Stress fever? Yes, it exists, and so you can distinguish it from a real infection

Sometimes we are not aware of the enormous influence that stress has on physical and mental health. If this worsens over time, it can become chronic and revert to other disorders such as the Depression. But it can also affect the physiology of the body, so much so that it can increase the risk of suffering from some type of cardiovascular disease in the future. AND In the short term, it can even make you feel sick, like you have a high fever.

In this sense, psychogenic or emotional fever appears when the body temperature rises due to a very stressful situation. Symptoms are usually intense heat, excessive sweating, or a headache. It usually occurs in those who suffer from chronic anxiety, mental disorders or physical illnesses such as fibromyalgia, hence its diagnosis is very isolated: if you have a fever, it is usually due to a bacteria or virus attacking our body.

If we took all the people who suffer from stress, we would discover that a considerable number of them have symptoms of hyperthermia

According to a 2015 scientific article published in the magazine 'Temperature', psychogenic fever occurs in the form of a low-grade fever (around 37 and 37 degrees and a half) while someone is under a high stress situation. There is still no clear and conclusive explanation from medicine, although it is believed that the body temperature rises in response to the interaction of stress hormones with the endocrine system. Another 2020 study published in the journal 'Science' conducted on rats found that the anxiety response affects the hypothalamus, the area of ​​the brain that controls body temperature. But as is evident, there is still a lot of research ahead to extrapolate it to the case of humans.

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The confidential

A peculiarity of this type of pathology is that it can occur at any age and occurs more frequently among women than men, according to the magazine 'Business Insider'. Another 2009 study published in the journal 'Psychosocial Medicine' examined the health records of 2,705 patients who visited the Psychosomatic Department of the Japan University of Occupational and Environmental Health. Of all of them, only 2% were diagnosed with psychogenic fever. All of them were between 11 and 82 years old and approximately 30% of them were men while 70% were women.

"It is very difficult to know the true prevalence of psychogenic fever because there is not so much information about it," he says. Patricia miller parrish, a doctor from the American city of Los Angeles to 'Business Insider'. "If we took all the people who are under stress, we would find that a considerable number of them have symptoms of hyperthermia."

How to recognize it

First, you have to consider the cause why you may be suffering stress. Typically, if it is brief and very sporadic episodes of anxiety, the fever is due to an infectious cause. But if you have experienced a recent upset or suffer from chronic stress, that is, they are episodes accumulated over time, perhaps the fever is psychogenic.

Another way to distinguish it is to analyze and see the parallel symptoms that you have to that fever. In this case, if you suffer from nasal congestion, cough or shortness of breath, It is probably due to an infection caused by a cold, the flu virus or, depending on the times, the coronavirus. In this case, go to your GP or request a PCR to clear up any doubts.

How to treat it

A 2015 article in Temperature magazine found that psychogenic fevers are not treated with common anti-inflammatory medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, although they naturally do work to reduce it. To treat it, you should try to lower your stress levels. Most fevers of this type are short-lived and resolve on their own. Therefore, if you have really been experiencing high levels of anxiety recently, it is best that you go to the psychologist for guidance in relaxation exercises and therapy with which to deal with anxiety.