- 9 Reasons
- Anxiety-Related Fever
- Symptoms of Anxiety
- Types of Anxiety
Have you ever felt hot or had chills, but your temperature reads normal? Feeling feverish can be miserable, especially if you feel weak or tired. There are a lot of reasons why you may have all the symptoms of a fever but no spike in temperature, from hangovers to anxiety.
Here are 9 reasons that may cause a feverish feeling without a fever.
9 reasons why you may be feeling feverish without a fever
1. Psychogenic fever
2. Urinary tract infection (UTI) or kidney stones
After a bout of heavy drinking, you may experience a hangover, which can cause chills without a fever. You may also have symptoms such as:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Dizziness and vertigo
- Headaches and muscle aches
- Sweating and thirst
When the body loses heat rapidly, it tries to warm itself up by contracting your muscles, causing chills. This can cause you to feel feverish even though your temperature hasn’t risen. Other signs of hypothermia include:
- Slurred speech
- Low energy
- Slowed, shallow breathing
- Weakened pulse
- Bright red, cold skin
Hypothyroidism is a condition where your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain hormones. Apart from chills and feverish symptoms, hypothyroidism may also cause:
Hypoglycemia causes your blood sugar to drop to a dangerously low level and may cause feelings of feverishness. This most often occurs in people with diabetes who are on medications such as sulfonylurea and insulin. Other signs of hypoglycemia may include
- Vaginal dryness
- Urinary urgency
- Difficulty sleeping
- Emotional changes
- Dry skin, dry mouth, or dry mouth
- Cold flashes
9. Panic attacks
Panic attacks can cause sudden, brief, but strong reactions in your body. While your temperature may not go up, you may experience chills as well as:
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.
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:
- Racing heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
- Lack of sleep
- Increased blood pressure
- Muscle spasms
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 an 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 feelings 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 that triggers the phobia can lead to symptoms such as sweating, heart palpitations, and difficulty breathing. Examples of phobias include:
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:
- Medications: Anti-anxiety medications (benzodiazepines), beta-blockers, and antidepressants can help manage symptoms. Medications are often prescribed along with psychotherapy.
- Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy mainly involves multiple sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with a therapist. CBT focuses on changing thought processes and behaviors that lead to anxiety. Examples include exposure therapy, which helps you confront anxiety triggers, or teaching stress management techniques such as meditation and relaxation exercises.
Cleveland Clinic. Panic Disorder. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/4451-panic-disorder
ResearchGate. What Is "Internal Fever", Is It a Correct Medical Term? https://www.researchgate.net/post/What_is_internal_fever_is_it_a_correct_medical_term
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
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