Diabetes is a common condition that’s caused by the pancreas not producing enough of the hormone insulin.
Without enough insulin, the body struggles to convert sugar in the blood into useable energy.
Common diabetes symptoms include having cuts or wounds that take longer to heal than normal, having blurry vision, and passing more urine than normal.
But you could also be at risk of diabetes type 2 if you have persistent leg cramps, it’s been revealed.
Having severe and painful muscle cramps could be caused by high blood sugar, according to Diabetes.co.uk.
Imbalances in blood glucose levels prevents muscles from contracting and relaxing properly, it said.
The cramps could also be caused by nerve damage, such as diabetic neuropathy – a complication of diabetes.
“Muscle cramps happen when a skeletal muscle involuntarily contracts and they can range from being uncomfortable to very painful,” said the medical website.
“They are most common from the waist down, and usually occur in the calf, feet and both front and back of the thighs. They can also affect the arms.
“While they can be problematic at any time of the day, muscle cramps often wake people up in the middle of the night.
“People with diabetes can experience mild to severely painful muscle cramps, which can be due to a number of reasons.
“When imbalances happen, through either high or low blood sugar, cramps can occur.”
Patients with low blood sugar may have muscle cramps, as their muscles become starved of glucose.
Those with high blood sugar get rid of excess glucose through their urine, which also reduces the amount of electrolytes in their body. This subsequently leads to cramps.
Nerve damage causes muscle cramps due to poor circulation, which instigates spasms, added Diabetes.co.uk.
If you have cramps, the best thing to do is to massage the affected muscle, while stretching it out.
If you’re having regular cramps, you should speak to a doctor to find the root cause of your pain.
Diabetes affects almost four million people in the UK. Around 90 per cent of all cases are caused by type 2 diabetes.
Managing blood sugar is crucial for diabetes patients, as they’re more at risk of some deadly complications, including strokes and heart attacks.
You should see a GP if you’re worried about the signs and symptoms of diabetes.