Tums=Leg Cramps — The Bump
April 2013 Moms

Tums=Leg Cramps

Hi there,

So I've had some nasty heartburn off and on for the past couple of months. Honestly, I can't put my finger on exactly what foods trigger it- sometimes its this sometimes that. Sometimes I'm fine with one thing, sometimes I'm not.

Anyways... I noticed the other night that EVERTIME I take TUMS before going to bed I wake up in the middle of the night with an intense leg cramp.

After looking into it, I find out excess calcium (like the calcium in TUMS) can cause muscle cramps.

Just wanted to share that little tidbit in case this may help someone... 

Heartburn or leg cramps...heartburn or leg cramps....decisions, decisions...Confused 

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Re: Tums=Leg Cramps

  • I popped Tums like water in my last pregnancy, but this time my doctor advised that if I feel like I need them every day that I should use Zantac 1-2 times per day instead. I feel so much better!  I don't even get heartburn.  Pumping yourself up with too much calcium can do many things including cause kidney stones.  I would talk to your doctor about taking an acid reducer instead of Tums.

    That being said, leg cramps happen during pregnancy with or without Tums.  I had a horrible foot cramp last night too.  Not fun

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  • I've been popping two Tums a night before bed for a couple months now, but started getting leg cramps a couple nights ago. I didn't even realize Tums could cause any issues! I'll have to talk to my doctor about this, thanks for posting!
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  • Oh gosh! KIDNEY STONES TOO?? No thank you!
    I'm not to the point where I have heartburn every day but it's increasing and enough where it's kind of becoming an issue!

    I'll talk to my midwife about other options if it becomes intolerable. I do not want kidney stones! Thank you for the heads up on that one.

    And no problem Darling, I'm glad if I can help!!

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  • Well, apparently the scientific studies have mixed results.  So, no more than 2,000 mg of calcium per day. (Tums are calcium carbonate)
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  • My OB actually said to take TUMS to help with leg cramps.   He said they have alot of calcium in them and that they can help.


  • It sounds like you need magnesium. Magnesium helps with leg cramps, and there's a reason most calcium supplements come with magnesium - they even each other out. There are separate magnesium supplements out there as well. The reason people suggest bananas for leg cramps is because of the magnesium they have in them.
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  • Thanks for the thoughts! Magnesium is a good point! I do get plenty of calcium in my diet, and have heard that it can work both ways either too little or too much isn't good for our muscles.  But I could be missing a little Magnesium.. after reading about the role it plays I saw that it disposes of unused calcium, so that could make sense!

    It just struck me one night after taking a couple of tums, that every time I did that I woke up with a cramp. Sure enough, that night I had a pretty awful cramp in my calf. Now, maybe it was a bit of the placebo effect.. But I think I'll still hold off on the Tums for now and try to add some more magnesium into my diet!

    Thanks again for the insight!

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  • That's weird...my doc said leg cramps are usually due to a deficiency in potassium or calcium and recommended 2 bananas a day and an extra calcium supplement, so I would've thought the calcium would help.  I guess you never know!
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