Are you really sick or just being paranoid?

It's never difficult to convince yourself to call in sick, but is your illness real or all in your head?

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  • With a paid sick leave and a Netflix series to catch up on, it's not difficult to convince yourself to call in sick when you're not feeling quite "yourself."

  • But if you're worried your symptoms might be more than a case of the Monday blues, it might be time to talk to a doctor. Push your paranoia aside; there are certain symptoms that almost always indicate legitimate sickness.

  • You've got a fever

  • If you see the mercury rising on your thermometer, you're probably getting (or already are) sick. According to WebMD, a fever isn't an illness in itself, but it does indicate that your body is fighting off a bona fide illness - usually an infection. A fever occurs when the brain essentially "resets" the body to a higher temperature in order to ward off harm. This harm includes viral and bacterial infections, inflammatory conditions and the side effects of drugs or vaccines. You should contact your doctor as soon as possible if your fever reaches an intermediate or high level - 102 to 107 degrees or higher - or when it is accompanied by other symptoms.

  • You've got muscle aches

  • If you feel like you ran a marathon but you haven't made it past the fridge in the last 12 hours, that's a good indication that you've got a genuine illness setting in. While muscles aches themselves might not warrant a call to a health care provider, if your best efforts at warding them off - like taking ibuprofen, drinking extra fluids and sleeping more - aren't helping, that sick feeling is not all in your head.

  • You lost your appetite

  • If you just turned down your favorite restaurant or your mom's famous cinnamon rolls, well, you must be really sick. A decreased appetite is actually a natural response from your body when faced with inflammation. And while it may seem counterintuitive, there is something to be said about "feeding a cold," since your body needs the calories to fuel the healing process.

  • You're feeling 'rash'

  • If you notice red bumps or splotches on your face or anywhere else on your body, give your doctor a call. Rashes can indicate a number of maladies, from chickenpox to measles to Lyme disease. Let your doctor take a look to determine the cause.

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  • You've got a hunch

  • If you have a few years (or decades) of life under your belt, chances are you know your body better than you think. Listen to your intuition, if you feel like you are coming down with something, you are most likely correct. Confirming your suspicions with a doctor and getting proper treatment is the best way to get your health back on the right track.

  • Your doctor said so

  • Getting an expert opinion to confirm or refute your suspicions of sickness never hurts. With MyHealth Pass's MyHealth MD service, you don't have to spend extra time and money on a trip to your primary care physician's office. MyHealth MD gives you 24/7 access to doctors and nurses over the phone or via live video chat. Give your paranoia some much-needed rest, because knowing if you are really sick is just a phone call away.

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Kristen has a journalism degree and has experience writing in a variety of fields, including art and culture, health and fitness and financial and real estate services. Kristen has written for USA Today, SFGate and the Knot.

Website: https://www.facebook.com/kradfordprice

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