Hi everyone I hope someone can help me with this :(
First a little about me, I'm a 20 year old guy and for the past 6 months I've been having a lot of health issues. I'm also a fairly anxious person. I've lived with anxiety all my life from before I can even remember. I don't take any medicine for it as I really hate the idea of taking an antidepressant. I'm not so anxious that it stops me from doing things and I'm calm a lot of the time its just I get more anxious in any given situation than most would and I know I need to deal with that at some point.
Anyway for the past 6 months I've been having the following:
- Chronic fatigue
- Chronic low grade fever 99.5+
- Extreme brain fog like I'm constantly "drunk"
- Always off balance like I'm walking on a moving boat
- Blood tests are all normal except for an elevated liver enzyme, bilirubin, at 2.3. 0.5 is the upper normal.
I know a lot of these symptoms can be caused by anxiety but it just feels like more is going on than that to me. A particularly interesting thing is that whenever I go out for a night out with friends I end up up coming back absolutely exhausted, like I've been through a war zone and back. I know this can be caused by anxiety, and a lot of it probably is considering I get a kinda keyed up while I'm out. But what really confuses me is every time I come back and feel this way my temperature is always high at around 100.1.
Even when I've been home relaxing for over an hour it still stays around 100.1 until I've been resting for over three hours. Can anxiety cause a fever like this? I just want to know if I should dismiss this as a symptom of my anxiety or pursue it with my doctors as something else?
Anyway thank you guys for your help I'm just sick of feeling so crummy :/
Let's start off with two statements you made. The first is that you've lived with anxiety since "before you can remember." The second was "its just I get more anxious in any given situation than most would and I know I need to deal with that at some point."
Since anxiety has been a part of your life for close to 20 years, and you said you know you need to deal with it at some point, may I suggest that that point in time has arrived.
Putting it off is just going to make it more difficult and I think you've wasted enough time dealing with already.
Anxiety does NOT need to be treated with an antidepressant. If you're not diagnosed with clinical depression, there is no reason you should be put on one.There are a number of excellent medications that treat only anxiety if you are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. If you are not experiencing anxiety or panic attacks, or have what is called "anticipatory anxiety," which means you are in a constant state of fear waiting for the next attack, then your anxiety may be controlled with CBT alone. CBT will help you "alter" the way you process anxious situations and teach you coping skills. You may not need any medications at all. But I would highly recommend that your diagnosis be done by a psychiatrist rather than your GP.
Jumping down to your last question which was "I just want to know if I should dismiss this as a symptom of my anxiety or pursue it with my doctors as something else?"
Anytime we notice changes in our health, we need to let our doctors know. IF there is something going on, the sooner they find it, the sooner they can fix it. That you've felt these symptoms for 6 MONTHS and haven't seen your doctor surprises me. I strongly urge you to do so now.
Actually, out of all the symptoms you've described, the only one that could be considered a somewhat "classic" symptom of anxiety would be chills. And that is usually felt during an acute anxiety or panic attack, not as a "steady state" sensation.
People with anxiety are usually more keyed up than fatigued, but chronic anticipatory anxiety can cause fatigue.
You say you've had a "chronic low grade fever" of 99.5. Previously, what was your "average" temperature? I ask because just as our blood pressure fluxuates throughout the day, our body temperature can also change. And some people have lower than "normal" temps and some have "higher." It's possible that 99.5 is normal for you. But.......if this temp is NOT normal for you, is indeed a "fever," that CAN cause you to feel some fatigue. A fever indicates our body is trying to fight off an infection, not anxiety.
Exteme brain fog like you are constantly drunk and feeling off balance again are not classic symptoms of anxiety. People with clinical depression wil often describe the feeling of being "in a fog," but you have described no other symptoms of depression. Those two symptoms would have me suggest you see an EENT or a neurologist. It could be a snius or inner ear problem, possibly a thyroid issue. But I lean away from anxiety again.
Your liver enzymes are indeed elevated and I'd be interested to know what the doctor who ordered this bloodwork has said about that and what he/she is following up with. Anxiety would NOT cause this.
When you go out with friends, do you drink? I am in NO way implying or suggesting that if you do, you are drinking to excess. I am only suggesting that with an elevated liver panel, alcohol in nearly any amount, which is metabolized by the liver, MIGHT be the cause of you feeling exhausted when you get home. This is something you must absolutely discuss with your doctor.
If you have social anxiety disorder, it's entirely possible that an evening out with friends could leave you feeling exhausted if you've spent the night fighting off anxiety. Do you think you do that? Or do you really enjoy yourself and feel good and relaxed? People with social anxiety usually feel quite uncomfortable in social situations. Just a thought.
You state that when you get home, your temp is around 100.1 and stays that way for at least 3 hours. How do you know this? You must be taking your temperature quite often to know when it returns to what I'm presuming is your "normal" temp of 99.5. In which case, a jump to 100.1 is not really much of a jump and for you may be very normal. I'm wondering if you're not a little obsessed with your temperature? This would also be an area you should discuss with your doctor.
Again, anxiety will NOT cause you to have a fever.
Take your list of symptoms to your doctor. In my humble and non-medical opinion, this is not anxiety. I think it's causing you to feel anxious, which is entirely a different matter.
Please see your doctor.
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