.
          Uh oh, I have to go I will write more very soon, sorry I just remembered an appointment 🙂
          My best to you, Dee

        2. I am very happy to hear your husband is so supportive. Mine was wonderful as well. I don’t know what I would have done without him. He made sure that I ate every day. I also take B12, good idea. Also the electrolytes. My viral load was about 12M the first time I treated. 7M the second time 3 years later. I was told that it fluctuates a lot and they don’t know the reason.
          I hope you will keep in touch with us. It is really nice to hear from other people, we can all learn from each other. I woke with a severe head ache this morning. I think I will try the peanut butter and honey to see if that will help. Our weather is also changing so it could be changes in the barometric pressure. Massaging is a really good idea! I found a book on pressure points causing pain. I also use magnesium oil with some lavender oil or soak in Epsom salts. Take Care of yourself. Keep in touch. 🙂

  17. Wow Dee. If you can be cured. So can I. Thanks for the encouragement! Peanut butter on the keyboard…. That’s hilarious! I love thick peanut butter sandwiched between ginger snap cookies! We cry…we laugh… And we come together. Does anyone have the $$ to do a Hep c Recovery TV Series??? We Have Stories to Tell !!!!

    1. Hey there! You are so right, we do have stories to tell. I wish there was a way to reach people. I bet Karen will have an idea 🙂 She is so optimistic. You know I read that 75% of the people with HCV don’t even know they have it yet. That is really scary to me, all these people who have no idea. I was like that, I did not know I had it until I had had it for 30 years. I think I got it when I had a gamma globulin shot in 1977 which was supposed to boost my immune system.
      It was so scary to me when I was diagnosed in 2007. I thought it was a death sentence, then I found out I had cirrhosis. Double whammy. It was months before I could talk about it without sobbing. I found out that for Geno Type 1’s Interferon and Riba were only 41% effective. That was why I tried the trial of Interferon, Riba and the Polymerase Inhibitor. It worked for a few people, I relapsed. When Incivek came out I was ready. I knew it would be hard but I did not have any time to wait. Having cirrhosis makes it even harder to kill the virus.
      The new drugs, Sovaldi, Harvoni and Viekrea are killing the virus for so many it is like a miracle. That is why Incivek is no longer being sold in the US. I belong to a forum where many are coming back to tell us they are cured. It is so heart warming to hear these good stories. It gives others so much hope. You will get there, I just know it. I can tell by how careful you are being that you are going to be ok. Hope is really important. It helps us get through the hard times. Karen and I did Incivek at the same time. It was hard but we made it through. Out on the other side. You will get there too. Thanks for your nice message. Yes, I was eating peanut butter and apples, just about 3 times a day. We had to eat 20 grams of fat with each dose of Incivek and we had to take it 3 times a day. UGH!! You made me laugh when you said it was hilarious, thank you so much. I know right now it seems like you have a long way to go in your treatment but it will go by fast. I remember trying to break it down in to segments. First the first 12 weeks, then 4 more and so on. I try to think that everything happens for a reason. We may not be able to see it at the time but later, I can usually see and say “Oh…so that happened and it opened my mind to this or I got this then I met this person and learned this”….not sure this is making sense I sure hope so. Well my friend, you take it easy. I read warm milk can help with sleep as can some turkey. Something in it.
      Take Care

  18. I’m a professional drummer. I was playing a New Year’s gig 2015 and in the middle of the set seized up first in my hand, then severe charley horses in both thighs. I fell over & everyone thought i was having a stroke. I woke up later from sound sleep by the worst pain i have ever felt. Docs said i had Hep-C, but didn’t link the cramps to it. I was given Naproxen & sent home. I was a-symptomatic before then. After being sent to a Psych & enrollment into a Pain Clinic, I am finally ready to start Harvoni sometime next month. Your Blog helps me greatly, just to know people have experienced what i have & understand, helps. Have been “drug free” for about 8 years. I don’t drink or smoke, so when this started i was really scared. My mind ran wild, was it a tumor or Cancer? This level of pain is No Joke, so i knew it was serious. I’ve had a ruptured appendix & 10 broken bones but they don’t come close to this. I’m also getting severe joint pain in hips & knees after sleep, anyone else? I take CALM, Fresh Blueberries, Tonic Water. I’ll check in when i start treatment. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!

    1. Hey there! Thanks for writing in. Are you drinking plenty of water? When I had cramps like that I upped my water took Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Zinc. The magnesium nightly helped me sleep. Just a suggestion. Try to make sure your elecrolytes are supplied in your diet or even drink gatorade in a pinch, Dee

  19. hi , i have had charlie horses since i was a kid, making my friends hold my toes lol. an di have had them my whole life, they are horrible, at first they was just in my feet, then they went up my calfs and the inner part of my thigh ( those are the worst) they go from your ankles to your butt, the worst pain ever! i get them in my hands sides right between my ribs, ( i thought my heart would pop out) i get them what feels like my liver but could just be something else, ( had my gallbladder out) . I’m 63 yrs. old now and I’m still trying to figure out what causes them , i have had blood work done everything normal, i have tried all that you have said in your article , still would have them. but finally i found something that works for me , it boost, the chocolate big protein boost! i drink one in the morning and if i feel like I’m going to get a cramp i will drink one at night boost is wonderful, but like everything else i have tried it comes to an end and the grampus are back , but so far so good i have been drinking this for 2 months and ya i might get a little cram p here or there but haven’t had the real bad ones like i use to. i go to sam’s club and buy it by the case.

    1. Hi there, I know how horrible the cramps can be. When I was getting them fairly frequently I would throw everything at them. Magnesium, potassium, zinc. It is really hard to know what to do. I have even tried gatorade to see if it would help.
      I am so sorry to hear you have had them so long. Take Care! Dee

  20. Hi
    I am from Iran and i am 14 years
    I have a leg cramp every night and it is very awful I cry and my mother when hear my cry sound come and message my leg but I had pain all the day.
    and I get leg cramp even in school i play handball and suddenly i get it i start yo cry and shouted my leg cramp my friend come and message my leg and help me to go out of the field
    I drink a lot glasses of water or the other drug but i have it again
    Please help what do i do?
    Thank you so much

    1. Hello there sweetie. I am so sorry to hear this, have you been to the doctor? Do you drink milk? When I was growing up I would get chest pains and would be told that they were growing pains. That did not really help me at all when my chest hurt so bad I could not breathe.
      I am not a doctor however I have had leg cramps. Sometimes stretching will help the tight muscles. If you get them at night, in your calf muscle you can straighten your leg (hard to do while in agony, I know) and pull your toes towards your body to help stretch the calf muscle. If in your shin do the opposite. I know it is hard, believe me. At one point in my life the cramps would jump all over my body. I upped the milk, took extra calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc. I later found that Gatorade could help get my electrolytes balanced. You could try a banana to get your potassium, milk for calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. All very important. Upping your water is a very good idea as dehydration can cause cramps as well.I hope that I have helped you in some small way. Dee

    2. Hello! Welcome! Do you drink milk? Milk and bananas may help you. Did you write last week? This seems similar to another person, 14 who wrote. You may write as much as you like. I take Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Vitamin D. You can get most of this from Milk and bananas.
      Drinking enough water is very important

  21. Hi
    My husband usually get cramp at night and in his leg it is very painful even he can not walk or stand up .we go to doctor but it is not different
    Please say me what i must do when he get them
    Thank you

    1. Hello there! I am surprised that the doctor did not try to help you. I am sorry. When I was having leg cramps, I first tried Gatorade. That helped a bit so then I added, Magnesium, Calcium, Vitamin D, Potassium and Zinc. That helped a lot
      Drinking a glass of milk with a banana is good. I would try these things before bed.
      I sincerely hopes this helps you
      Take Care

  22. Hello
    I have a sister and we live in another city alone for sister usually get cramp in calf and thigh even she can’t stand up or walk.when I touch her leg it’is like stone.I usually get up with her cry voice.and I just know I must pull her toes toward her face I know it is very painful but she doesn’t say anything and just cry after her muscles relax I put pack of ice under her leg.
    We went to doctors but the drugs just less them not finish.what should I do for finish them?I am worry for her please help me
    Thank you

    1. Hello, I am so sorry to hear. The most important thing is to drink water. After that calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, potassium is very important. She can also try drinking milk which would give her calcium and vitamin D. She could eat a banana for potassium. Magnesium is still important. I hope she gets rid of the cramps soon. I know how bad they can be. Take care, my thoughts are with you and your sister, Dee

  23. Hello
    I have a sister and we live in another city sister usually get cramp in calf and thigh.wen I touch her leg it is like stone. I usually get up with her cry voice I just know I must pull her toes toward her face I know it is very painful but she does not say anything and she just cry after her muscles relax I put pack of ice under her leg .we went to doctor but the drugs just less them not finish them.what should I do for finish them I am worry for her
    Please help us
    Thank you

    1. Hi sweet sister!
      Try taking the Calm drink by using 1 tsp with water when the cramp starts. I’ve been using magnesium gel during leg cramps. Rub it in gently. Be sure and mention it to her doctor if you don’t get improvement. Oh! and Drink lots of water!
      xo Karen

    1. Hi there! I am so sorry to hear about the night time cramps, they are the worst. I would make sure she is drinking enough water. Taking magnesium before bed can help relax the muscles. Alzo make sure that she is getting a daily vitamin. When I was having cramps, I would take calcium, magnesium, potassium (a daily banana is good for this) and zinc.
      The magnesium before bed should help. I take 400 mg. When she is in the middle of a cramp the best thing to do is for her to try to stretch the muscle. When I got them in my calf muscle I would pull my toes towards my shin bone. A thigh muscle is difficult but not impossible to stretch. Good luck! Dee

  24. I was diagnosed with HCV 10 years ago. However, the gastroenterologist said not to worry about it as there was only a few cells. For about a year I have had severe leg cramps. So bad i would wake up screaming. My physical therapist tried to explain to the doctor bout how bad my cramps were. She claimed in her 23 years she had never seen anything so bad. Thank you for posting. I have a new doctor and he ordered new blood tests.

    1. Hello! I am so sorry to her that your original was so uncaring and unfeeling. I could probably add, not very knowledgable about HCV. Yes, leg cramps can be awful and can be associated with HCV and liver damage. If I were you I would try to increase my consumption of water. When I had the awful leg cramps, before I was cured of HCV, I would take Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium (banana) and zinc. It helped a lot. Then I heard that I might be taking too much calcium so started to take the others right before bed. t helped a lot. I have now been cured for 4 and half years and the leg cramps are just a memory. I pray your new doctor will be more helpful and you can get the care you need, Dee

  25. Hi, had all the mentioned symptoms related to severe leg cramps. Bolted out of bed just as REM sleep started. Found immediate relief by becoming vertical to straighten calf muscles and walking a few minutes around the house.. Taking 250mg of Canadian Rx quinine helps a lot. One pill equals gallons of seltzer water. Quinine has major side effects. Mainly platelet suppression. Low platelets means SLOW healing throughout the body. Low platelets means you’ll need platelet infusion pre and post any surgery upon penalty of internal bleeding and death. If your doctor or surgeon are not aware of that seek another doctor ASAP. I have found that abstinence from all alcohol lowers frequency and intensity of leg cramps. I had successful Harvoni HEP C1a treatment after two horrendous bouts with Interferon treatment. Horrible ankle and leg cramps. Doctors have never been willing or able to answer WHY or WHAT was the cause. An auto accident crushing my rt leg has exacerbated all the related poor circulation problems. Saphenous vein ablation surgery helped only a short time. Avoid Spirolactone and Lasix as they exacerbate mineral imbalance and cause MAJOR leg cramps. Potassium supplements taken with furosemide water pills generate major painful leg cramps involving leg muscle up to the pelvis. like to hear from others.

    1. I am impressed. You’ve been through the same things as me and have been able to find out a lot of information. Thanks for sharing your insight here on the Best Friends guide.

      It seems like there is NO clear cause or treatment. I’m still having them post transplant.. and I’m off of diuretics totally. I will say that the magnesium powder drink helps me a whole lot.. I got up a couple of nights ago to mix some up and got pretty fast relief.

      Have you tried doing bed yoga stretches before sleeping? That can help.. I need to make a video for yoga stretches. But first I need to do a pedicure.. xo Thanks for dropping by. I hope you get some relief and appreciate you sharing your experience. Watch for the video. xo Karen

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