Can Anxiety Make You Feel Feverish
In some cases, anxiety can make you feel feverish without actually increasing your body temperature. In other cases, it can cause a recordable fever

In some cases, anxiety can make you feel feverish without actually increasing your body temperature. In other cases, it can cause a recordable fever

Fever is defined as a body temperature of 100.4 F or more and is usually a sign of infection. However, it can occur due to other causes as well, such as heat exhaustion or hormonal disorders. With anxiety or panic attacks, the rise in temperature may be a result of high levels of stress hormones in your body that increase blood flow to your heart.

What are common symptoms of anxiety?

Anxiety can cause signs and symptoms such as:

Fever related to anxiety typically occurs during stressful situations, but may also be a sign of certain underlying conditions, such as:

What are different types of anxiety disorders?

While everyone deals with anxious feelings at some point, whether it’s fear or apprehension regarding specific situations, the anxiety is typically temporary and short-lived. It may even give you the extra boost or impetus you need to achieve a goal. 

However, when anxiety is overwhelming, persistent, and affects your ability to function, it is classified as anxiety disorder. Examples of anxiety disorders include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): GAD is characterized by excessive fear or apprehension about finances, health, relationships, work or school performance, etc. In order to be classified as GAD, symptoms may persist most days for at least 6 months and may interfere with sleep, relationships, and performance at work and school. The person may feel restless and irritable and find it difficult to focus on tasks, personal well-being, or even simple conversations.
  • Panic disorder: This type of anxiety disorder is characterized by panic attacks, which is a sudden feeling of terror in the absence of danger. A person with panic disorder tends to have several attacks that come suddenly and subside over several minutes. Panic attacks can start at any time without any warning signs. 
  • Phobias: A phobia is an excessive, irrational fear of something that isn’t actually that harmful. Encountering something triggers the phobia can lead to symptoms such as sweating, heart palpitations, and difficulty breathing. Examples of phobias include:

SLIDESHOW

Anxiety Disorder Pictures: Symptoms, Panic Attacks, and More with Pictures See Slideshow

How is fever associated with anxiety treated?

Unlike other causes of fever such as infections, anxiety disorders do not respond well to antipyretics or to fever medications. Treatment involves treating the underlying anxiety, typically through a combination of:

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Medically Reviewed on 12/17/2021
References
Image Source: iStock Images

Oka T. Psychogenic fever: how psychological stress affects body temperature in the clinical population. Temperature (Austin). 2015 Jun 3;2(3):368-78. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27227051/

National Institutes of Health. Anxiety Disorders. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders

Princing M. Do You Have Anxiety or COVID-19? UW Medicine. https://rightasrain.uwmedicine.org/mind/stress/anxiety-or-COVID-19