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.
|Pocket Doc Mobile App|
|Maps and Locations (Mobile)|
|Programs & Services|
|For Health Professionals|
|For Patients & Families|
|Find a Doctor|