Hand seizers/cramps

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 11/13/2007 12:43 AM (GMT -6)   
K...this is a little different.  about 2 weeks ago I was writing and my hand cramped up, nothing major.  But it started to get worse and worse.  Now, if I try to open any jars or do anything with my hands that requires any strength my hands will cramp right up and seize so that I cant move them unless I force them with my other hand.
Anyone ever have anything like this happen?  I thought maybe dehydration, but I dont feel any other symtoms of that and I have been really dehydrated.
Just diagnosed Aug. 14/07
Asacol 8 / day (5-Aminosalicylic Acid 400mg)
Pred. 35mg
Imuran 150mg
Cortafoam (butt mousse, not emima)
Florastor Probiotic
Peppermint Oil with Oregano extract

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30998
   Posted 11/13/2007 1:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi...I can relate from having repetative strain injury and myofascial syndrome....my feet cramp like that since I was a kid..killers and hard to hide when it happens.

You should tell the doctor asap anyway....because I think that's a symptom of either the pred or the imuran. I had a friend who cannot take imuran because she ended up with nerve "communication" problems in her back and had a problem with her legs. She is prone to muscle/nerve problems..it seems the imuran exacerbated it? Her feet became numb from Flagyl...

No end of some symptoms with some meds...but reallllllly....call your doctor just in case it's a side effect that needs to have the meds changed incase there's more damage (permanent) that can happen.

If it's not normal for you....it's not normal period.

Do you have neck problems normally?

To open jars and things that require a grip...those waffle sort of grippy spongy squares are really helpful..one around the jar, the other around the lid...I use two all the time.

Hope this is just a passing symptom for you.

Keep us posted.
*Heather*Status:mini flare June 23* 6asacol daily+ Salofalk (tapered every 4th night)
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~Probiotic 2 (Natural Factors Protec) + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) at bedtime
~Natural Factors Multi Digestive Enzymes with supper
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 246
   Posted 11/13/2007 1:56 AM (GMT -6)   
I had this happen last year when going through a bad flare and was losing a lot of nutrients. I found out it was likely due to a potassium deficiency and as I got healthier things got better. You might try adding a banana or two a day to your diet to help.

- 29 y/o single IT professional male residing in Northern VA, USA
- UC Diagnosis - April, 2006 - Symptoms were sudden and drastic
- GI did not determine type of UC as I was too inflamed during the c-scope
- Completed 3rd Prednisone taper on 4/13/07 - Tapered from early January through mid-April after being hospitalized from a bad flare with anemia & severe joint pain.
- Currently in remission and enjoying life again since getting out of the hospital in early Jan 07' from a nasty flare
- Survive on 4 Colazal/day, 1 GNC Multivitamin, occassional Fish oil & Primal Defense Probiotics
- Enjoy the outdoors, relaxing and spending time with family and friends

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 49
   Posted 11/13/2007 4:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Interesting.. i eat at least one banana a day, guess i need more potassium still. i also drink plenty of water...i get these hand spasms, they lock up-feels like the muscles reversed direction if that makes any sense. sieze like you said is a pretty good word to describe it. I do a lot of cutting cooking and building models at school. I cut my foot the other day because my hand spasmed and i dropped a knife. This also happens while writing and typing, seems like any repetitive motion can set it off.
left sided
prescribed lialda
take herbal meds instead

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 11/13/2007 7:05 AM (GMT -6)   
I have a lot of hand issues (carpal tunnel/tendonitis/raynauds/trigger fingers) so my hands cramp alot but it's especially noticable when I'm flaring. How are your bms? Are you having D at all? If you are, then that could explain the cramping because you are losing important nutrients such as potassium. If you are having D, potassium shortage doesn't show up overnight - it can take a while to manifest itself. But I agree that either way, you should have this checked out by your doc.

Left sided Uc -'92 - Colazal, 6mp, Prilosec, Biotin, Forvia, Pro-Bio 
Allergies - Singulair, Astelin(got the script - just haven't tried it yet!)
Secondary Reynauds Syndrome - '04 - Norvasc
Fibromyalgia - '06 
@--->--Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC--<---@


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 11/13/2007 9:14 AM (GMT -6)   
I had this happen 3 times with my hands, really freaked me out!

I was eating a banana a day and now instead (I am sick of bananas now) I take two potassium pills a day 600mg each. I have low postassium and have been fine since taking the potassium. Have your Doc check your potassium levels. Hasn't happened since, also the cramping in my legs has pretty much gone away too.
Beth, 32
UC Diagnosed March 2000 (30 cenitmeters)
Azathioprine 150mg 1xday nightly;Hydrocortisone enemas 1xday;Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Potassium 600mg 2xday, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) Diagnosed Sept 2007
Prednisone 60/40mg alt days 1xday, Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 80mg 2xday. Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 648
   Posted 11/13/2007 9:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Potassium and magnesium deficiency. Start eating a banana a day. I get the same thing from prednisone. If I extend my toe, my calf will cramp. The bottom-of-the-foot cramps are the worst, however.

You should notice almost immediate relief after eating a banana.

Good luck!
Sporadic proctitis since about 1985. Mother had J-pouch surgery 1983.
DX'd with clostridium difficile in 2000. Pred, two courses of Flagyl, then Vancomycin finally got rid of it. 2001 colonoscopy dx'd left-sided UC. . Treated with prednisone, Rowasa, Asacol. Asacol not working, switched to Imuran. Three small flares since in 2002, 2005, and 2007, brought under control with steroid and Rowasa enemas. Lap Chole performed October 26, 2007, after gall bladder attack in June, '07.
Daily meds: 100 mg Azathioprine and 225 mg Effexor XR (for chronic, longstanding depression), many vitamins and Primadophilus Reuteri

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 11/13/2007 10:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Red_34 said...
 How are your bms? Are you having D at all?

Ive actually been kinda backed up for the last week.  No "D" to speak of in awhile.
Just diagnosed Aug. 14/07
Asacol 8 / day (5-Aminosalicylic Acid 400mg)
Pred. 35mg
Imuran 150mg
Cortafoam (butt mousse, not emima)
Florastor Probiotic
Peppermint Oil with Oregano extract

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 8360
   Posted 11/13/2007 12:10 PM (GMT -6)   
if you're still on the nasty pred, that's probably it - i had major cramping issues - good riddance prednisone !

diagnosed with pancolitis december 21, 2003
currently taking: NOTHING !

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3402
   Posted 11/13/2007 12:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I've had problems like this since high school...
But since this is NEW to YOU - check with your doc!
Pan-colitis and GERD diagnosed May 2003
Asacol 12 per day,  Azathioprine 75mg, Rowasa and Canasa as needed
Aciphex, Effexor XR, BCP, Rhinocort nasal spray
Forvia and a Probiotic
Osteopenia (hip and spine) from prednisone use.  Started Azathioprine because I was steroid dependent.
Co-Mod for the UC forum
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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 320
   Posted 11/22/2007 1:54 AM (GMT -6)   
For me, the hand cramps were caused by a lack of calcium. I was on prednisone and I wasn't drinking milk due to flaring. Once the doc got me on the calcium suppliments, everything was ok again.
"We are dreamers, shapers, singers and makers..." - Elric, elder Technomage

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 479
   Posted 11/22/2007 5:44 AM (GMT -6)   

Fosterdad - I had this!!  The exact same thing that you describe!

I can guarantee you this is due to the prednisone.  When I was on high-doses, like you are on now, I had hand cramps every day. I couldnt open bottles or jars.  Infact, I couldn't do anything physical with my hands.

Once I started to taper the pred, it went slowly went away.  It was so awful. Hope you feel better soon.



Back on Pred - 8mg - Steroid Dependent :-(
Azathioprine 150mg
Actonel 35mg
Predfoam Enema
VSL #3 with Activia Yoghurt
EPA Fish Oils
Various Homeopathic meds
Asacol x 9
Remicade every 8 weeks  (Stopped working)
Aloe Vera Lily of the Desert Juice  Gave me the worst D !
Primadophilus Reuteri Probiotic
Prograf Tacrolimus 4mg

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 11/22/2007 10:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Is it your whole hand cramping, or just the fingers "sticking" painfully? I had"trigger" fingers on both hands. It affects my middle two fingers and thumb on each hand. If I tried to close my hand, these finges would stick at the first knuckle, and hurt a whole lot. I would have to take my other hand and straighten the finger out. My ortho said it's caused by tendons in the fingers swelling and catching in a sheath they run through in the hand.

In my case, injection of a small amount of cortisone into the tendons fixed it, and I can use my hands again. I'd suggest you discuss with your doctor, and ask for an orthopedic referral if necessary.
Moderate to severe left-sided UC diagnosed 2001.
Current meds are Colazal, Azathioprine and Remicade. Completely off steroids for more than a year now! In remission since April, 2006. Remicade has been my wonder drug.
Now tapering Azathioprine, please pray for me.
"If you spend your time second-guessing your past decisions, you'll never have time to enjoy today."

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 49
   Posted 11/23/2007 2:13 AM (GMT -6)   
heres another possible factor-

i am very aenimic, i notice that when my hands are above my heart for too long they sometimes start to spasm. could it simply be something to do with bloodflow?
left sided
prescribed lialda
take herbal meds instead

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