Many of my patients report feeling “burnt out”.
What exactly does “burnt out” mean?
Burn out is a sensation or feeling of exhaustion that often occurs after a period of high stress, long term stress or both.
Why does this happen?
There are a number of possible explanations for exhaustion, the most common of which should be ruled out:
- Hypothyroidism – an underactive thyroid can lead to exhaustion, feelings of coldness, hair loss, weight gain, menstrual irregularities and sluggish thinking.
- Low iron – this is a common concern for women due to blood loss each month with menstrual cycles.
- Burnt out adrenal glands or adrenal fatigue. The adrenal glands are under-recognized as the source of a number of health problems. The adrenals are your stress glands. They help your body to deal with stress along with a host of other duties: blood pressure, blood sugar, hormone balance, and production of anti-inflammatories. Signs that the adrenals may not be working well include burn out, hypoglycemia, high/low or unstable blood pressure and presence of inflammatory or autoimmune conditions.
What is the naturopathic treatment for burn out?
Address the root of the problem.
- Reduce stress where possible and exercise to offset the effects of stress.
- Have blood tests done to determine whether your exhaustion stems from physical conditions like low iron or hypothyroidism.
- Support the adrenal glands. These glands sit on top of your kidneys and need certain vitamins and minerals to function normally. Vitamin B5, B6, C, magnesium, zinc, potassium are crucial to healthy adrenal gland function. In addition, adaptogenic herbs like ashwaganda, ginseng, eleuthrococcus, rhodiola and schisandra can be used to support healthy adrenal gland function.
Blood tests that may help diagnose burn out:
ferritin, TSH, free T3, free T4, DHEAs, testosterone, cortisol – 8-9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Feeling burnt out? Overwhelmed? Exhausted? It’s no way to live and it can be corrected once you know the root of the problem.