What is malaise?

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Malaise is used to describe a feeling of overall weakness, discomfort, feeling of having an illness or simply not feeling well. This often occurs along with fatigue and inability to restore the feeling of health with rest.

Oftentimes, malaise occurs abruptly but can also develop in a gradual manner and last for an extended period of time. The reason behind can be hard to pinpoint since it might be the result of various conditions.

What are the possible causes?

Medical conditions

There are various possible causes of malaise. Once the body is subjected to any form of disruption such as a disease, injury or trauma, one will experience malaise. A doctor should be consulted so that the exact cause can be determined.

Individuals who have musculoskeletal disorders often suffer from a generalized sense of discomfort and unease. Remember that malaise is a usual symptom of different forms of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.

The acute viral conditions that can cause malaise include:

Oftentimes, malaise occurs abruptly but can also develop in a gradual manner and last for an extended period of time.

Chronic conditions that are known to cause malaise include the following:

  • Kidney disease
  • Severe anemia
  • Diabetes
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Liver disease


There are certain medications that can put an individual at risk for malaise such as antihistamines, anticonvulsants, drugs for psychiatric disorders and those used for hypertension and heart disease.

When to consult a doctor

A doctor should be consulted if the individual feels overwhelmed by the feeling of malaise or if it lasts longer than 7 days. It is best to consult a doctor if it is accompanied by other symptoms.

The doctor can provide an accurate diagnosis of the exact cause. This will ensure that the proper treatment can be started.

Management of malaise

It is important to note that malaise is not a condition. The treatment is aimed on dealing with the underlying cause. It is considered impossible to predict the suitable treatment since it can be due to various conditions.

The treatment for the cause of the malaise is to help control the feeling and prevent it from becoming too overwhelming. Measures to reduce malaise includes:

  • Adequate rest
  • Reducing the level of stress
  • Regular exercise
  • Eating a well-balanced diet

Malaise can be hard to prevent since it has various causes. It is best to note down the physical and mental well-being to be able to identify the causes and triggers. It is recommended that the individual keeps a journal to list down the episodes and share the findings to the doctor if needed.

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