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腰痛は腎臓からの病気のサインかも

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みなさんは、特に大切だという意味を持つ「肝心要」という言葉をご存じですよね。この言葉、古くは「肝腎要」と書いていたそうです。この言葉からも分かるように、腎臓は肝臓と並ぶ大切な臓器です。

でもなぜか、肝臓のことはよく知られているのに対し、腎臓のことはあまり知られていません。

あなたは、腎臓を酷使していませんか?腎臓は近年の食生活によってかなりのダメージを受けています。それを裏付けるように、腎機能の低下により人工透析を始めなければならなくなった患者さんは年々右肩上がりに増えているそうです。

実は、腎臓に問題が起こってくると、腰痛というサインを出すことがあります。今日は、腎臓からのサインを見落とさないために、腰痛と腎臓の関係と、腎臓の病気についてお話していきます。

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腎臓は働き者

元気

まずは、腎臓のことを少し知っておきましょう。

腎臓は、泌尿器系の器官で、腰のあたりに一対あります。握りこぶしほどの大きさの臓器で、そら豆のような形をしています。

    腎臓の主な役割

  • 老廃物を体から排出する
  • 血圧を調節する
  • 血液をつくるためのホルモン分泌
  • 必要なミネラルを取り込む
  • 活性型ビタミンDをつくる

腎臓は、血液中の老廃物や塩分をろ過して尿として体の外へ排出したり、体に必要なものを再吸収して体内に留めたりする働きを担っています。これはご存じのかたも多いのではないでしょうか。腎臓が担っている働きはこれだけではありません。

ほかに、塩分と水分の排出量をコントロールして血圧を調整したり、体内の体液量やイオンバランスを調節して、体に必要なミネラルを体内に取り込んだりする役目も担っています。

また、赤血球をつくるためのホルモンを分泌したり、カルシウムを体内に吸収させるのに必要な活性型ビタミンDをつくったりしています。腎臓は、みなさんが知っている以上に働き者で、とても大切な器官だと言うことがお分かりいただけたでしょうか?

肝臓と並ぶ沈黙の臓器

みなさんは、なぜ人口透析を始めなければならなくなるほど、腎機能が低下してしまうと思いますか?

実は、腎臓はほかの臓器と違って、一度悪くなると回復しないのです。人工透析を始めなければならなくなってしまった患者さんの多くは、急に腎機能が悪くなったわけではありません。腎臓は肝臓と同じように沈黙の臓器と呼ばれるほど、症状が出にくい臓器なので、知らず知らずのうちに腎機能が低下し続け、重篤な状態になって初めて気づくことが多いのです。

人工透析を始めなければならないほど腎機能を低下させないためには、腎臓からのサインをしっかりと受け取ることが大切になってきます。

腎機能が低下していたり、腎臓に何かしらの問題が生じていたりすると、一般的によく知られている顔や足にむくみが出てくるほか、一見すると腎臓とは無関係に思える腰痛も腎臓からのサインであることがあります。

最初に少し触れたとおり、腎臓は腰のあたりに位置しています。この腎臓の位置が腰痛と関係しています。腎臓は、大腰筋と呼ばれる腰と深い関わりを持つ大きな筋肉と繋がっているので、腎臓に何かしらの問題があり痛みが生じると、脳が勘違いして腰痛だと信号を送ってしまうことがあるのです。

「腰痛」というサインを出す腎臓の主な病気は以下のようなものがあります。

腎盂腎炎

腎盂や腎臓そのものが細菌感染することによって、腎盂が炎症や壊死、変性を起こす疾患です。これは、突然発症する女性に多い疾患です。腰痛のほかに、悪寒、発熱、吐き気や嘔吐などの症状が現れます。

尿管結石

腎臓内で作られた結石が尿管に入り、詰まってしまうことで起こる症状のことを尿管結石といいます。腰痛のほかに、吐き気やおう吐、悪寒や発熱、血尿などの症状があります。結石が膀胱に達するまで、結石が動くたびに激しい痛みを感じます。

腎動脈閉塞

たいていは無症状ですが、閉塞が進んでくると下腹部や腰にうずくような痛みが生じてきます。急性閉塞の場合、腰痛のほかに、絶え間ないわき腹のうずくような痛み、発熱、吐き気やおう吐、血尿などがあり、急性腎不全を発症することがあります。

水腎症

尿路閉塞などで、腎臓で作られた尿の流れがせき止められることにより、尿路や腎臓の中に尿がたまって拡張した状態を水腎症といいます。
急性水腎症の場合、わき腹から腰、下腹部にかけて断続的な激しい痛みを感じます。慢性水腎炎では無症状の場合もありますが、わき腹にうずくような鈍い不快感を生じることもあります。

遊走腎

腎臓が通常の位置より10㎝ほど下垂する病気です。立っていると腰痛が起こり、横になると治まる特徴があります。痩せている人に多い疾患です。

サインを見過ごさない

腎臓はいろいろな働きを担っているので、腎臓に問題が起こると発熱、疲労感、吐き気や嘔吐、顔や足のむくみ、腫れ、頻尿や血尿など症状は全身に広がってきます。

腰痛に加え、これらの症状を伴っている場合は、腎臓に問題が生じている可能性があります。糖尿病や高血圧を患っているかた、塩分の多い食生活をしているかたは特に注意が必要です。また、ストレスや過労によって腎機能が低下することもあります。

塩分を控えめにする、適度にストレスを発散する、休息をしっかりとるなど、日ごろの生活を少し見直すだけで腎臓にかかる負担を減らすことができるので、ぜひ気にかけてみてくださいね。

また、腎臓は体の向きを変えただけでも動いてしまうほど、位置が動きやすい臓器です。腎臓に炎症など何らかの問題が起きていると、ジャンプなどをして体に衝撃を受けたとき、腰の深い部分で痛みを感じます。

あなたの抱えるその腰痛が、単なる腰痛なのか、腎臓からのサインなのか見分けるための一助となりえるので、判断に迷ったらためしてみてくださいね。

ただし、この方法は絶対ではありません。腎臓に何かしらの問題があっても痛みを感じないこともあるので、この方法で問題がなくても安心せずにご自分の体調をよく観察しておくことが大切です。

そして、腰痛が悪化したり、長引いたり、ほかの症状が現れてくるような場合、安易な素人判断はとても危険です。早めに専門医の診察を受けましょうね。

いつすべきか?119番
いつすべきか?119番

posted with amazlet at 14.05.27
河崎一生
株式会社ワイズアップ
売り上げランキング: 30,285

まとめ:後悔しないために、しっかり受け取りましょう

慢性的な腰痛がある人のうち、半数以上は腎臓に問題があると言われるほど、腎臓と腰痛は密接な関係にあります。

腎臓は腰のすぐそばにあり、腰と深い関わりを持つ大きな筋肉と繋がっているので、脳が腰痛だと勘違いすることがあります。それにより腰がだるく感じたり、重く感じたり、鈍い痛みを感じることがあるのです。

また、腎臓はさまざまな役割を担っているので、腎臓に何かしらの問題や病気が生じると、症状は全身に広がります。単なる腰痛なのか、腎臓からのサインであるのか見分けるために、ほかに症状がないか全身の状態を確認することが大切です。

人工透析を始めるようになってから後悔するのでは遅すぎます。後悔しないために、腎臓からのサインをしっかり受け取りましょう。

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