Adynamia – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment


Adynamia describes a state of general exhaustion and pronounced lack of drive . It occurs as a result of various physical and mental disorders.

What is adynamia?

Adynamia is not a disease in its own right, but rather a symptom. Regardless of its origin, this symptom always has the appearance of a general lack of energy.

The organism is so exhausted because it lacks the energy to maintain important physical processes. It is irrelevant how this lack of energy comes about. However, important physical processes are reduced in adynamia in order to save energy. The causes of adynamia are manifold. It is often caused by very different diseases.

These can be both mental and physical disorders. A typical mental disorder with a pronounced lack of drive is z. B. the depression . Important physical disorders that can develop adynamia include Addison’s disease , hypokalemia , hypercalcemia , chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) , and muscular dystrophies .


So there is no single cause of adynamia. However, a general process plays a role in the specific manifestation of the symptom. If there is a lack of energy for any reason, important bodily functions are reduced.

One cause of the lack of energy is the disruption of energy production. This applies, among other things, if the nutrients supplied cannot be properly utilized, e.g. B. Malabsorption of nutrients in the gut . Or the glucose cannot be used properly if there is a lack of insulin ( diabetes ). Since energy is generated by combustion, e.g. B. also lead to a lack of oxygen to adynamia. In addition, all chemical processes of life take place in the watery environment.

In the case of a disease characterized by severe dehydration, this also prevents the supply of energy. Furthermore, various hormonal disorders can inhibit energy-releasing processes, e.g. B. in Addison’s disease. Many mental illnesses are also based on disturbances in the transmission of nerve impulses, so that energetic processes do not even get going.

Last but not least, it may also be that the body provides enough energy, but has to use it to defend itself against hostile attacks by microorganisms. Then there is a lack of energy elsewhere and adynamia occurs.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

With adynamia, various symptoms of exhaustion appear. Those affected feel tired and listless, lack motivation and feel less well-being overall. Depression and apathetic states often occur, which are expressed through apathy and withdrawal from social life. Physical ailments can also occur.

For example, some sufferers suffer from headaches , which can develop into pronounced migraines as the disease progresses . Acute or chronic muscle pain can also occur. This is often accompanied by twitching, movement disorders and sensory disturbances in the affected area. The prolonged exhaustion also affects the gastrointestinal tract – nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramps and occasionally stress-related diarrhea occur.

In the long term, it can lead to irritable bowel syndrome . Adynamia can cause fever , which becomes noticeable through sweating, an increased heart rate and other typical signs of illness. Other physical symptoms include sore throat and joints, swollen lymph nodes and chills. Depending on the severity of the condition, these symptoms can significantly affect well-being and lead to crippling mental and physical fatigue. The symptoms usually appear gradually and intensify over time.

Diagnosis & History

The diagnosis of adynamia is easy to make. It’s “just” a symptom that you can already tell by looking at it. The real task is to diagnose the underlying condition.

To do this, the doctor must look at the other symptoms and carry out appropriate diagnostic measures based on existing experience. For example, there is a lack B. in Addison’s disease on the hormones cortisol and aldosterone . An indication of this disease is the massive brown discoloration of the skin.

The diagnosis can be confirmed by appropriate laboratory tests. With other diseases, this is often not so easy. This is especially true for diseases where adynamia is the main symptom, such as B. in CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) and certain mental illnesses.

When should you go to the doctor?

Adynamia is the opposite of dynamism and high energy. If there is a pronounced situation of exhaustion and increasing listlessness, the person concerned should take this seriously. The reasons for this sudden or gradual loss of energy should be clarified by a doctor. However, adynamia is a symptom of disease rather than having disease value in itself. It is important to realize that for some reason the body has reduced all energies to indicate a problem.

The affected person should see a doctor at the latest when the adynamia leads to an increasing withdrawal from social obligations and makes everyday work impossible. Occupational restrictions are to be expected as a consequence of the weakness. The general practitioner is the first port of call because he knows the patient. If the family doctor takes his patient’s exhaustion and lack of energy seriously, he initiates numerous investigations to clarify the problem. The problem here is the variety of possible triggers.

If psychological problems such as depression or burnout are suspected, a referral to a psychiatrist or a specialized clinic can be expected. If physical causes are suspected, various medical professionals can be consulted. An internal medicine doctor can look for metabolic imbalances or thyroid dysfunction. He should also look at other ways to track down adynamia.

Treatment & Therapy

Treatment of adynamia naturally includes treatment of the underlying disease. In many cases this is easy. The hormone deficiency present in Addison’s disease can be treated by substitution therapy.

Hormone administration is indicated here permanently because the hormone-producing organ, the adrenal gland , is irrevocably destroyed in this disease. The treatment of dehydration after severe water loss can also be easily compensated for with electrolyte infusions. After recognizing serious infections, these can also be treated well. The same applies to diabetes.

It becomes more difficult in the case of cancer , since cancer treatment with chemotherapy in turn increases adynamia. Here, the life-saving treatment of the underlying disease has priority. The therapy of diseases with adynamia as the main symptom is particularly complicated, e.g. B. with CFS or depression, because here the causes are often not known.

Outlook & Forecast

Due to the adynamia, the patient generally feels very tired and listless. The patient’s resilience drops extremely and there is a withdrawal from social life. In most cases, the further course of the adynamia depends strongly on the causative disease. However, it is not uncommon for mental health problems and depression to develop .

These have a very negative effect on the everyday life and relationships of the person concerned and can thus lead to severe discomfort and sadness. Some of those affected also suffer from suicidal thoughts. In some cases, those affected can also injure themselves.

Which treatment is necessary for adynamia depends primarily on the underlying disease. In some cases, psychological treatment is quite enough. However, it is not uncommon for there to be physical causes for the adynamia, so that, for example, surgical interventions are also necessary to alleviate these symptoms. Therefore, it cannot be generally predicted whether life expectancy will be reduced by adynamia.


A general recommendation to prevent adynamia is to maintain a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, plenty of exercise, no smoking and little negative stress . This reduces the probability of developing diseases that cause adynamia, but cannot rule them out.


The extent to which follow-up care is necessary after diagnosed adynamia depends on the underlying disease. Some patients manage to stop the typical symptoms permanently. However, immunity did not set in. Rather, the success goes back to the absence of the triggering disease.

Those affected can then make a contribution themselves to making things better for them. General preventive measures are generally considered to be sensible. These include a healthy diet, daily exercise and not using addictive substances. For some sufferers, however, long-term treatment is indicated. Follow-up care accompanies them for the rest of their lives.

If a hormonal disorder in the adrenal gland is the cause, substitution therapy is necessary. Blood tests and an adjustment of the therapy take place at regular intervals. In the case of cancer, follow-up care is usually postponed. The focus is on the treatment of the tumor disease. In the ideal case, the adynamia subsides on its own.

According to medical opinion, depression is considered a problematic cause. Because of the often unexplained motives, treatment is difficult. Physicians determine psychotherapies and medication support. A worsening of the situation cannot be ruled out. Even small stresses in everyday life can therefore have major consequences.

You can do that yourself

Symptoms such as exhaustion , chronic exhaustion , tiredness and listlessness are summarized under the keyword “adynamia”. Adynamia can have various causes (e.g. depression ). It is important to get to the bottom of these causes medically.

However, those affected can also contribute to improving their condition themselves. It has been proven that regular exercise has an activating effect. Blood circulation is stimulated, the body is supplied with additional oxygen, new synaptic connections are formed in the brain and new blood vessels. Emotional stress is also reduced.

A balanced, healthy diet with sufficient vitamins , roughage and other important nutrients also contributes to improving the overall condition. The body needs certain nutrients to function properly. Regular, but moderate and conscious eating is important.

Finding the right balance between activity and rest is also helpful. Adequate sleep (seven to eight hours) and healthy activities throughout the day with appropriate downtime help to improve many processes in the body. If possible, those affected should try to activate themselves. However, it is also important to avoid overloading. Alcohol and nicotine should be largely avoided , as these stimulants rob the body of additional strength.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.