Burn-out, a term used to describe a set of symptoms consisting of difficulty sleeping, low energy, fatigue, headache, anxiety, depression, lack of concentration, impaired immunity, frequent colds/flu, low libido.
If you experience some of these listed symptoms, you may have over-worked adrenal glands. Your adrenal glands help your body cope with stress by secreting hormones, namely cortisol and DHEA, which are directly responsible for combating the effects of stress, regulate your sleep and wake cycle, modulate your sex hormones and act as an anti-inflammatory agent. Burn-out happens when your adrenal glands are fatigued due to long-term physical or mental stress.
The signs and symptoms of a Burn-out are usually subtle at first, where you may only experience basic fatigue, anxiety or insomnia. These conditions tend to be amplified by lack of sun, looming work deadlines, relationships or life changes – stress.
External stressors that may contribute to a Burn-out:
▪ Feeling that you have little or no control over your work
▪ Doing work that’s monotonous or unchallenging
▪ Lack of recognition or rewards for good work
▪ Unclear or overly demanding job expectations
▪ Working in a chaotic or high-pressure environment
▪ Perfectionist tendencies
▪ The need to be in control [reluctance to delegate]
▪ Type A personality
▪ Pessimistic view of yourself and the world
▪ Improper work/life balance [not enough time for social activites]
▪ Inability to say ‘no’ [taking on too many responsibilities]
▪ Lack of sleep
▪ Lack of close, supportive relationships
Treatment for a Burn-out:
You can support your adrenal glands with healthy lifestyle choices, a whole food diet, exercise and adrenal function nutrients. Whole food diet: avoid / reduce stimulants such caffeine, sugar and alcohol to aid adrenal gland recovery. Eat foods in its most natural state.
Balance your blood sugar levels, to avoid a cortisol spike. Aim to eat 3 main meals and 2 snacks daily. Increase complex carbohydrates that include soluble and insoluble fibers to help the body sustain energy. Increase foods rich in vitamin C nutrients. When you have a burnout, the body is often nutrient impaired. Eat lots of colorful fruits and vegetables; you can also include a multi vitamin to support your nutrient status.
Increase your omega oils, anti-inflammatory nutrient. Eat oily fish and nuts & seeds. Hydrate and get lots of sleep.
Exercise – engage in light to moderate exercise only. Intense exercise will cause physical stress and increase the burden on your adrenal glands. Identify your underlying cause of stress. Create a strategy to deal with it.
If you have experienced stress over a period of time, you may require a more integrative/preventative approach that looks at your hormones and possibly add adrenal glandulars to enhance the treatment.