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Ask Elsa: I'm pregnant and have leg problems

Q I'M pregnant and aside from occasional leg cramps.

I also get a weird crawling sensation in my legs at night and need to get up and shake them about to relieve it, any ideas on a cause/cure for this?

A You may be suffering with Restless legs Syndrome (RLS) which is very common in pregnancy. Symptoms involve feelings of burning, tingling, aching, itching, or crawling deep beneath the skin of the lower legs.

Restless legs can arise as a result of a magnesium deficiency. Blood levels of magnesium drop during pregnancy, leaving women at risk from restless legs and muscle cramps. I would recommend that you increase your intake of magnesium-rich foods, such as spinach, kale, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews and soy beans. You might also benefit from taking a magnesium citrate supplement one hour before bed.

Low iron levels are another possible cause. If symptoms persist, consult your GP or OB.

Elsa Jones is a qualified nutritionist who offers consultations in GP clinics around Dublin – www.elsajonesnutrition.ie


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