Malaise is a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or lack of well-being.
General ill feeling
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. You can have a feeling of not having enough energy to do your usual activities.
The following lists give examples of the diseases, conditions, and medicines that can cause malaise.
SHORT-TERM (ACUTE) INFECTIOUS DISEASE
LONG-TERM (CHRONIC) INFECTIOUS DISEASE
HEART AND LUNG (CARDIOPULMONARY) DISEASE
CONNECTIVE TISSUE DISEASE
ENDOCRINE or METABOLIC DISEASE
Call your health care provider right away if you have severe malaise.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your provider if:
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
Your provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions such as:
You may have tests to confirm the diagnosis if your provider thinks the problem may be due to an illness. These may include blood tests, x-rays, or other diagnostic tests.
Your provider will recommend treatment if needed based on your exam and tests.
Leggett JE. Approach to fever or suspected infection in the normal host. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 280.
Nield LS, Kamat D. Fever. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 201.
Simel DL. Approach to the patient: history and physical examination. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 7.
Review Date: 2/7/2019
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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