General Weakness

What Causes Feeling Weak?

Feeling weak can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'minor' to 'generally fatal'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose feeling weak, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "feeling weak" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Low Carbohydrate Diet Consequences
  • Excess Water Consumption
  • Brain Tumor
  • Male Menopause
  • Dehydration
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hepatitis

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
chronic abdominal pain
afternoon headaches
shoulder tightness
regular unexplained nausea
mild abdominal discomfort
recent "don't care" attitude
bitter taste in mouth
afternoon coffee/sugar craving
frequent confusion/disorientation
being fatigued
being very easily irritated
unsound sleep
... and more than 110 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of feeling weak:
Cause Probability Status
Low Carbohydrate Diet Consequences 95% Confirm
Brain Tumor 25% Unlikely
Hepatitis 22% Unlikely
Male Menopause 4% Ruled out
Hypoglycemia 2% Ruled out
Excess Water Consumption 0% Ruled out
Hyperparathyroidism 0% Ruled out
Dehydration 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the General Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about general weakness:
Do you have a sensation of general weakness?
Possible responses:
→ No / don't know
→ Occasional slight weakness but usually I'm fine
→ Frequent slight / occasional moderate weakness
→ Frequent moderate / occasional severe weakness
→ Severe weakness (almost) always, I can't function
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate general weakness, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Andropause/Male Menopause

The sensation of weakness, especially muscle weakness, may be due to the loss of muscle mass seen in andropause.

Dehydration

A loss of 4-5% of body weight of fluid decreases the capacity for hard muscular work by 20-30%.

Effects of a Low Carbohydrate Diet

Gradually increasing weakness is a sign of ketosis.  The May 2004 Annals of Internal Medicine study showed that most of the Atkins Dieters suffered significantly more general weakness.

Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
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