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糖尿病による腰痛の兆候と危険性

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腰痛といえば、真っ先に思い浮かべるぎっくり腰や椎間板ヘルニアや坐骨神経痛などの強い痛みを伴うものから、筋肉疲労やストレス、姿勢の悪さからくる鈍痛のようなものまで様々ですが、その腰痛の原因の一つとして、糖尿病が考えられるという事をご存知ですか?

糖尿病は様々な合併症を持つことでも知られている生活習慣病の一つですが、なかなか気づきにくいという側面を持っています。症状が進行するまでその注意信号にはなかなか気づけないのも糖尿病の特徴です。

では、糖尿病と腰痛の関係とは一体どのような物なのでしょうか?今回はその関連性と症状についてお話していきます。

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なぜ糖尿病が腰痛の原因になるのか?

腰痛にどのようにして糖尿病がかかわっているのか、まずはその原因から探っていきましょう。

糖尿病の症状について知ろう

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糖尿病になると様々な症状が現れるようになりますが、それはどれも必ず出るわけではなくかなりの個人差があります。Aさんにはこの症状がみられるが、Bさんにはこっちの症状がみられるといった具合です。もちろん、同時に大勢に見られる症状もあります。まずはその症状を見ていくことにしましょう。

糖尿病の主な症状には、口やのどが異常に乾く・頻繁に感じる尿意・強烈なだるさ・手足のしびれ・急激な視力の低下・けがの治癒が遅くなる・感染症にかかりやすくなる・坐骨神経痛などの腰痛になりやすくなる、といったものがあります。

これらは、みんな糖尿病による障害が原因で起こってくる症状です。では、糖尿病によっておこる障害とは一体何なのでしょうか?

糖尿病によって起きる障害を知ろう

糖尿病によって起きる障害とは、一言でいうと神経障害です。人の体には様々な神経がありますが、これらの神経に障害を抱えてしまうことで合併症として色々な病気にかかりやすくなったり治りにくくなったりします。

神経の系統は大きく3つに分けることができます。1つ目が運動神経、2つ目が知覚神経、3つめが自律神経です。ここで、この後の説明のためにこれらの神経について簡単に解説しておきます。

運動神経
運動神経は皆さんご存知のように体を動かすための神経です。バランスをとったり無意識のうちに次の動作へと移行したりするための神経がこれです。

知覚神経
味覚や触覚、温かさや冷たさ、痒みや痛みを感じるのがこの神経です。体の不調を訴えてきたりしているのはこの神経が働いてくれているためです。

自律神経
人の体はたとえ寝ているときでも心臓が鼓動を打っていてくれて、内臓も消化吸収をしてくれています。暑ければ汗をかきますし、寒いと震えてきます。このように生命を維持したり体調を整えるための神経系列がこれにあたります。

神経障害はどのようにして起きるかを知ろう

先述の神経系列の中で障害が最も強く表れるのが知覚神経と自律神経です。運動神経に障害が出てくるときというのは相当な期間糖尿病を放置して何も改善しなかった場合に起きてきます。

これらの神経障害はどのようにして起きるのでしょうか?そもそも糖尿病は慢性的に血糖値が上がり続けた結果かかってしまう病気です。血糖値が上がり続けると血管の中にはドロドロの血液が流れるようになり末端までなかなか酸素や栄養分を運べなくなってしまいます。神経は中枢神経と末端神経に分かれていますが、この末端神経の端に行けばいくほど、また血管も毛細血管の細いところに行けばいくほど細胞や神経に栄養素が届かなくなっていきます。

すると、当然栄養を補給できない組織は傷みはじめ、正常な働きをすることができなくなります。このために知覚神経や自律神経に障害が出るようになります。

神経障害が腰痛の原因になっていることを知ろう

神経障害が起きると、様々な組織や器官に徐々に悪影響が出てきます。当然腰の組織や神経にも影響が出ますから、それが原因で腰痛になるわけです。また、組織がもろくなってしまうことから骨や軟骨が劣化し、骨粗しょう症による坐骨神経痛や、軟骨の劣化が原因で起きる椎間板ヘルニアにもなりやすくなってしまいます。これが、糖尿病が引き起こす腰痛への流れなのです。

腰痛が糖尿病からきているかどうかはどう判断する?

では、もし今抱えている腰痛が糖尿病かどうかを判断するとしたら一体どのように判断すればよいのでしょうか?ここからはその愚弟的な判断材料を上げていくことにしましょう。

腰痛とは関係ない症状を確認する

これから挙げる以下の症状があるのであれば、糖尿病かどうか病院で血液検査を受けることをお勧めします。

  • 以前に比べて水分を欲するようになった
  • やたらとトイレが近くなった
  • 手足のむくみが出るようになった
  • 夜寝ていると足がつることがある
  • 時々手足の先にビリビリと痺れや痛みを感じる
  • とにかくだるい
  • いくら寝ても寝たりない
  • 動くのが億劫になった
  • 食欲が確実に増した
  • けがや傷の治りが遅くなった

糖尿病が原因の腰痛についての注意点

糖尿病は神経障害だけにとどまらず、進行していくと体を形成している器官や組織まで破壊していきます。少しでも早期発見し、病状の進行を食い止めることでしか病状を改善することは難しいのがこの病気の特徴です。つまり糖尿病が原因での合併症は治りにくいという事です。

腰痛も例外ではありません。糖尿病から起こりうる腰痛は放置すると重大な腰痛を抱える病気へと変わってしまいかねませんので、先述の症状を確認するようであればできるだけ早く診察に行くようにしましょう。

糖尿病治療ガイド〈2012‐2013〉血糖コントロール目標
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まとめ

腰痛が糖尿病の症状として現れているとしたら、もうだいぶ糖尿病が進行しているという事になります。しかし、なかなか糖尿病にかかっているとはわかりにくいものです。腰痛が気になる上、さらに上記で紹介した糖尿病と疑われる点があったら、兎にも角にもなるべく早く診察してもらうようにしましょう。

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