I have had some back issues and now get those spasms in my upper back/shoulders area. It tightens up so much it is hard to breathe. I found this happens when I am low on potassium and iron. Maybe have your nutritional levels checked
It's interesting that you mentioned potassium, as I just yesterday became convinced that I needed in increase potassium in my diet because of muscle cramps in my leg.
Potassium is an essential mineral for life, and a deficiency can cause numerous problems. The kinds of foods that contain a lot of potassium (fruits and vegetables) are exactly the sort of things the Crohnies tend to avoid because it has much fiber and increases diarrhea. Furthermore, diarrhea depletes the body's reserves of potassium.
Here is an excellent article about
Although there is such a thing as potassium pills, they are not recommended. Not only expensive, but they tend to irritate the stomach and intestines, and even cause ulcers. Potassium is much better when dissolved in water, or mixed in with a food like rice or oatmeal.
Potassium Chloride (chemical formula KCl) is a salt. Not common table salt, which is Sodium Chloride (NaCl). Many supermarkets sell KCl as a "salt substitute:"
There is also "Low Salt" which is a mixture of NaCl and KCl. It does taste better than just KCl. However, most of us already get too much NaCl (table salt) in our diet (processed food is full of it). So you probably don't want to add even more.
How much KCl should you take daily? Dietary allowance is something like 2 to 3.5 grams per day. A teaspoon is about
2 grams, and that's a lot since it doesn't taste good. I'd suggesting starting out lower. Since yesterday, I'm taking a 1/4 teaspoon daily, mixed into dissolved water (tastes awful). This morning I mixed in into oatmeal, which was tolerable. I'm going to try some experiments, using it on pasta and rice like I would use table salt. Anyway, don't overdo it - the article I cited above does mention the dangers of overdose (can even be fatal). And here's another warning from Wikipedia:People with kidney failure, heart failure or diabetes should not use salt substitutes without medical advice. A manufacturer, LoSalt, has issued an advisory statement. that people taking the following prescription drugs should not use a salt substitute: Amiloride, Triamterene, Dytac, Spironolactone, Aldactone, Eplerenone, and Inspra.
If you're suffering from muscle cramps and spasms, I'd give KCl a try. Please read the article about
potassium - it gives some good tips.