Is A Fluctuating Body Temperature And Tingling In Hands And Feet Signs Of Anxiety?

Question

Asked by ptc

Is A Fluctuating Body Temperature And Tingling In Hands And Feet Signs Of Anxiety?

Over the weekend, my main symptoms were a sudden increase in body temperature and then a tingling in both hands and feet. My heart doesn't race, I'm not dizzy, but I do have an overwhelmingly feeling of anxiety/panic.

Answer

Hi Ptc,

Yes, a change in body temperature and tingling can occur during a panic attack and are part of our body's "Fight or Flight" response. All of the symptoms that a person experiences during high anxiety or a panic attack are the result of the body preparing you to either fight off danger or to run away from it.

If you were faced with a danger that you had to physically react to, say your small child running into the street, then you would need extra adrenaline so that you could physically respond to that danger (i.e. run after the child). The trouble is, the body does not know the difference between this kind of danger and any other trigger, such as a thought, feeling, memory, etc. and it reacts the same exact way by "turning" on your body to react. Some bodily processes speed up while others slow down.

If one is physically responding to a danger, then they do not notice what is happening in their body until the danger is over. But, because during anxiety can't "see" the danger, there is room to have your attention focussed on the physical symptoms.

Regards,

Jennifer L. Fee, Psy.D.

The Stress Masters

Answered by Jennifer L. Fee, Psy.D.