Why are the poor physically weak

Feeling weak - causes, treatment and diseases

Feeling weak for no apparent reason? What can the causes be?
Everyone knows weakness - temporarily. Usually we know the reasons for this ourselves. We have overworked ourselves, our relationship is in a crisis, we have lovesickness or stress at work. In addition to these psychological causes of weakness, we can also easily assess many physical causes: a cold is looming or a flu-like infection. Feelings of weakness can also herald a serious illness. We feel listless and listless, dull and often sleepy.

Where do we feel weak?

We can feel weak all over our body or just in one place. We can easily distinguish a feeling of weakness from weak muscles on individual parts of the body. If a muscle is too weak, we cannot lift an object - we realize that it is too heavy. When we feel weak, we cannot lift at all - not even easy.

Depending on where we feel this weakness, our hips sag when we put weight on the corresponding leg; if the legs are weak, the knees fail. If the back is weak, we have to sit down or lean on it; if the neck is weak, we cannot keep the neck upright.

The weakness in the body regions is often due to tension in the connective tissue of the skin. This is so tense that the muscles cannot work; they are "wrapped up" so tightly that they do not move.

General weakness

A general feeling of weakness without psychological triggers or underlying illnesses is usually due to incorrect breathing. If the breathing muscles are so tense that the lungs cannot expand, the body does not get enough oxygen and thus too little energy.


Feelings of weakness can have a variety of causes, and therefore additional symptoms are important in order to make a diagnosis. Natural triggers are jet lag or a change in the weather or traveling in an unfamiliar climate.

Fatigue is also a typical symptom of serious illnesses, such as anemia. The doctor can easily determine this by measuring the iron content in the blood.

Persistent weakness is also a classic symptom of depressive illness. At the same time, depression occurs as a comorbidity with other serious illnesses, for example diabetes, cancer, heart problems and Parkinson's. All of these diseases are also accompanied by a general feeling of weakness.

Depression can be recognized by other symptoms. Those who feel weak because of jet lag or a cold, for example, do not lack self-esteem, nor are they plagued by feelings of guilt or compulsive fears. However, these are classic for depression.

In addition, someone who feels weak without a corresponding mental disorder does not lose interest in pleasurable activities, neglects their friendships or loses their hobbies. On the contrary: People who feel weak because of a change in the weather, for example, are usually annoyed that they cannot do what they want to do.

In women, menstruation and premenstrual syndrome are often the trigger for general weakness that usually lasts until the third day of their period. Other changes in the hormonal balance are also associated with feelings of weakness, namely menopause and puberty.

Parents despair over pubescent children who lie around unwashed in bed for hours, “don't get in their shoes” or claim to be too limp for a weekend trip they wanted themselves. This is also due to the age-typical change in moods, but this “moody” behavior can in turn have to do with real feelings of weakness.

General feelings of weakness

General feelings of weakness often have a psychosomatic cause. In today's world, a major trigger is negative stress, i.e. the feeling of being physically, mentally and emotionally overwhelmed. This is often someone with precarious living conditions.

A lack of exercise clogs the blood vessels, and as a result the brain has less blood flow. Those affected suffer from poor concentration, general feelings of weakness and learning disorders. If performance decreases with the lack of exercise, those affected are considered unsportsmanlike and no longer take part in the physical testing of their peers.

The lack of exercise also leads to a vicious circle. If general feelings of weakness result from a lack of exercise, the weakness in turn means that the affected person is increasingly unable to cope with moving, and the feeling of weakness increases as a result.

At the end of the day there can be chronically ill feelings that can develop into serious problems: insomnia, alcoholism, or depression.

Physical illnesses

Various illnesses are associated with feelings of weakness. Typical are: colds, gastrointestinal flu, rheumatism, heart muscle inflammation, hypothyroidism, stroke, low blood pressure, high blood pressure, intestinal inflammation, ulcerative colitis, kidney and liver diseases, hormonal disorders, autoimmune diseases, lung diseases and cancer (especially intestinal, lung, Pancreas, liver, kidney and brain tumors).

Colds and flu-like infections are characterized by weakness as the first symptom. In addition, there is itching in the nose and throat, headache, shivering, then hoarseness, sore throat, runny nose, cough, body aches and fever. The fatigue increases as the disease progresses.

In Pfeiffer's glandular fever, swollen lymph nodes in the neck and neck are added to the general weakness, as well as fever and sore throat.

In the case of sinusitis, exhaustion is accompanied by a feeling of pressure in the nose and forehead, chronic runny nose and headache, hoarseness and cough.

In addition to fatigue, anemia shows pale skin, dizziness and sensitivity to cold.

Blood pressure

Too high blood pressure leads to general weakness as does too low blood pressure. Those who suffer from low blood pressure feel particularly weak in the morning. During the day he tires quickly. In addition, there are cold feet and hands, as well as depressive moods and sleep problems.

High blood pressure goes unnoticed longer than lower blood pressure. In addition to general weakness, dizziness when standing or stooping, difficulty breathing and palpitations, nosebleeds and difficulty sleeping are early signs.

Heart disease

General feelings of weakness and fatigue are a key symptom of heart failure. Because weak heart functions affect most other organs, and so various inadequately working parts of the body lead to weakness.

If the left half of the heart is working too weakly, this manifests itself in breathing difficulties, coughing at night and asthma-like problems. If the right half of the heart is affected, the feet swell and the blood accumulates in the neck veins. Sick people gain weight, even if they eat little, and digestion is disturbed.

Every heart failure is accompanied by a nocturnal urge to urinate, heartbeat disorders, damp and cold skin, insomnia and unfounded fears.

A heartbeat that is too slow (bradycardia) begins with a general feeling of weakness, which increases to severe attacks of weakness and even leads to brief loss of consciousness. In addition, there are sweats, shortness of breath and tightness of the chest.

An inflammation of the heart muscle caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi shows itself as general weakness, shortness of breath and disturbances of the heart rhythm. In addition, the heart, chest and muscles ache.

Diseases of the lungs

Lung diseases, whether pneumonia or lung cancer, mean that breathing is impaired. With this we take in too little oxygen and therefore we feel weak. Bronchitis also leads to exhaustion and fatigue. In addition to general weakness, diseases of the lungs show up with shortness of breath, cough, fever, headache and aching limbs.

Kidney disease

Feelings of weakness are also a key symptom for diseases of the kidney, especially in the case of kidney inflammation and chronic kidney failure. Kidney inflammation shows, in addition to fatigue, edema in the face, eyes, hands and feet, as well as headache and body aches.

Kidney failure presents with frequent and uncontrolled urination, pain around the kidneys, fatigue, and paleness. In addition, there are visual disturbances, itching on the skin, nausea, loss of consciousness and a strong bad breath after dried urine.

Liver problems

The liver produces hormones, organizes metabolism and eliminates pollutants. That is why liver damage affects the entire organism. Liver disease is associated with general weakness. These include alcohol heptatitis, fatty liver from alcoholics, cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis due to obesity, viral infections, poisoning and side effects of drugs.

In addition to exhaustion, there is a lack of drive and a lack of appetite. The abdomen swells up, and those affected feel a feeling of pressure in the upper abdomen. The feces are very light or very dark, the urine takes on a dark yellow-brown color.


If the stomach and therefore are inadequate, those affected suffer from severe exhaustion, abdominal pain and diarrhea. In the case of diarrhea, the weakness is exacerbated by a lack of potassium.

Crohn's disease, stomach ulcers, and intestinal inflammation often lead to anemia. This in turn leads to a lack of vitamin B12 and folic acid, which manifests itself in chronic fatigue.

Even those who suffer from upset stomachs because they cannot tolerate certain foods tire quickly and feel weak.


Alcoholism has both physical and psychosocial effects, and both are linked to feelings of weakness. The poisoning of the entire organism and damage to important organs such as the brain, liver and heart weaken performance, as does the increasing despair of the sick.

They are increasingly isolating themselves to hide their addiction. Except for other affected people, at some point nobody wants to have anything to do with them because they tell confused things, do not show up for appointments or are hopelessly drunk.

The sick cannot control their emotions, project their problems onto other people, are over-sensitive to criticism, express joy, anger, sadness and anger too violently. The addiction also leads to indifference to former hobbies, friendships, and family.

Although some alcoholics try to curb the effects of excessive exercise in the early stages of their illness, other people often do not notice their general weakness. But the more the physical decline progresses, the less it is possible to deny the general weakness. At some point, those affected just manage to stumble to the kiosk to get the next dose of their addictive substance.

Diabetes mellitus

Diabetics are well aware of weakness and tiredness is a burden for them. Often the weakness is a very early symptom. Those affected then notice that they have a problem because they cannot get out of bed in the morning because of hypoglycaemia.


If the immune system reacts hypersensitively to certain substances, then medicine calls this allergies. Typical of allergies are skin rashes, asthma, coughs and runny nose, swelling, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and circulatory problems. General weakness is often associated with an allergy.

Psychosocial Consequences

Persistent weakness often leads to mental health problems and can trigger depression. Those affected are severely restricted in their everyday life, and enjoyable activities tire them. When their friends go to parties, when the family hikes, when they want to see a strange city on a weekend trip, they fail.

Many of those affected become desperate and think “I'm always sick”. Worse still: Neither she nor her environment can at some point differentiate between emotional crises and physical lows. Those affected often have the reputation of being simulators who always feel “weak” when they don't feel like doing something.

Without treatment, disability can also result. Then there is the social isolation. If you leave after an hour at the birthday party because you feel weak, your friends will only invite you pro forma at some point and not at all in the end.

If organic diseases are the cause, they can be found out by a doctor. If the weakness has psychological reasons, these are more difficult to detect, but the psychiatrist, psychologist or psychotherapist can help here too.

A healthy diet with enough vitamins can't hurt, and if a vitamin or mineral deficiency is the cause, the weakness will soon pass.

What can you do?

Check your living conditions: Are you under a lot of negative stress? Do you eat unhealthily, do you exercise too little? Do you ventilate your apartment sufficiently? Do you exercise outdoors? Are you severely overweight? These are all triggers for general weakness.

In any case, reduce your consumption of alcohol, cigarettes and coffee. But refrain from self-treatment if an avoidable cause for your symptoms is not obvious. If there are basic illnesses, you can make things worse with “self-medication”, even if the findings are apparently unambiguous. If you have depression, for example, you will need long psychotherapy in addition to antidepressants, and if you are anemic you may need a blood transfusion.

In the case of general weakness due to extreme obesity, a “quick fix diet” is not enough, you have to change your diet over the long term and systematically choose appropriate sports. For example, if you go from zero to 180 and run for miles every morning, you can have cardiovascular problems first and bone problems second.

In the case of intricate psychophysical feelings of weakness, self-treatment only rarely helps, because you have got used to the role of the "weak" and build up a new self-image even when the physical means are effective.

The way out of weakness

It is not without difficulties. For example, her family and friends may have long since got used to her weakness. If you're the one who urges you to hike through the forest in the morning, then that's crazy a role system that worked - also for those around you. Such changes are not without conflict.

Some sufferers also have problems with not getting an “extra sausage” anymore. In times of their weakness they were not simulators, but they have gotten used to the fact that “stronger” ones make decisions for them.

Last but not least, some false friends who have built up their "strength" through the weakness of those affected also disappear. Because taking care of someone also gives you power. If such “friends” now notice that you no longer need their “help”, they may try to keep you dependent. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

This text complies with the requirements of specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.

Dr. phil. Utz Anhalt, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
  • Gerhard Köhler: Textbook of Homeopathy: Volume 2: Practical Information on Medicinal Choice, Thieme, 2013
  • Sven Sommer: Homeopathy, Gräfe and Unzer, 2015
  • Pschyrembel Online: www.pschyrembel.de (accessed: September 6, 2019), asthenia
  • Lodovico Rosato et al .: "Post-thyroidectomy chronic asthenia: self-deception or disease?", In: Endocrine, Volume 48 Issue 2, 2014, Springer Link
  • Werner Tolksdorf: The preoperative stress, Springer, 1985
  • Robert F. Schmidt, Gerhard Thews: Human Physiology, Springer, 2013

Important NOTE:
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.