Burnout? How A Blood Test Can Help

Feeling exhausted, detached, and constantly swamped at work? You may be experiencing work burnout. Most people associate burnout with its mental signs and symptoms. However, burnout’s effects – much like chronic stress – can reach way beyond the brain, affecting everything from immune function to metabolic processes, and hormone levels.

The human body is perfectly capable of handling stress, but very unfit to cope with chronic stress – which is defined as 3 hours or more of stress per day over a prolonged period of time. Chronic stress and unbalanced cortisol levels can exert a kind of domino effect on all connected biological systems. The term “allostatic load” represents the physiological problems or “wear and tear” that affect different body systems leading to increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases – due to elevated cholesterol and blood sugar levels – and immune problems.

By looking at specific biomarkers such as blood sugar, cholesterol, inflammation markers, and certain hormones, a blood test can reveal the effects of burnout on your body and help detect problems before they occur.


Cortisol is a hormone secreted by the adrenal gland as the body reacts to a stressor, it prepares it for fight and flight conditions and is a significant biomarker for stress.

Blood Sugar and HbA1c

Stress triggers the release of cortisol into the blood, which could lead to an unexpected rise in blood glucose levels.

Cholesterol and Triglycerides

One theory dictates that stress causes the body to produce more energy for the fight or flight response, which causes the liver to produce and secrete more of the bad cholesterol, LDL.

CRP (C-reactive protein)

A type of protein produced by the liver in reaction to inflammation. Stress increases cortisol levels which suppresses the immune system, making it prone to inflammation.

So to wrap up, mental and emotional stress may lead to physical stress, and vice versa. We get it,  perhaps knowing the effects of stress on your body is more stressful, but at least it will push you to help your body fight the stress and stop it from doing more damage. This leads to a stronger mindset, getting you back on track to just regular stress – one that’s completely normal. So let’s get testing!