Weather sensitivity - when the weather makes you sick

The moody April is characterized by abrupt weather changes, strong temperature fluctuations, but also humid weather or hair dryer. More than one in three Germans reacts more or less sensitively to the weather. The influence of the weather is particularly felt by women - especially in the general condition and mood, but also in the performance and body functions such as circulation and breathing. Those affected respond to changes in weather conditions with head pressure to migraine attacks, fatigue and tiredness, insomnia and poor concentration, inner restlessness, irritability, dizziness and other circulatory disorders or general malaise, but also with joint, muscle or scar pain. And: In extreme weather conditions, illnesses and deaths are increasing.

Causes of weather sensitivity

Weather sensitivity is not a disease, but indicates an imbalance in the autonomic nervous system. This forms something like an "internal world system" of the body and serves to maintain the inner balance. If it is disturbed by stress, hectic lifestyle, increasing environmental impact (smog, ozone, UV light, etc.), it can get out of whack. Some people then react more strongly to external influences of the weather.

This could also explain why urbanites are more affected by weather sensitivity than the rural population: A fast pace of life as well as more environmental and stress levels make their autonomic nervous system vulnerable.

The influence of weather on our nervous system

Weather sensitivity is not a fantasy product - the experts agree on that. How exactly weather sensitivity arises is, however, still unclear. Prof. Dieter Vaitl from the Institute for Clinical and Physiological Psychology of the University of Gießen showed that weather-sensitive people are particularly sensitive to invisible electrical discharges as they occur in the event of weather changes. These discharges (so-called sferics) build up an electromagnetic field, comparable to weak, invisible flashes, which burden the autonomic nervous system in its control function.

The Munich bio-meterologist Prof. Peter Höppe was able to prove that the predictions "weather-sensitive" in two-thirds of the cases with those of the German Weather Service agreed. He suspects that small variations in air pressure during weather changes affect our so-called baroreceptors, sensory cells sitting at the crotch of the carotid arteries, which respond to pressure and control blood pressure and heart rate.

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