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セロトニンと偏頭痛の関係と対策

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偏頭痛の原因については、神経伝達物質であるセロトニンの量が過剰となることが原因であるという考え方があります。セロトニンの量が増えて、血管を圧迫する物質が増えることが偏頭痛の原因であるという考え方です。このようにセロトニンが偏頭痛の原因と考えた場合にはセロトニンの分泌量を適切にすることが偏頭痛の予防・解消に効果的ということになります。

本稿では偏頭痛の原因や解消法についてまとめています。

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偏頭痛が起きる本当の理由はわからない?

偏頭痛の女性

偏頭痛を患っておられる方は、全人口の8パーセント程度であると言われます。偏頭痛は文字から考えれば、頭部の側面の一方が痛むタイプの頭痛ということになりますが、偏頭痛を持たれている方の多くは頭の両側面が痛むと言われています。偏頭痛は命に関わるようなものではありませんが、慢性化しやすく大変苦しいものとなります。

偏頭痛が生じる本当の理由は、実はまだ完全には解明されてはいません。偏頭痛(あるいはおそろしい痛みを伴う群発頭痛)は古い時代には、原因がわからないことから、悪魔のしわざなどと言われましたが、現在でも偏頭痛の原因は完全には解明されていません。

ただ、偏頭痛の原因としていくつかの科学的・医学的な見解が示されています。そのような偏頭痛の原因として大きく取り上げられているのがセロトニンという脳内物質の存在です。

セロトニンが偏頭痛の原因であるという考え方

セロトニンとは、神経伝達物質として体内で作用しています。セロトニンの体内における働きは様々なものがあるとされますが、セロトニンの働きの一つとして、脳の血管を縮小・拡張させるという働きがあるとされます。

このセロトニンの働きが偏頭痛と関係するという考え方があります。即ち、セロトニンの量が増えることで、血管が拡張して炎症物質(痛みを生じる物質)が放出され、血管の周りに炎症が起きます。その結果として、偏頭痛が生じるという考え方です。

この考え方によれば、セロトニンが増えることが偏頭痛の原因ということになります。このような考え方は偏頭痛の原因としてセロトニン説などと呼ばれます。セロトニンが偏頭痛の原因というのもあくまでもひとつの考え方ですので、「説」という事になります。

偏頭痛の原因についての考え方は様々であり、セロトニン説が有力ではありますが、唯一正しい考え方ではないことには注意する必要があります。

セロトニン説を前提とした場合の偏頭痛対策

このように頭痛の原因がセロトニンの量が増えていることにあるとした場合には、以下のような方法が偏頭痛を予防・解消するための方法として挙げられることとなります。

まず、一つめとして、ウォーキングなどの適度な運動をすることがおすすめできます。ウォーキングなどの適度な運動をすることで、セロトニンの分泌量が適量となり偏頭痛の解消・予防に役立つこととなります。

次に、二つ目として、規則正しい生活リズムをとることが重要ということになります。つまり、朝おきて太陽の光を浴びて、夜は早めに眠るという規則正しい生活リズムをとることでセロトニンの分泌量が正常となるという効果が期待できます。偏頭痛の原因がセロトニンであると考えた場合には、セロトニンの分泌量が通常となることで偏頭痛が予防されることとなります。

さらに、食べ物に注意することが偏頭痛対策としては重要です。赤ワインやチョコレート、ハム・ソーセージ・インスタント食品などは大量に食べることで偏頭痛を生じると言われます。特に赤ワインは偏頭痛の原因となると言われます。

ところで、セロトニンは食生活の乱れによっても、分泌量が乱れてしまいます。そのため、これらの食べ物(特にインスタント食品など)はあまり健康には良いとは言えない食べ物ですので、セロトニンが偏頭痛の原因とする考え方と整合的ということもできます。

その他、偏頭痛を予防・解消するために伝統的に良いと言われている方法としては、朝ごはんをしっかりと食べること、痛みがある箇所を冷やすことなどが効果的です。これらの方法を併用して偏頭痛を予防・解消することが考えられます。
またストレスをためないようにすることも偏頭痛の予防・防止には効果的と言われます。

偏頭痛に関する考え方と対策のまとめ

以上、本文で述べましたセロトニン説を前提とした偏頭痛の原因と解消方法のポイントをまとめますと、以下のようになります。

  • 偏頭痛を引き起こす原因についての考え方として、ひとつに神経伝達物質であるセロトニンの量が増えてしまうことを挙げる考え方があります。現在、偏頭痛の原因として有力視されている考え方の一つです。
  • 偏頭痛の原因がセロトニンの過剰な増量にあるとすれば、セロトニンの分泌を正常化するということが偏頭痛解消のために有効ということとなります。例えば、規則正しい生活をすることや食生活に配慮することなどが偏頭痛の防止・解消には効果的ということができます
  • 偏頭痛を予防・解消するために伝統的に良いとされている方法としては、患部を冷やすことや朝ごはんをしっかりと食べることなどが良いとされています

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Check Also

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