Cracking the Code on Burnout and the HPA Axis

Cracking the Code on Burnout and the HPA Axis

I’m sure over the past few years, most if not all of us have experienced some form of burnout. Burnout is defined as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”. I’d argue that burnout extends beyond the workplace. Burnout is encompassed by three aspects:

  1. Feeling of exhaustion or energy depletion
  2. Increased mental distance from one’s job/life or feelings of negativity or cynicism related to one’s job/life
  3. Reduced efficacy 

In healthy individuals, cortisol is secreted in a circadian rhythm that is controlled by our hypothalamus, which receives constant feedback from our environment. Cortisol levels are determined by the health of our adrenal glands. When we encounter a stressor, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is stimulated. 

So, what does this all mean? 

Stressors increase cortisol production. Eventually, the HPA axis signals to our body to return cortisol levels back into normal ranges. But when we experience burnout, HPA Axis Dysfunction can occur, eventually leading to diminished cortisol production. This means your body may no longer adequately respond and adapt to stress. Burnout can lead to other effects including: 

  • Poor memory and attention
  • Increased risk for cardiovascular disease
  • Lowered immunity
  • Disruptions in gut health

The good news is that the effects of burnout and stress are reversible. Many interventions have been tested and shown to help those experiencing burnout, including stress management, mindfulness-based meditation, counseling, and creative pursuits. 

NeuroWellness Program can also help to identify and address any imbalances that you may be experiencing. Testing your neurotransmitters and adrenal hormone levels with the HPA profile can help us develop a comprehensive view of your overall health and create a Targeted Nutritional Therapy approach to support your HPA axis balance and improve your health outcomes. 

If you’re ready to begin healing from burnout, having your neuroendocrine system checked is a great place to start. 

Reach out today and let’s talk about what the next best step is for you and your health and wellness goals. 

In case you missed it…


Have you ever heard the old maxim, “The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison?”

Well, it’s true.

Even the ‘healthiest’ fruits and veggies can be unhealthy for YOU.

In this new episode, you’ll learn why the inflammation that comes from food allergies and food sensitivities matters for your brain and your health.  

I’m talking about food allergies, food sensitivities, INFLAMMATIONLEAKY GUT and I’m asking you: is the FOOD you’re eating making you SICK?

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