Read below about general weakness, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your general weakness from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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10 Potential General Weakness Causes

Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.

  1. 1.Diarrhea Due to Chemotherapy, at Risk for Dehydration or Complication

    Diarrhea is a common side effect of chemotherapy. Frequent diarrhea and thereby the loss of fluids can lead to dehydration, causing symptoms like a dry mouth, dizziness and peeing less frequently. Bloody diarrhea or fever that accompanies the diarrhea is a sign of more severe damage to the intestine and needs evaluation.

    Prognosis of symptoms depends on the duration of chemotherapy and severity of dehydration.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    diarrhea, fatigue, nausea or vomiting, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), fever
    Symptoms that always occur with diarrhea due to chemotherapy, at risk for dehydration or complication:
    diarrhea
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  2. 2.Nausea Related to Chemotherapy, at Risk for Dehydration

    Nausea and vomiting are common side-effects of chemotherapy. For some people, even thinking about an upcoming treatment cycle, can cause these symptoms. Frequent vomiting and reduced intake of fluids can lead to dehydration, causing symptoms like a dry mouth, dizziness and peeing less frequently.

    Prognosis of symptoms depends on the duration of chemotherapy and severity of dehydration.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea or vomiting, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, dizziness
    Symptoms that always occur with nausea related to chemotherapy, at risk for dehydration:
    nausea or vomiting
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  3. 3.Neutropenic Fever With High Risk for Infection

    People who are receiving chemotherapy are more likely to have infections because they can have lower numbers of white blood cells. A low number of white blood cells is also called neutropenia. It seems that you are at risk for neutropenia and possibly have a serious infection.

    Outcome is dependent on promptness of treatment, physical condition of the patient.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, fatigue, abdominal pain (stomach ache), cough, shortness of breath
    Symptoms that always occur with neutropenic fever with high risk for infection:
    fever
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  4. 4.Appetite Changes Due to Cancer

    Many people who suffer from cancer experience changes in their appetite and their weight. This can be a side-effect of treatment (like chemotherapy or radiation), but it can also be because of the cancer itself. Having cancer, can change the body's metabolism - the process in which your body digests and breaks down sources of energy. As a result, your appetite can decrease and/or you can lose weight.

    Weight loss and decreased appetite that are not caused by chemo- or radiation therapy but by the cancer itself, are more often seen in people with advanced or spread disease.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Symptoms that always occur with appetite changes due to cancer:
    decreased appetite or significant weight loss
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Hypothyroidism

    Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid, a butterfly-shaped organ inside the neck, no longer produces adequate levels of hormones. Thyroid hormones are essential for many bodily functions including breathing, heart rate, and metabolism.

    Most cases of hypothyroidism require lifelong hormone replacement therapy.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, muscle aches
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

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  6. 6.Late Onset Hypogonadism

    In the male body, the testicles produce a sex hormone called testosterone. In the adult man, testosterone affects fertility, libido, mental and physical energy levels, muscle strength, and general well being. Late-onset hypogonadism refers to a condition where not enough testosterone is produced after puberty has already passed (hence the name late-onset).

    Outlook depends on underlying cause, but hormone therapy is highly effective.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping, depressed mood, irritability
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Folate (Vitamin) Deficiency

    Folic acid (folate) is a vitamin that is needed to make new cells in the body, including red blood cells which carry oxygen through the blood and into various tissues throughout the body. Folate deficiency refers to a condition when there is not enough folic acid in the body, and can lead to symptoms such as tiredness, low energy, faintness, and difficulty breathing.

    People recover with no long-term effects within weeks.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, depressed mood, irritability, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea
    Symptoms that never occur with folate (vitamin) deficiency:
    abdominal swelling
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  8. 8.Low Calcium Level

    Hypocalcemia is a condition where there is not enough calcium in the blood. Calcium is a mineral contained in the blood, which helps the heart and other muscles function properly, and is needed to maintain strong teeth and bones.

    Problem should go away with home care within weeks.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, shortness of breath, irritability, general numbness, tingling foot
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Guillain - Barre Syndrome

    Certain immune system conditions can damage the peripheral nervous system (PNS) which connect the brain and spinal cord with the rest of the body.

    This is a chronic condition.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    diarrhea, shortness of breath, constipation, general numbness, spontaneous back pain
    Symptoms that always occur with guillain-barre syndrome:
    progressive weakness
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  10. 10.Myasthenia Gravis (Over 50)

    Myasthenia Gravis is an autoimmune disease, where the immune system attacks the connection between nerves and muscles.

    Indefinite

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    weakness, general weakness, trouble swallowing, voice change, double vision
    Urgency:
    In-person visit

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About General Weakness

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Have you lost your appetite recently?
  • Q.Do you currently smoke?
  • Q.Have you experienced any nausea?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our general weakness symptom checker to find out more.

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General Weakness Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced general weakness have also experienced:

    • 15% Fatigue
    • 3% Loss of Muscle Mass
    • 3% Headache
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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