Adynamia refers to a condition of general exhaustion and marked lack of drive. It occurs as a result of different physical and mental disorders.

What is adynamia?

Adynamia refers to a condition of general exhaustion and marked lack of drive.

Adynamia is not a disease of its own but rather a symptom. This symptom, regardless of its origin, always has the appearance of a general lack of energy.

The organism is so exhausted because it lacks energy for the maintenance of important physical processes. It does not matter how this lack of energy comes about. Important physical processes are reduced in adynamia, however, to save energy. The causes of adynamia are many. It is often based on very different diseases.

This can be both mental and physical disorders. A typical mental disorder with a pronounced listlessness is z. For example, depression. Major physical disorders that may develop adynamia include Addison's disease, hypokalemia, hypercalcaemia, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and muscular dystrophy.


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

One cause of the energy shortage is the disruption of energy production. This is true, inter alia, if the nutrients supplied can not be properly utilized, eg. As in a malabsorption of nutrients in the intestine. Or the glucose can not be used properly in case of insulin deficiency (diabetes). Since energy is indeed generated by combustion, z. B. an oxygen deficiency lead to adynamia. In addition, all chemical processes of life take place in an aqueous environment.

In a disease characterized by severe dehydration, it also prevents energy supply. Furthermore, various hormonal disorders can inhibit energy-releasing processes, such. In Addison's disease. Many mental illnesses are also based on disorders of nerve stimulus transmission, so that energetic processes do not even get going.

Last but not least, while the body may provide enough energy, it must use it to ward off hostile attacks by microorganisms. Then energy is missing elsewhere and there is adynamy.

Symptoms, complaints & signs

In adynamia, various symptoms of fatigue occur. Those affected feel tired and limp, have no motivation and overall experience a reduced level of well-being. Often, depression and apathetic states occur, manifesting through apathy and withdrawal from social life. Also physical complaints can occur.

For example, some sufferers suffer from headaches that can develop into marked migraine over the course of the disease. Acute or chronic muscle pain can also occur. Accompanying this, there are often also twitches, movement disorders and sensory disturbances in the affected area. Persistent fatigue also affects the gastrointestinal tract - it causes nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramping, and occasionally, stress-related diarrhea.

In the long term irritable bowel syndrome can occur. Adynamia can cause a fever that is manifested by sweats, increased heart rate and other typical signs of illness. Other physical symptoms include throat and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes and shivering. Depending on the severity of the condition, these symptoms can significantly affect well-being and lead to debilitating mental and physical fatigue. Most of the complaints occur creeping and reinforce in the course.

Diagnosis & History

The diagnosis of adynamia is easy. It is "only" a symptom, which is already established by inspection. The real task is to diagnose the underlying disease.

To do this, the doctor must look at the other symptoms and carry out appropriate diagnostic measures on the basis of existing experience. So it lacks z. For example, in Addison's disease, the hormones cortisol and aldosterone. An indication of this disease is the massive browning of the skin.

The diagnosis can be verified by appropriate laboratory examinations. In other diseases, this is often not so easy. This is especially true for diseases where the adynamia is the leading symptom, such. In CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) and certain mental illnesses.

When should you go to the doctor?

Adynamy is the opposite of dynamics and energy richness. If it comes to a pronounced exhaustion situation and increasing listlessness, the person concerned should take this seriously. The background of this sudden or creeping energy loss should be clarified by the physician. However, adynamia is more the symptom of a disease than it has a disease value of its own. It is important to realize that for some reason the body has reduced all energies to point out a problem.

A doctor's visit to a doctor should take place at the latest when adynamia leads to an increasing withdrawal from social obligations and makes daily work impossible. Occupational restrictions are to be expected as a consequence of the weakness. The family doctor is the first contact, because he knows the patient. If the family doctor takes the exhausting and energylessness of his patient seriously, he initiates numerous investigations for clarification. The problem is the variety of possible triggers.

If mental health problems such as depression or burnout are suspected, referral to a psychiatrist or specialized clinic is expected. In case of a suspicion of physical causes, various physicians can be consulted. An internal medicine doctor may be looking for metabolic or thyroid dysfunctions. He should also examine other ways to track down adynamia.

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Treatment & Therapy

Treatment of adynamia naturally involves the therapy of the underlying disease. In many cases this is easy. Thus, the hormone deficiency present in Addison's disease can be treated by a substitution therapy.

The hormone doses are permanently displayed here because the hormone-forming organ, the adrenal gland, is irrevocably destroyed in this disease. Also, the treatment of dehydration after heavy water loss is easy to balance by electrolyte infusions. After the detection of severe infections, these are also good to treat. The same is true for diabetes.

Cancer is becoming more difficult as cancer treatment with chemotherapy increases adynamia. Here, the life-saving treatment of the underlying disease has priority. Particularly complicated is the treatment of diseases with adynamia as the main symptom, such. As in CFS or depression, because often the causes are not known.

Outlook & Forecast

Due to the adynamia, the patient generally feels very tired and impotent. The resilience of the patient drops extremely and there is a retreat from social life. In most cases the further course of the adynamy depends strongly on the causative illness. 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 serious symptoms and sadness. Part of the sufferers also suffer from suicidal thoughts. In some cases, those affected can also hurt themselves.

The treatment required for adynamia depends primarily on the underlying disease. In some cases, psychological treatment is sufficient. Often, however, there are physical causes for the adynamia, so for example, surgical intervention is necessary to relieve these symptoms. Therefore, it can not be generally predicted whether the life expectancy is reduced by the adynamia.


A general recommendation for the prevention of adynamia is the adherence to a healthy lifestyle with balanced nutrition, a lot of exercise, abstaining from smoking and little negative stress. This reduces the likelihood of developing diseases that cause adynamia but can not rule them out.


The extent to which follow-up after diagnosed adynamia becomes necessary depends on the underlying disease. Some patients succeed in permanently stopping the typical symptoms. However, immunity did not set in then. Rather, success goes back to the absence of the causative disease.

Those affected can then make their own contribution to making them feel better. Generally, general preventive measures are considered useful. These include a healthy diet, daily exercise and the abandonment of addictive substances. In some cases, however, a long-term treatment is indicated. The aftercare accompanies her sometimes for a lifetime.

If a hormonal disorder in the adrenal gland is the origin, a replacement therapy is necessary. Blood tests and an adjustment of the therapy take place at regular intervals. In cancer, the aftercare is usually postponed. The focus is on the treatment of the tumor disease. The adynamia then sets itself in the ideal case by itself.

According to medical opinion, depression is a problematic cause. Due to the often unexplained reasons, a treatment is difficult. Physicians determine psychotherapies and a medical accompaniment. A deterioration of the situation can not be excluded. Even small burdens in everyday life can therefore be associated with great consequences.

You can do that yourself

Symptoms such as fatigue, chronic fatigue, tiredness and listlessness are summarized under the keyword "adynamia". Adynamy can have various causes (for example, depression). These causes have to be investigated medically.

However, sufferers can also help themselves to improve their condition. It has been proven that regular sports have an activating effect. The blood circulation is stimulated, the body is supplied with additional oxygen, it form new synaptic connections in the brain and new blood vessels. Emotional stress is also reduced.

Even a balanced, healthy diet with enough vitamins, fiber and other important nutrients helps to improve the overall condition. The body needs certain nutrients to work smoothly. Regular but moderate and conscious eating is important.

In addition, a proper balance between activity and rest periods is helpful. Sufficient sleep (seven to eight hours) and healthy activities throughout the day with appropriate timeouts help to improve many processes in the body. If possible, sufferers should try to activate themselves. However, it is also important to avoid excessive demands. Alcohol and nicotine should be largely dispensed with, as these nourishing poisons rob the body of additional strength.

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