Several readers recommend potassium for this problem. Karen reckons a glass of orange juice and a banana a day should do the trick, while Peter suggests taking a potassium supplement. Alternatively, swap regular table salt for LoSalt, which is enriched with potassium and contains one third of the sodium of common salt. On the subject of salt, Peter warns us not to be over-zealous in eliminating salt from the diet. "Too much salt can cause problems, but so can too little," he points out.
In addition to potassium, magnesium may also be helpful for toe cramps. "People who suffer from lots of cramps are usually deficient in magnesium," says a natural health teacher and practitioner. Another reader agrees. His wife sometimes suffers with leg cramps, but one 32 mg capsule of magnesium - taken as soon she feels the cramp coming on - eases the pain almost immediately.
A couple of readers recommend drinking plenty of water for this condition. Carrie suggests quinine water (tonic water) in particular.
Other ideas are chiropractic treatment and reflexology. One practitioner points out that reflexology can sometimes bring on cramps, but this, she assures us, is a healing reaction. Regular treatment, she says, should eventually help to stop all the cramps completely.
Finally, for a more immediate solution, try the following exercise: pinch the bottom lip with the forefinger inside the mouth and the thumb on the outside. Both finger and thumb should be pointing downwards towards the bottom of the chin. "This usually stops cramps very quickly," says Jill.
E-news broadcast 27 March 2007 No.345