General feeling of sickness – causes and symptoms

A general feeling of illness is unspecific. Those affected feel rejected. They are tired, legs and arms seem heavy as after hard physical work. Those affected have trouble concentrating and become dizzy. It is not a disease, but it is often a symptom of a disease, such as a viral cold or a flu infection. Stress as well as first-class cancer can also be the cause, which is why a closer look is important.

Table of Contents

  • causes
  • Indefinite feeling of sickness is a warning sign
  • Cause burnout
  • Cause infections
  • Psychological causes
  • Diagnosis and course
  • diagnosis
  • treatment
  • prevention


A general disease symptom can have various physical and psychological causes. An incomplete list:

1) Chronic stress and overexploitation of the body’s resources

2) Exaggerated ambition, perfectionism and a “don’t calm down”

3) Insults, failures and bullying

4) fear of loss

5) traumatic experiences ( trauma )

6) sleep disorders, disturbed biorhythm

7) Cold

8) Flu infection

9) Vitamin deficiency, malnutrition and one-sided nutrition

10) Alcohol and drug abuse

11) An underactive thyroid

12) Various infectious diseases , from sinus infections to gastrointestinal infections

13) Heart failure

14) Auotimmune diseases

15) Depression

16) Anxiety disorders

17) Allergies

18) poisoning

19) Medications, side effects and intolerance

20) Cancer Diseases

Indefinite feeling of sickness is a warning sign

The symptoms do not have to indicate an infection. It is often a warning signal from the body that suggests: I need a break.

If we chronically overwork ourselves, find too little sleep in the long run, artificially expand our biorhythm with coffee, cigarettes or even stronger means, our resources will eventually be exhausted.

Feeling sick without knowing the exact cause. Image: Rido – fotolia

However, we do not only overwhelm our bodies with work, but also with excessive free time: constant techno parties until the next day, which can only be sustained with extasy or cocaine, confused nights on first-person shooters without fresh air and healthy food are also overexploited on the body.

Fatigue , dizziness and heavy limbs then “only” show what is absolutely necessary: ​​take a hot shower, take a relaxing bath, lie down in bed and sleep. Switch off your smartphone for a day, do not answer emails and leave the laptop closed.

Our body is not a subject with its own will, but the term warning signal is not a pure metaphor. If we permanently strain our organism beyond its limits, it will probably lead to serious illnesses in the long run.

If you do not listen to your body, you not only accept dizziness or fatigue on the long term, but also promote heart disease, circulatory problems and increase the risk of stroke and heart attack.

If permanent stress manifests itself as a general feeling of sickness, the symptoms disappear when we rest.

Cause burnout

Above all, fatigue, i.e. short-term fatigue, physical and mental exhaustion and the general lack of energy can be “cured” by taking breaks, but it is also the preliminary phase of a burnout.

The burnout expresses itself similarly, except that recovery phases can no longer compensate for the fatigue. There are also concentration problems and a sharp drop in performance. In contrast to depression, however, a generally gloomy worldview and the feeling of not having a perspective are missing.

Cause infections

However, the most common cause of a general feeling of illness is an infection, usually a flu infection or a cold – viruses are responsible. As a result, the weakened immune system also provides access for disease-causing bacteria.

Even serious illnesses first manifest themselves in a general feeling of illness. Here further symptoms show what it is.

Psychological causes

It has now been proven that a general feeling of illness is closely related to the mental state of those affected. Depressive moods and even more clinical depressions intensify the symptoms or even trigger them. This also applies to anxiety disorders.

Feeling sick – it can also hide depression.

One affected person writes: “I feel like I have an infection that just doesn’t want to go! Also don’t find anyone to help me. I was with a neurologist yesterday, who is also a psychologist. He actually didn’t have time, which he kept giving me to understand. So I got out of there and was totally frustrated and disappointed. Now I’m sitting here and I feel like I’ll never get well again. If this stupid feeling of illness would disappear again. ”

She posted her text on a forum for people with anxiety disorders, and various doctors blamed this disorder for her general feeling of illness.

Depression can be recognized by other symptoms: feelings of being tired, problems concentrating, tiredness and leaden limbs are accompanied by feelings of guilt, disturbed sleep, a consistently negative view of the world, compulsive fears and hopelessness.

Depression causes cognitive, psychomotor and other dysfunctions such as exhaustion, lack of concentration, loss of sexual desire, loss of almost all occupations, sleep disorders and a feeling of depression.

Depressed men in particular usually go to the doctor because of their physical symptoms, and the cause can be easily confused: sleep disorders and overexploitation of health, heavy smoking, alcohol and other threats are all triggers for a general feeling of illness.

Depression, however, is a consequence of the mental disorder.

Diagnosis and course

A general feeling of illness does not require a specific diagnosis, since it is not a separate illness. Rather, the doctor asks about the circumstances: does the affected person experience permanent extraordinary stress, is he currently suffering from a cold or a viral infection?

Those affected can also answer the following questions themselves:

1) What feelings do you have?

2) Are these feelings happening for the first time? If not, when did they disappear?

3) Do you feel overloaded?

4) Do you exercise?

5) How much and what kind of sport do you do?

6) Do you suffer from previous or hereditary diseases, past operations or the consequences of accidents?

7) What is your diet like?

8) What medications are you taking?

9) Do you suffer from allergies?

10) What about luxury foods, drugs, cigarettes, caffeine and alcohol?

If it is a flu-like infection, it becomes apparent very quickly and clearly. Symptoms worsen every hour, plus cough, runny nose and fever.

The doctor and the person affected simply find out whether it is a cold. Here the general feeling of illness is not the first symptom. A developing cold shows up at the beginning with slight pain in the throat. Headache and body aches, general tiredness, runny nose, cough and dizziness are added later.


A general feeling of illness can indicate various illnesses. Therefore, there is a high risk of misinterpreting the symptoms. Only further symptoms, or their absence, enable an accurate diagnosis.

Those affected should absolutely watch what happens in their body, how long the general feeling of illness lasts, whether it is permanent or occurs in episodes, whether it was related to certain situations – and above all, those affected should take it seriously.

Pushing away a general feeling of illness is probably the biggest problem. The symptoms do not (yet) appear dramatic to those affected. The work or party takes place, and instead of taking care of yourself, the work continues as before until the general feeling leads to a more serious illness.

Even if they are not symptoms of a life-threatening illness, the body is telling the truth: it is time to take care, further stress only prolongs healing.


The general feeling of illness cannot be treated specifically, but the causes can be treated. In general, however, regardless of the specific cause, do not strain your body. Take a rest.

Resting, relaxing and massages can release a feeling of stress. Image: YakobchukOlena – fotolia

Your body now needs its resources to fight the discomfort. This applies to all diseases that the general feeling expresses.


As a side effect of illnesses, the feeling cannot be prevented directly. You can, however, take precautionary measures indirectly. The stronger the immune system, the better they prevent diseases in advance.

The general feeling of illness as a warning signal does not have to be, if we do not take care of our body only when it is already overloaded. So, if you are still healthy, you can offer the body its necessary regeneration.

Exercise in the fresh air, regularly ventilate your apartment while working on a computer, give yourself a short break at least every 45 minutes. Make sure you have a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.

Observe yourself: Do you feel drained and do you get dizzy more often? If you sit in front of the screen all day, drink coffee and smoke, it’s no wonder. Just drink a glass of water in between. At least the dizziness can be due to a banal lack of fluid.

Sleep when you are tired. After 6 p.m., stop drinking stimulating drinks such as coffee, black tea, mate or energy drinks. Make sure you get 6-8 hours of sleep.

Separate professional and private life as much as possible. If you work from home, set up fixed hours.

Organize your multitasking. What is considered a special adaptation to a flexible work rhythm inevitably leads to illnesses in the long run, because we can overload the body not only physically but also cognitively, and then it switches off. Do tasks one after the other and not at the same time.
Spend a weekend in nature, a short trip or an evening with friends.


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