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    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, youcanhave a feeling of not having enough energy todo 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 havesevere 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 youtraveled 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 beordered 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.

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          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.
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