Print-Friendly
Bookmarks

Malaise

General ill feeling

 

Malaise is a generalized feeling of discomfort, illness, or lack of well-being.

Considerations

 

Malaise is a symptom that can occur with almost any health condition. It may start slowly or quickly, depending on the type of disease.

Fatigue (feeling tired) occurs with malaise in many diseases. Along with malaise, you can have a feeling of not having enough energy to do usual activities.

 

Causes

 

The following lists give examples of the diseases, conditions, and medications that can cause malaise.

SHORT-TERM (ACUTE) INFECTIOUS DISEASE

  • Acute bronchitis or pneumonia
  • Acute viral syndrome
  • Infectious mononucleosis (EBV)
  • Influenza
  • Lyme disease

LONG-TERM (CHRONIC) INFECTIOUS DISEASE

  • AIDS
  • Chronic active hepatitis
  • Disease caused by parasites
  • Tuberculosis

HEART AND LUNG (CARDIOPULMONARY) DISEASE

  • Congestive heart failure
  • COPD

ORGAN FAILURE

  • Acute or chronic kidney disease
  • Acute or chronic liver disease

CONNECTIVE TISSUE DISEASE

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

ENDOCRINE or METABOLIC DISEASE

  • Adrenal gland dysfunction
  • Diabetes
  • Pituitary gland dysfunction (rare)
  • Thyroid disease

CANCER

  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma (cancer that starts in the lymph system)
  • Solid tumor cancers, such as colon cancer

BLOOD DISORDERS

  • Severe anemia

PSYCHIATRIC

  • Depression
  • Dysthymia

MEDICATIONS

  • Anticonvulsant (antiseizure) medications
  • Antihistamines
  • Beta blockers (medications used to treat heart disease or high blood pressure)
  • Psychiatric medications
  • Treatments involving several medications

 

Home Care

 

If you have severe malaise, contact your health care provider immediately.

 

When to Contact a Medical Professional

 

Contact your health care provider if:

  • You have other symptoms with the malaise.
  • Malaise lasts longer than one week, with or without other symptoms.

 

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

 

Your health care provider will perform a physical examination and ask questions such as:

  • How long has this feeling lasted (weeks or months)?
  • What other symptoms do you have?
  • Is the malaise constant or episodic (comes and goes)?
  • Can you complete your daily activities? If not, what limits you?
  • Have you traveled recently?
  • What medicines are you on?
  • What are your other medical problems?
  • Do you use alcohol or other drugs?

If you have signs or symptoms of an illness, tests may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis. These may include blood tests, x-rays, or other diagnostic tests.

Based on your evaluation and any tests, your healthcare provider will recommend treatment if needed.

 

 

References

Leggett J. Approach to fever or suspected infection in the normal host. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman’s Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 288.

Simel DL. Approach to the patient: history and physical examination. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman’s Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 6.

BACK TO TOP

 

        Self Care

         

          Tests for Malaise

           
             

            Review Date: 1/22/2013

            Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

            The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
            adam.com

             
             
             

             

             

            A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and Google Chrome browser.
            • Summa Health System © 2014 | All Rights Reserved | 525 East Market Street, Akron, Ohio 44304 | (888) 905-6071