Malaise and fatigue are common symptoms of a wide-ranging list of ailments. Malaise refers to an overall feeling of discomfort and lack of well-being. Fatigue is extreme tiredness and lack of energy or motivation for everyday activities.
Malaise and fatigue often go hand-in-hand and indicate a person is ill or about to become ill. They can start slowly or appear suddenly depending upon the cause, and can be acute (short-lasting) or chronic (long-lasting).
Some common medical problems associated with malaise and fatigue include pneumonia, mononucleosis, influenza, Lyme disease, sleep apnea, blood disorders, congestive heart failure, kidney or liver disease, and diabetes. Psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety also can cause malaise and fatigue.
Oftentimes malaise and fatigue can be traced to bad health habits and lifestyle factors, including inadequate sleep, alcohol abuse, an unhealthy diet, caffeine use, and inactivity. Certain medications also can lead to overtiredness and a general ill feeling.
Malaise and fatigue are common symptoms that can be effectively treated once the cause is known. Because they can indicate a more serious problem, however, anyone experiencing malaise or fatigue that can't be easily explained should see a doctor.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
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|Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The CDC (the national public health institute of the United States) promotes health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability.|
|National Institutes of Health (NIH) NIH is an Agency under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and offers health information and scientific resources.|
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|American Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.|
|Influenza (Flu) Flu symptoms tend to develop quickly and are usually more severe than the typical sneezing and stuffiness of a cold. Yearly vaccination is the best protection against the flu.|
|Anemia Anemia, one of the more common blood disorders, occurs when the number of healthy red blood cells decreases. This can result in a variety of symptoms, including fatigue and stress on all the body's organs.|
|Mononucleosis Mononucleosis - or "mono" - is an infection that produces flu-like symptoms, and usually goes away on its own in a few weeks with the help of plenty of fluids and rest.|
|Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disease for doctors to diagnose — and even fully understand. Find out more about this often misunderstood condition.|
|Fibromyalgia The chronic condition fibromyalgia causes widespread pain in the muscles, joints, and other areas of the body. Lifestyle changes and other strategies can help kids who have it feel better.|
|Fibromyalgia Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes pain in a person's muscles, joints, and other soft tissues. Find out how doctors tell if a person has fibromyalgia and what can be done to treat it.|
|Lyme Disease The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to prevent tick bites. Find out more about this disease and how to keep those ticks away.|
|Chronic Fatigue Syndrome At least 1 million people in the United States have chronic fatigue syndrome, a condition that makes it difficult to perform everyday tasks. Read more about CFS.|
|What's Mono? Kissing is just one of the ways that someone can spread mononucleosis. Most people who get mono are between the ages of 15 and 25, but younger kids can get it, too.|
|Living With Lupus Lupus is known as an autoimmune disease in which a person's immune system mistakenly works against the body's own tissues.|
|Mononucleosis It's sometimes called "the kissing disease," but kissing is just one of the ways that someone can catch mono.|
|Depression Depression is very common. For more information about depression and feeling better, check out this article.|
|Seasonal Affective Disorder Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that affects some people and appears at the same time each year.|
|Cytomegalovirus (CMV) This virus poses few risks to healthy kids, but can cause serious health problems in unborn babies and kids with a weak immune system.|
|Lyme Disease Lyme disease can affect the skin, joints, nervous system, and other organ systems. If diagnosed quickly and treated with antibiotics, Lyme disease in kids is almost always treatable.|
|Anemia Anemia is common in teens because they undergo rapid growth spurts, when the body has a greater need for nutrients like iron. Learn about anemia, including how to lower your risk of getting it and how it's treated.|
|About Anemia What does it mean when a kid has anemia? Learn about anemia, why kids get it, and how it's treated in our article for kids.|
|Obstructive Sleep Apnea Brief pauses in breathing during sleep can be normal. But when breathing stops often or for longer periods, it can be a cause for concern.|
|Lyme Disease Lyme disease can be treated if it's caught early. So read this to find out what causes it, how it's treated, and how to prevent it.|
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