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The number of young Germans with headache problems has increased significantly
The number of young adults suffering from headaches has increased significantly in recent years. This is clear from the current Barmer medical report. The main reason for the increase is probably the increasing pressure and stress that young people are exposed to.
Number of diagnosed headaches increased significantly
The number of young adults with medically diagnosed headaches has increased significantly in recent years. "In the period from 2005 to 2015 alone, the proportion of 18- to 27-year-olds with headache diagnoses increased by 42 percent," wrote the Barmer health insurance company in a current announcement regarding the presentation of its 2017 medical report.
High number of unreported cases
According to the study, 1.3 million young adults are now affected by a medically diagnosed throbbing, tapping and stinging in the head, 400,000 more than in 2005.
However, since not all people with a headache go to the doctor, there is probably a not inconsiderable number of unreported cases.
"Certainly, many more young people are struggling with headache than we know from medical diagnoses," said Barmer CEO Prof. Dr. Christoph Straub.
Pressure on young people is increasing
The sharp increase in headache diagnoses among young adults is all the more worrying given that the number of diagnoses across all age groups has “only” increased by 12.4 percent.
In 2015, a total of 9.3 percent of the German population was affected. The most common diagnosis of headache was at the age of 19. 19.7 percent of women in this age group are burdened. For men it is 13.8 percent.
Why younger people in particular are affected is unclear. Presumably, the pressure on young people is steadily increasing.
Headaches can have many different causes. There are also different types.
Experts differentiate among other things from genetically determined or stress-related migraine attacks, tension headaches due to muscle tension or also complaints as a result of infections, ametropia or misuse of medication.
Regardless of what causes the complaints: everyone affected has to suffer. “Everyday life can be painful for headache patients and endanger their professional or university existence. Young adults in particular need better prevention services, ”said Straub.
Questionable tablet consumption even in children
The importance of preventive measures can already be seen from the questionable tablet consumption in children. According to a survey by the Barmer, 40 percent of children and adolescents between the ages of nine and 19 take medication when they have a headache.
Grasping the headache pill should not become a habit for those affected. Because if used incorrectly and frequently, painkillers can cause permanent headaches.
"Those who take headache tablets regularly or even excessively risk their health," warned Prof. Joachim Szecsenyi, author of the medical report and managing director of the AQUA Institute for Applied Quality Promotion and Research in Health Care in Göttingen.
The prescription rate of migraine drugs is also alarming, according to the doctor's report. Such drugs have unpleasant side effects, namely headaches.
"The dose makes the poison. In the worst case, anyone who repeatedly uses medication to get rid of a headache ends up in a vicious circle of tablet consumption and permanent headache. Those affected then sit in a pill trap, ”says Straub.
Alleviate symptoms with natural means
For minor complaints, simple tricks for headaches are often more effective than medication. For example, a few drops of lemon balm spirit are applied to a piece of sugar and taken as a household remedy for headaches that is known to many people.
Relaxation exercises to reduce stress can also help. Straub explained: "Sport, relaxation techniques or a healthy lifestyle could help many people affected by the pill trap." (Ad)