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Health Encylopedia

Definition A generalized feeling of discomfort, illness, uneasiness, or lack of well-being that is often associated with a disease state.
Alternative Names General ill feeling
Considerations Malaise is a nonspecific symptom that can occur with almost any significant infection, or with metabolic, endocrine , or neurologic disorders. It may develop slowly or may appear rapidly depending on the nature of the disease. Fatigue accompanies malaise in many common diseases.
Common Causes
  • influenza
  • acute bronchitis
  • acute nephritic syndrome
  • acute pulmonary eosinophilia (Loeffler's syndrome)
  • AIDS
  • amebic liver abscess
  • anthrax
  • aseptic meningitis
  • atrial myxoma; left
  • atrial myxoma; right
  • atypical mycobacterial infection
  • autoimmune hepatitis
  • blastomycosis
  • cellulitis
  • chancroid
  • chronic active hepatitis
  • chronic glomerulonephritis
  • chronic renal failure
  • chronic symptomatic HIV infection
  • CMV in immunocompromised host
  • CMV pneumonia
  • disseminated tuberculosis (infectious)
  • empyema
  • end-stage renal disease
  • endometritis
  • epidural abscess
  • erysipelas
  • erythema multiforme
  • erythema nodosum
  • Goodpasture's syndrome
  • pulmonary histiocytosis X
  • hypoglycemia
  • impetigo
  • infectious mononucleosis (CMV)
  • infectious mononucleosis (EB)
  • legionnaire's disease
  • Lyme disease - secondary
  • lymphadenitis and lymphangitis
  • medullary cystic disease
  • metastatic brain tumor
  • metastatic pleural tumor
  • neuroblastoma
  • osteomyelitis
  • paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria (PCH)
  • pharyngitis
  • plague
  • pneumonia
  • poliomyelitis
  • polymyalgia rheumatica
  • primary brain tumor
  • pulmonary nocardiosis
  • pyelonephritis
  • rapidly progressive (crescentic) glomerulonephritis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • rubella
  • sarcoidosis
  • sclerosing cholangitis
  • systemic lupus erythematosus
  • transplant rejection
  • typhoid fever
  • Wilm's tumor
  • Home Care
  • Consult your health care provider.
  • Call your health care provider if
  • malaise is accompanied by other symptoms indicating a significant illness.
  • malaise persists longer than one week, with or without other symptoms.
  • What to expect at your health care provider's office The medical history will be obtained and a physical examination performed. Medical history questions documenting malaise in detail may include:
  • How long has it lasted?
  • Has it lasted for weeks or months?
  • Has it been one persistent attack or are there multiple separate occurrences (episodic)?
  • How long does each separate occurrence last (for how many hours)?
  • Did malaise develop within 4 to 6 hours after exposure to something that the person is allergic to (an
  • antigen )?
  • What other symptoms are also present?
  • If signs or symptoms of a significant illness are present, testing may be required to confirm the diagnosis. This may include various blood tests, X-rays, or other diagnostic tests. After seeing your health care provider: If a diagnosis was made by your health care provider related to malaise, you may want to note that diagnosis in your personal medical record.