What is Asthenia & What are its Common Causes?

What Is Asthenia?

Asthenia is a medical condition characterized by extreme weakness and lack of energy in the body to do any task. An individual with Asthenia will be abnormally fatigued without any effort or doing any activity.

A manifestation of Asthenia is the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which is an extremely disabling disease in which the affected individual is constantly tired to an extent that performing daily tasks becomes a challenge for that individual. This severely dents the quality of life of the individual.

The primary presenting features aide from the constant fatigue in individuals with Asthenia are fever, lack of energy, muscle cramping, poor muscle tone and strength.

What Is Asthenia?

What Are The Common Causes of Asthenia?

Some of the common causes for Asthenia are:

Anxiety/Depression: An individual battling anxiety or depression will constantly feel fatigued and tired. Studies suggest that about 50% of cases of Asthenia are seen in individuals with Anxiety or Depression. This is more commonly seen in people with potentially serious or life threatening medical conditions which makes the individual anxious and depressed and severely affects the quality of life of the individual resulting in Asthenia.

Sedentary Lifestyle: World health Organization suggests that around 70% of the total population in the world lack the physical activities that are required by the body on a daily basis causing the muscles to become weak resulting in Asthenia.

Age: Age also plays a vital role in the development of Asthenia. As an individual grows older, the muscles and tissue become weak. This is more so when the individual is under constant stress leading to Asthenia.

Infections: There are certain infections in the body that take a lot of time to go away like tuberculosis or hepatitis. Such infections may make an individual virtually disabled such that he or she cannot carry out daily tasks making their muscles weak causing Asthenia.

Chronic Medical Conditions: There are certain medical conditions like myasthenia gravis or muscular dystrophy which causes gradual degeneration of the muscles resulting in muscle weakness and fatigue which are the primary causes of Asthenia.

Additionally, conditions like diabetes, renal dysfunction, or cancer may also result in decreasing the quality of life of the affected individual and make the muscles weak resulting in the development of Asthenia.

Pregnancy: A pregnant female may feel constantly fatigued and tired especially in the third trimester of pregnancy. This results in lack of activity which causes the muscles to become weak ultimately resulting in the development of Asthenia.

Medication Related Muscle Disorders: Certain medications given for chronic illnesses have a side effect profile of muscle weakness. This results in the development of a condition like Asthenia

Chemotherapy/Radiation Therapy: Chemotherapy or radiation used for treating certain forms of cancer can also result in muscle weakness causing Asthenia.

Vitamin Deficiencies: Certain vitamin deficiencies also cause an individual to feel weak and tired resulting in development of Asthenia.

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