What is Adynamia?

The Adynamia refers to a state of general fatigue and severe lethargy . It occurs as a result of various physical and mental disorders.

What is adynamia?

Adynamia describes a state of general exhaustion and pronounced lack of drive.

Adynamia is not an independent disease, 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. Important physical processes are reduced with Adynamie in order to save energy. The causes of adynamia are manifold. It is often based on very different diseases.

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


So there is no single cause for 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 physical functions are reduced.

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

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

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

Symptoms, ailments & signs

Adynamia has various symptoms of exhaustion . Those affected feel tired and slack, have no motivation and overall feel less well-being. Depression and apathetic states often occur, which are expressed by indifference and withdrawal from social life. Physical complaints can also occur.

For example, some people suffer from headaches that can develop into severe migraines as the disease progresses . Acute or chronic muscle pain can also occur. This is accompanied by twitching, movement disorders and sensitivity disorders in the affected area. Persistent exhaustion also affects the gastrointestinal tract – nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramps and occasionally stress-related diarrhea occur.

In the long term, irritable bowel syndrome can occur. Adynamia can cause a fever that manifests itself in sweating, an increased heart rate and other typical symptoms. Other physical symptoms are sore throat and joint, swollen lymph nodes and shivering. Depending on the severity of the disease, these symptoms can have a significant impact on wellbeing and lead to paralyzing mental and physical fatigue. Most of the time, the symptoms appear insidious and worsen as the disease progresses.

Diagnosis & course

The diagnosis of adynamia is easy. It is “only” a symptom that can already be determined by visual inspection. The real job is to diagnose the underlying medical condition.

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

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

When should you go to the doctor?

Adynamie denotes the opposite of dynamics and abundance of energy. If it comes to a pronounced exhaustion situation and increasing listlessness, the person concerned should take it seriously. The background to this sudden or gradual loss of energy should be clarified by a doctor. Adynamia, however, is more a symptom of a disease than a disease value in itself. It is important to realize that for some reason the body has cut back all energies to indicate a problem.

An affected person should visit the doctor at the latest when the 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 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 for clarification. 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 called in. An internal medicine doctor can check for metabolic imbalances or thyroid dysfunction. He should also look into other ways to track down the adynamia.

Treatment & Therapy

Treating adynamia naturally includes treating the underlying disease. In many cases it is easy. For example, the hormone deficiency in Addison’s disease can be treated with substitution therapy.

The 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. Once serious infections have been identified, these should also be treated well. The same is true of diabetes.

It becomes more difficult with cancer , since cancer treatment with chemotherapy in turn increases the adynamia. Life-saving treatment of the underlying disease has priority here. The treatment of diseases with adynamia as the main symptom, such as B. CFS or depression, because the causes are often not known.

Outlook & forecast

As a result of the adynamia, the patient generally feels very tired and listless. The patient’s resilience drops extremely and a withdrawal from social life ensues. In most cases, the further course of the adynamia depends heavily on the causal disease. However, it is not uncommon for psychological complaints 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 complaints and sadness. Sometimes those affected also suffer from suicidal thoughts. In some cases, those affected can injure themselves.

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


A general recommendation for the prevention of adynamia is adherence to a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, plenty of exercise, no smoking and little negative stress . This reduces the likelihood of developing diseases that cause adynamia, but it cannot exclude them.


The extent to which follow-up care is necessary after diagnosed adynamia depends on the underlying disease. Some patients manage to get rid of the typical symptoms permanently. However, no immunity has then set in. Rather, the success is due to the lack of the causative disease.

Those affected can then make a contribution to making them feel better themselves. Generally speaking, general preventive measures are considered useful. These include a healthy diet, daily exercise and avoiding addictive substances. For some sufferers, however, long-term treatment is indicated. Follow-up care accompanies them for a lifetime.

If a hormonal disorder in the adrenal gland is the cause, substitution therapy is necessary. Blood tests and therapy adjustments 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. Ideally, the adynamia will subside by itself.

According to medical opinion, depression is a problematic cause. Treatment is difficult because of the often unexplained reasons. Doctors determine psychotherapies and medical support. A deterioration in the situation cannot be ruled out. Even small burdens 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 (for example, depression ). It is important to get to the bottom of these causes medically.

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

A balanced, healthy diet with sufficient vitamins , fiber and other important nutrients also helps improve your overall condition. The body needs certain nutrients to function properly. Eating regularly, but in moderation and consciously, is important.

A correct balance between activity and rest is also helpful. Sufficient sleep (seven to eight hours) and healthy activities throughout the day with appropriate time out help to improve many processes in the body. If possible, those affected should try to activate themselves. However, it is also important to avoid being overwhelmed. On alcohol and nicotine should be largely dispensed with, since these social drugs also rob the body force.