What Causes Generalized Weakness?

Generalized weakness
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Generalized weakness can have numerous causes.

Aging changes the body.

Ask anyone over 30.

A common complaint of folks a few decades beyond age 30 is a sense of feeling weak and tired.

Sometimes, this is a result of merely getting older.

Other times, the generalized weakness is a symptom of a more serious ailment.

According to a recent VeryWell Health article titled “Common Causes of Generalized Weakness,” it is important to tell your physician about your symptoms.

Generalized weakness can be caused by various ailments.
Asthma is one common cause of generalized weakness.

Numerous medical diagnoses can result in generalized weakness.

As a result, your physician may have to rule out options through additional questions and testing.

Your physician may ask if the weakness is confined to a specific area of the body.

If the answer is yes, your physician may further evaluate those muscles or test for a stroke.

If you tell your physician (or emergency medical responders, if you have had an “episode”) your generalized weakness is accompanied by shortness of breath, they will dismiss stroke or shock and evaluate for anaphylactic reactions, heart failure, COPD, or asthma as possible causes.

Low blood pressure and fatigue often co-occur with generalized weakness.

Endocrine problems can result in weakness and fatigue.

Other common medical conditions include shock, hypoglycemia, severe hypothermia, poisons, and low oxygenation.

Shock can be a result of heat exhaustion, dehydration, bleeding, and sepsis.

It can also lead to critically low blood pressure.

Hypoglycemia is commonly associated with diabetes as well as extended times between eating snacks or meals.

Severe hypothermia results in a loss of energy and fatigue.

Poisons and medications can lead to generalized weakness and even fainting.

Carbon monoxide can be an especially silent killer.


Health issues like allergic reactions, heart failure, and asthma often lead to chest pain and trouble breathing.

When this happens, carbon dioxide builds up in the bloodstream, and oxygen is lacking.

In these cases, generalized weakness results from body cells and tissues not being supplied with enough oxygen to function optimally.

Should you experience weakness, be sure to answer your doctor thoroughly.

Do I have your attention yet?

If yes, remember that generalized weakness is addressed by treating its cause.

The honesty of your answers to your physician’s questions could be the difference between life and death, depending on the medical condition.

Reference: VeryWell Health (Feb. 5, 2023) “Common Causes of Generalized Weakness”

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