What is malaise: 7+ Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment options

Malaise! Do you know what is it? Have you ever felt uneasy, mild pain and discomfort? It is very common, isn’t it? A sudden change in mood or a general uneasiness happens occasionally. It is an indication of any disease or infection. What do we call it? It is called malaise.

General Malaise Information:

  • The term was first coined in the French Language.
  • According to the research, the existence of this term dates back to 12th century.
  • The bland, dull and state of mind and body often compared in other contexts. Economic recession or slowdown was termed economic malaise.
  • “Malaise speech” is also a popular term, which indicates it is not a speech.

So, what is malaise? Let us see briefly about causes, symptoms diagnosis and treatment.

What is Malaise?

what is malaise
What is malaise
Image source: telegraph.co.uk

It is a common condition that you may feel weak, tired sensation, and soreness of the whole body. Sometimes, you may also experience unexplainable pain and mild irritation. It brings a sort of discomfort that makes you anxious. You lose the feel-good sensation in your body.

The uneasiness in your body makes you lethargic. You lose the sense of feeling good and energetic. More than typical laziness, you may feel like staying in bed throughout the day.

It is not a disease; not an infection; not a disorder; but an indication of an underlying condition. It is a symptom or sign of illness. Often you would have heard the term “feeling blue,” which is nothing but malaise.

In many cases, you could have quickly come of this weird sensation. However, in a few instances, it stays for a long time.

Malaise Causes:

What is the cause of this problem? You feel tired or low for almost every disease. For example, let us consider fever. You would become tired and have little to no energy. Body temperature gradually increases. Your body demands rest. Your eyes turn sore.

Now imagine, these indications associate with most of the ailments, from viral infection to chronic disease. The causes of malaise are unable to determine.  Only after diagnosis by a medical professional, you can identify the cause of this uneasiness.

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Any abnormality, from mild to severe, causes this uneasiness. It can be due to lack of sleep, an infection, an injury or other conditions.

Above all these ordinary contexts, the malaise has a strong presence in chronic and autoimmune ailments. People who suffer from chronic conditions like arthritis, rheumatism, hypothyroid, osteoporosis, etc. experience pain and discomfort throughout the day. It indicates a strong presence of malaise.

Here is the list of ailments, conditions, and diseases that can probably cause uneasiness.

  1. Acute Infections (short-lived symptoms):
  • Pneumonia
  • Viral syndrome
  • Fever
  • Influenza
  • Throat infection / sore throat  / sinus infection
  • Lyme disease
  • Hepatitis
2. Chronic Infections:
  • Chronic hepatitis – a  viral infection
  • Parasitic infection
  • Tuberculosis
  • AIDS – HIV
3. Organ-related ailments:
  • COPD
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney and liver infection (acute/chronic infection) or damage
  • Tumour in different parts of the body
4. Metabolic diseases:
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid – Hypo/hyper
  • Rheumatism
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Scoliosis
  • Dysfunction of the adrenal gland
  • Cervical spondylosis
  • Degeneration of spine/bones
  • Severe anaemia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
5. Psychiatric ailments:
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic stress

Apart from the categories mentioned above, you are likely to develop malaise as side effects of certain medications. Listing it here as the sixth category of ailments that cause uneasiness.

6. Medicines:

Sometimes, it is unavoidable to stay clear of side effects of the drugs. For sure, medication for psychological and psychiatric issues create mild side effects. Similarly, a combination of specific medicines to curb down the illness also causes uneasiness.

  • Anticonvulsants – prescribed to prevent seizures and psychological disorders.
  • Antihistamines – allergy medicine
  • Antipsychotics – to stabilise the mental health
  • Any long or short-term treatment that involves several or combination of medicines
7. Withdrawal symptoms:

Another major cause of uneasiness is alcohol or drug withdrawal. When an individual stops alcohol consumption or intake of recreational drugs, it develops malaise. Withdrawal symptoms from drug or alcohol abuse are quite temporary. As soon as you recover from these symptoms, uneasiness ceases to exist.

Malaise Vs Fatigue:

Malaise is often mistaken as fatigue. Fatigue can be acute or chronic. In fact, fatigue is one of the indications of malaise. While malaise gives a sensation of overall discomfort, fatigue makes you deprived of energy. Just like malaise, fatigue is a symptom of lifestyle problems and underlying ailments.

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Many health conditions can trigger both uneasiness and fatigue. Both are treatable once the cause is known. While fatigue is an indication of malaise, malaise is an indication of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Long-term presence of uneasiness indicates an undiagnosed ailment that needs a proper treatment.


How hard is it to diagnose an indication which signifies an underlying ailment? Right diagnosis is very crucial for proper treatment of this problem and the causes.

Diagnosis of uneasiness begins with a physical examination and collecting information about the history of the diseases. A physician may inquire the patient to obtain information about the complete medical history of the patient.

It includes whether patient suffers from any trauma, accidents, previous medical records, long-term treatment/medication, allergic reactions, details of viral infections,  medicines if any if the patient takes, etc.

The physician does a physical examination to find any abnormalities in the body.

Also, the physician also enquires about drug or alcohol habits of the patients.

Questions your physicians may ask during the visit:

Analyze these questions and try to find out the answers. Many times, you can use self-diagnosis the condition that causes malaise.

  • How long you feel this odd sensation – days or weeks or months?
  • Do you have any additional symptoms or abnormal indications?
  • Is your uneasiness indication episodic or constant?
  • Do you suffer from any limitations to perform your daily activities? For instance, pain may prevent you staying physically active.
  • Your recent travel schedule.
  • Are you on any medications?

Based on the health and medical history, the physician prescribes for further lab tests. It includes ESR, CPR, or CBC to find whether an infection is causing discomfort to the patient.

In addition to laboratory tests to check blood, hormones, and enzymes, the physician may also suggest for radiographic studies.

  • X rays
  • CT Scan
  • MRI Scan

Based on the symptoms or indications of the malaise as given above, these studies help to find the cause of malaise.

Diagnosis of uneasiness is a difficult task. The intensity, frequency and type of the indications along with lifestyle practices help to find the cause. Since the trigger of this problem is numerous, diagnosing involves multiple steps.

However, treatment becomes easy when the exact cause is found out.

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When to see a doctor:

Uneasiness indications are widespread. You can experience it on a day to day basis. It may turn alarming that necessitates an immediate visit to the doctor. So, when to see a doctor?

  • When the symptoms or indications last for a long time (more than a week or ten days)
  • You experience other symptoms along with malaise
  • The signs happen recurrently in short intervals
  • You feel too much sick and fail to perform day to day tasks
  • Your health starts to deteriorate gradually

Although it is difficult to find out, if malaise bit you or not, pay attention to your health. When you watch the abnormalities or discomforts you experience, you can identify the onset of uneasiness.

Malaise Treatment:

Considering all facts about this problem, there is no treatment for an indication. Malaise is not a disease to be treated. So, cure for this discomfort is based on treating the underlying cause.

It is difficult or next to impossible to predict or draw out a specific treatment plan for uneasiness when you are unaware of the causes. With no proper diagnosis, treatment is difficult.

  • If uneasiness is caused by an infection, a proper diagnosis is essential to identify the type of infection.
  • If this problem is caused by allergy, you need anti-allergy medicines.
  • If uneasiness is caused by metabolic conditions like arthritis or thyroid, appropriate physical therapies, and medicines are essential.
  • Sometimes, a combination of physical therapies, regular exercises and medicines help malaise.
  • When the symptom is caused due to heavy workload, little rest is sufficient to bounce back.

In other cases, until a proper diagnosis, simple lifestyle changes help to improve the indications. It includes,

  • Taking plenty of rest and getting enough sleep. Just like food and water, rest and sleep are essential for everyone.
  • Eat healthily and follow the healthy eating practice.
  • De-stress, and stay relaxed. Practice the habit of staying calm and keep the stress levels under control.
  • Be physically active.

While diagnosis is difficult, prevention is difficult too. Malaise could be a strong indication of any condition. So, prevention is impossible. It is difficult to note what triggers uneasiness or make a note of it.

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaise
  2. https://www.livestrong.com/article/505701-brain-fog-your-metabolism/
  3. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003089.htm
  4. https://www.healthline.com/symptom/malaise
  5. https://www.healthline.com/symptom/malaise

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