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March 31, 2008

Aches and Pains, Other

Question from Arab, Alabama USA:

My 12-year-old daughter has had type 1 diabetes for three years. Her A1c has always averaged between 6.7 and 7.2 and her doctor is pleased. She is very active, takes dance, and recently was selected as a majorette. She has been complaining of muscle cramps in her lower legs at times and upper thighs at times. She also complains that the arch in the bottom of one of her feet is tender after tryouts. She wears good shoes to school. Could these spasms be related to calcium deficiency? She does have some milk and cheese products, but also states milk makes her stomach ache. What is the recommended serving of calcium per day? Also, what vitamin is recommended for her age level? She currently takes a Flintstones Calcium complete and a vitamin C supplement per day. Is there a better and safe vitamin for her age level? Should I ask her doctor to run additional laboratory work to check any particular levels?

Answer:

I think the vitamins you are giving are likely just fine. Calcium and vitamin D, along with iron, are musts in most girls because they get anemic after they begin their periods and they usually don’t get enough calcium. Many with diabetes do, however, as milk is more likely to be a part of the diet plan since sweet soda is out. Have you tried yogurt, since you commented on the milk bothering her tummy? Nevertheless, calcium and vitamin D in reasonable amounts, 600 mg of calcium and 400 mg of D are always okay. More is also acceptable, if you discuss it with your doctor first. I often recommend 1200 mg of each as so many diets are lacking and sunshine is, too.

Cramps are a part of the active growing child. Make sure she stretches after activities and a warm bath never hurts. It isn’t likely a calcium problem as that is rare.

LD