Weather and health: Therapy is particularly helpful in the event of weather fluctuations

Weather and health: Therapy is particularly helpful in the event of weather fluctuations

Around half of Germans state that their health suffers from weather fluctuations. This helps against fatigue and pain.

“Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it” is a funny saying for many until the weather suddenly changes. Then sensitivity to weather is a widespread pain phenomenon in Germany, around half of Germans suffer from it according to surveys. Headaches, listlessness, exhaustion or shortness of breath are among the numerous symptoms that result from bad weather and rapid changes. But why does the weather have such a big impact on well-being?

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Headache because of the storm? Around 50 percent are affected

Feeling unwell in unfavorable weather conditions has long been dismissed as self-pity. Figures collected by the Allensbach Institute in a 2013 study mean that the majority of people suffer from the weather, almost 50 percent of western Germans have painful experiences with capricious weather, and there are even more in the east. 59 percent of those affected react with headaches or migraines, fatigue and exhaustion follow with 55 and 49 percent respectively. More than 40 percent complained of insomnia and joint pain.

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According to a study from 1993, the health reactions are most violent when the weather changes quickly and intensively. While summer high pressure areas often ensure stable good weather conditions, people with meteorotropism often fear low pressure areas. Above all, approaching low-pressure areas are tough. In a very short time they can cause storms or thunderstorms with cold air fronts. Then vulnerable groups are particularly exposed to the whims of the weather. On the other hand, fewer sufferers suffer from heat in particular, although many pollen allergy sufferers suffer twice over here.

Not a real disease, but a trigger

Older people are particularly prevalent for meteorotropism or meteoropathy, as the phenomenon is called in technical jargon. With age, the natural seem immunity to become weaker. In the survey, 70 percent of those surveyed over the age of 60 stated that they were sensitive to the weather.

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Weather sensitivity is not a disease recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO). In contrast to weather sensitivity, which with the deterioration of specific existing previous illness goes hand in hand, there is no medically proven pathology evidence for meteoropathy. Andreas Matzarakis, meteorologist from the German Weather Service, believes that weather-sensitive people have a low resistance to pain. “Weather sensitivity is a wide range of complaints that do not necessarily have to be related to the weather,” Matzarakis explains to “BR”, “but the weather means that these complaints make the glass overflow.” Bad weather is therefore not a disease trigger, but rather a factor that can trigger a weakened immune system.

Work-life balance, sport, alcohol, fresh air: this helps, the harmful

Angela Schuh considers over-sensitivity to be a consequence of living in a habitat that is far removed from nature. In her book “Biowetter”, the professor of medical climatology at Munich’s Ludwig-Maximilians-University criticizes a poor work-life balance and the lack of hardening with which most people go about their everyday lives.

Insufficient contact with wind and weather therefore causes a decrease in physical resilience, and in the winter months there is also a lack of sunlight in your own four walls for dwindling defenses. As a result, “the human thermo-regulation system is no longer properly trained”.

But what can you do about hypersensitivity? The answer: exposure therapy. Matzarakis recommends: “Get out in the fresh air, exercise a lot. Or harden your body with Kneipp baths and alternating warm and cold showers.” In addition to the usual suspects, healthy nutrition and endurance sports, it is also worth avoiding sugar, alcohol and nicotine in the cold months.

If you don’t feel prepared for this, you still have the recommendation of the German Weather Service. In addition to the objectively measurable weather conditions, this now also publishes a bio-weather map that provides those affected with information about subjective dangerous situations.

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