Will Anxiety Cause a Fever? Here's What Could Happen

Will Anxiety Cause a Fever? Here's What Could Happen

We are already well-aware that anxiety can impact the body in many ways, but will anxiety cause a fever?  Interestingly enough, chronic stress can lead to what is known as a psychogenic fever, or a fever that is caused by psychological factors rather than a virus or other environmental cause. For some people, this looks like a persistent low-grade fever (99-100 degrees Fahrenheit).  In contrast, other people may experience a sudden spike in temperature that lasts for a short period of time during a panic attack.

Are Anxiety-Related Fevers Common?

The short answer is that anxiety doesn't usually cause fevers, but it certainly can. Keep in mind, stress and anxiety can cause the immune system to not operate at its best, making it susceptible to various illnesses. Also, the changes in body temperature that may happen during an anxiety attack (hot flashes and cold flashes) may make a person feel feverish. Still, they may not actually have a fever. Anxiety can cause the following fever-like symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Feeling like glands are swollen (without actually having swollen glands)
  • Extreme temperature shifts
  • Exhaustion/Weakness
  • Overall sick feeling

There's no denying that anxiety can have a physical impact, but it's important to note that a fever is not incredibly common. Sometimes it may just feel like you have a fever when you actually don't. 

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Is Your Anxiety Related to Your Sickness?

It's also important to note that people with anxiety sometimes respond quickly to changes in their health. That means that your feelings of anxiety may be caused because you are sick and not the other way around. If you sense that your body is feeling differently, you may actually have a fever, and then those anxious feelings will show up simultaneously, making it difficult to identify which one occurred first.

Never Assume the Source of Your Fever

While anxiety may be a source for your body's temperature, you should never assume that is the case. After all, a fever is often the first sign that your body is trying to fight off numerous illnesses. Always check in with your doctor to make sure that your fever is not linked to an underlying medical issue that may need to be treated.

What Should You Do if You have a Fever?

If you have a fever, your best course of action is to reach out to your medical provider. It can be challenging to determine if your fever is related to stress and anxiety or something else. If the fever is anxiety-related, it will pass as soon as the panic attack or anxious period is over. If you are unsure, reach out to your doctor for more information.

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Anxiety can undoubtedly have an impact on your overall health. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming to determine if your physical symptoms are associated with anxiety or another health concern. Never hesitate to reach out to a health professional to help you identify the source of your symptoms and the best treatment plan for your specific needs.

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December 8th, 2022