Why have I been getting charlie horses all over my body?

Most of the information online seems to deal with charlie horses primarily in the calves. I have had these (occasionally) all of my life. Lately, though, within the past couple of weeks, the cramping has spread so it is now throughout my whole body.

I have had them in my calves, in my thigh, in my pelvis, in my neck, shoulders and back, and my upper arm. None in my hands and wrists or in my feet.

When I have had my husband rub my shoulders, he says they are full of knots, which feel like they are left over from where I’ve had recent cramps.

Some background:
I have a seven month old baby, who I exclusively breastfed until 6 months old (via expressing with a pump, as he would never latch). I am still pumping but only 4-5 times a day, now, since we’ve introduced other foods.
I am an overweight 25 year old, but not obese. I eat a balanced diet and take vitamins. My weight issue is more about portion control than the content of my food. I don’t really exercise, but I am not a couch potato, either. I work part-time and spend a lot of time on my feet, both at home and work. I sleep about 6 to 7 hours a night.

I also had an eyelid twitch in one eye for a little over a month, but that has passed within the past few weeks.

I don’t have medical insurance so I’m hoping for some suggestions on how to solve this problem.

I have tried bananas, stretching, drinking more water, a contoured pillow, changing sleeping positions, walking a little more… Nothing seems to be helping.

The only other things I could probably afford to try are going to a chiropractor (just for one or two visits) or a massage. I don’t know that either would solve the problem, though, and I’m getting really frustrated. The worst ones are in my pelvis/hips, and they also affect my ability to perform my job, because I have to stand in one spot, rotating my leg until it calms down enough for me to walk.

Any suggestions?

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  1. M C, December 11, 2011 12:04 am - Why have I been getting charlie horses all over my body?

    I would highly recommend talking with your doctor to see if you are deficient in potassium which could easily cause your symptoms. Also, too much potassium can cause similar symptoms, so it’s best to find out exactly what your level is.

    Because you’re breast-feeding, there’s a good chance that you are also deficient in calcium. A deficiency in calcium leads to deficiencies in magnesium and potassium due to poor absorption which results in cramping, pain, twitching/spasming, and fatigue. Eating foods rich in potassium and taking vitamins won’t necessarily help if absorption is a problem, so it’s best to find out through bloodwork exactly what’s going on and what the root of the problem is.

    Personally, I would give your ob/gyn or regular doctor a call and see if they would recommend an over-the-counter course of calcium, magnesium, and potassium – based on your medical history and previous labwork while pregnant, s/he may be comfortable recommending an appropriate dosage.

    Good luck and take care – and congratulations on your baby!

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  2. tod m, December 11, 2011 12:58 am - Why have I been getting charlie horses all over my body?

    check for diabetes. Avoid sugar.
    the new a1c tests are easy and quick with the hand held meter.

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