Nighttime Leg Cramps

What Causes Leg Cramps At Night?

Leg cramps at night can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'troubling' to 'needs attention'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose leg cramps at night, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "leg cramps at night" as a symptom.  For example, dehydration.

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
tongue swelling
much lower back pain
frequent unexplained nausea
bulimia
history of adult allergies
greatly reduced skin elasticity
moderate alcohol consumption
frequent 'chills'
asthma
difficulty falling asleep
coffee consumption
sciatica
... and more than 30 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of leg cramps at night.

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate muscle cramps/twitching or severe muscle cramps/twitching, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Do you experience leg or foot cramping at night?
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ No
→ In the past only
→ Current minor problem
→ Current major problem
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate absence of night leg cramps, history of night leg cramps or night time leg cramps, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as Dehydration.  Dehydration may play a role in muscle cramping.
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