Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can anxiety lower one's body temperature?"
I'm a female college student and I've been noticing that if I'm having a wave of anxiety overcome me, I don't just break out in a 'cold sweat' - I actually get cold. Is this possible, or am I imagining it? If I am having this kind of fluctuation of body temperature, could it mean that there's something wrong with the way that is regulated?
Anxiety can cause a variety of changes within your body. Stressful situations cause our body to activate the sympathetic nervous system (the fight or flight response). Many times this can be useful to us, such as when we are in a dangerous situation, this response to stress is helpful us find safety. Long term stress can cause negative changes within our bodies that can be detrimental, such as high blood pressure, amongst other problems. Cold sweats are not uncommon in anxiety type settings. It may be a good idea to check your temperature when these episodes occur. There are other causes for hypothermia that you should be aware of include certain disorders of the thyroid. Your primary care doctor would best be able to determine the possible causes of these cold symptoms that you are feeling. It is recommended that if these symptoms continue or worsen, that you be evaluated by your primary care doctor, because he or she knows your medical history and clinical picture best. As discussed earlier, variations in body temperature could be due to various endocrine changes, or could be your bodies normal temperature variations. Again, your primary care doctor will best be able to evaluate you with simple blood tests to rule out underlying endocrine abnormalities.
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