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むずむず脚症候群を引き起こす3つの原因と対策

脚

むずむず脚症候群の原因は、まだはっきりとは解明されていません。

甲状腺の機能障害や慢性腎不全などでも起こりやすく、抗うつ剤の副作用でも起こります。

一般的にむずむず脚症候群の原因と考えられているのは、脳内の神経伝達物質であるドーパミンの合成力が低下することによるものではないかと言われています。むずむず脚症候群があると、夜寝付けずに辛いですよね。ひどくなると不眠へと移行することもあるようです。

むずむず脚が気になって眠れない…そんな方のために、むずむず脚症候群の原因と
3つの対策方法をご紹介しましょう。

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むずむず脚症候群は鉄不足から起こる?

夕日

むずむず脚症候群の原因は、脳内神経物質のドーパミンの合成障害や、
ドーパミンの機能障害によるものではないかと言われています。

ドーパミンというのは、「やる気ホルモン」「快楽ホルモン」ということはよく知られていますが運動調節やホルモン調節などの働きもあります。

ドーパミンは脳内物質なので、脳内で生成されていると考えられてきましたが、近年では、腸の研究が進み、ドーパミンを生成するために必要な栄養素を取り込みながら
腸内で前駆体が作られているのではないか、と言われています。

ドーパミンなどのホルモンも、身体から分泌されるものにはその材料が必要です。

ドーパミンはフェニルアラニンやチロシンというアミノ酸から、鉄やナイアシンなどのビタミンB類を補酵素にしながら作られます。ドーパミンの生成には、腸の状態や、栄養状態が関係するため、むずむず脚症候群は、このあたりに原因があるとも考えられるのです。

特に、むずむず脚症候群は女性に多いため、鉄不足が大きくかかわっているとも言われています。女性は月経によって貧血になりやすく、鉄不足が起こりやすいからです。ドーパミンの生成に欠かせない鉄が不足すれば、合成ができずに機能低下しむずむず脚症候群の症状が現れるのではないかと考えられています。

むずむず脚症候群を予防する3つの対策

むずむず脚症候群を放置していると、不眠につながり、今度は睡眠不足によって健康不安が起こりやすく、生活習慣病のリスクも上がってしまいます。

むずむず脚症候群を軽く見て、ちょっとした不快感だけと思いがちですが、早めの対策で、心地よい時間を過ごしたいものですね。

1.むずむず脚症候群の原因と考えられるドーパミンの合成低下を予防する

むずむず脚症候群の原因と考えられているドーパミンの機能低下を解消するために、まずはドーパミンの合成力を上げましょう。

ドーパミンを作るための材料となる栄養素が必要です。一般的には鉄不足の解消をあげられることが多いのですが、身体を作るものはそう単純ではありません。色々な栄養素が一つになって働くことで、体内物質を生成しています。

ドーパミンの一番の材料となるのはなんといってもタンパク質(アミノ酸)です。ダイエットなどで肉や魚を食べない人、極端な菜食をしている人はタンパク質不足になりやすくなります。

タンパク質を口から入れ、胃酸によって溶かされ、カルシウムやビタミンCなどの働きを借りて細かいアミノ酸になり吸収されます。

そこから、葉酸、鉄、ナイアシンの力を借りてフェルアラニンからチロシンへと生成され
その後、L-ドーパという前駆体から、ビタミンB6の働きによって、最終的にドーパミンとなります。

ここまでの生成過程では、このような栄養が必要になります。

  • タンパク質(アミノ酸)
  • カルシウム、ビタミンC
  • 葉酸
  • ナイアシン
  • ビタミンB6

むずむず脚症候群の原因は、鉄の不足だけではないことがおわかりでしょうか。
鉄の補給をしても、大元となるタンパク質が不足していてはドーパミンは作られませんね。また、葉酸、ナイアシン、ビタミンB6は総じてビタミンB群に含まれます。

現代人は携帯やパソコン、ゲームなどによって、ビタミンB群の消費が大きいため、
ビタミンB群の不足による影響も考えられるのです。もちろん、鉄の補給も大切です。特に女性は月経によって鉄が失われますので鉄の補給も含めて、総合的に食事を見直すようにしましょう。

タンパク質、ビタミンB群、鉄分が同時に含まれるのは、赤みの肉になります。

2.むずむず脚解消のために、胃腸のケアも

むずむず脚症候群の原因の一つと言われるドーパミンなどの脳内物質が腸内で前駆体が作られるのではないかという、最新の報告があります。

だとすれば、腸内環境の改善も大切なポイントになります。便秘や下痢が続いていないか?ガスや便の匂いがきつくないか?など腸内環境の状態は自分で確認できます。気になることがあれば、解消していきましょう。

特に、貧血がある人は便秘にもなりがちです。また、菜食に偏っていると食物繊維によって便は出ますが、タンパク不足によって腸の代謝が悪いこともあります。同じように、ダイエットのつもりでも長期的な断食や小食は腸環境にはNGです。

腸は筋肉と同じで、使わなければ衰えていきます。ダイエットのし過ぎには注意しましょう。

3.むずむず脚症候群の原因が2次的なものではないか確認を

むずむず脚症候群の原因は、まだはっきりとわかっているわけではありません。

一つの有力な原因がドーパミンの問題であることはお伝えしましたが、それとは別に、他の病気や薬によってむずむず脚症候群が起こってしまう二次的な原因によるものもあります。

甲状腺機能障害によるものや、妊娠、糖尿病、パーキンソン病、腎不全による透析などの影響があげられます。他にも、抗うつ剤の副作用としては顕著に出るようです。

女性では妊娠に気が付かず、むずむず脚症候群が気になってしまったり、糖尿病などの血管障害などによって、足の不快感を感じることもあります。

むずむず脚症候群が長引いたり、悪化するような感覚があれば、病院での診断をうけるようにしましょう。

脚がむずむずしたら読む本―眠れない…イライラする…
井上 雄一
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まとめ

むずむず脚症候群の原因として、貧血やダイエットの影響は確かにあるようです。

男性の場合、痔などを含め内臓で出血している可能性もあるので注意したいですね。

むずむず脚症候群の原因がはっきりわかっているわけではありませんが、生活習慣病の一つと言ってもよいでしょう。不快感解消のために、できることから始めましょう。

まずは、日々の食事の見直しを。早目の対策で改善と予防ができるといいですね。

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