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Ask Dr. Chip Your Own Question
Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 36076
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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I am suffering from cramp very badly.I come from a family that

Customer Question

I am suffering from cramp very badly.I come from a family that seems to be prone to cramp.
I am 86 & have neuropathy in my feet so my days are grim to say the least, & I rely on a bit of peace at night taking 5 mgs of valium. I had 4 units of blood about 20 years ago after an operation & I never had cramp for TWO full years after. I would say it was worth having cancer for the relief I got.
I have had blood tests & the doctor says the only thing I am short of is Vit. D which I have now been taking for 3 weeks with no recognisable success. I still feel I am anaemic as my hands look very pale compared to my friends although I would not say I am unusually tired for my age. Do you think it would be a good idea to buy my own iron & take that as I am at my wit's end.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
Hi--I assume you've had an anemia workup with appropriate blood tests? Have you had your thyroid function tested and cortisol levels checked?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The blood tests I had were because I had gone to the doctor specifically to ask about cramp, so I can only assume these were done but with the NHS we do not have choices really.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
Can you tell me more about the cramping problem you have?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I keep waking to go to the toilet, so don't get much sleep anyway, but some weeks I will be woken from 3 to 8 times a night . I jump out of bed & am almost frightened to go back so I try to sleep sitting up but get aches & pain all round my shoulders. I think the pain is dreadful but feel I can't do anymore to help myself.I think perhaps it is more difficult to deal with the pain as we get older.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
Sorry for all the questions but what did your doctor have to say about the cause of your pain?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He sent me for the blood test & when I went for results he didn't give any cause but just said I needed Vit D.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He just asked me to have the blood tests & when I went for the results he just said all I needed was Vit D.He certainly didn'nt tell me what the cause was.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
I see--so to recap you'd like to know if you should take iron supplements?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

For want of any better advice I would say - yes

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
OK--and we can continue after this if you'd like. I think it would be a good idea for you to take the iron supplements along with the extra vitamin D. Together they may well help your problem with the cramping and the pain. While you may not be specifically anemic per se, the low vitamin D level can affect red blood cell production and the metabolism of iron in your body. As I must always do, however, I must ask you to discuss the iron supplements with your doctor before you start taking them