Burn-out, a multi-faceted syndrome
Physical and emotional exhaustion as a result of continuous strain
Burn-out is physical and emotional exhaustion as a result of continuous strain, constant social encounters and daily stress. Many of the symptoms of burn-out syndrome are listed in the following:
- Sleep disorders, sleep apnoea syndrome
- Chronic fatigue
- Lack of relaxation
- Ability to recuperate is impaired
- Circling thoughts
- Psychosomatic complaints
- Gastrointestinal complaints
- Chronic pain
- Frequent infections
- Vascular diseases
- Increased risk of diabetes
- Increased risk of arterial hypertension, heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases
- Stress hormone imbalance, cortisone deficiency
- Difficulty concentrating
- Constant state of alarm
- Loss of libido, menstrual cycle disorders, childlessness
- Risk of addiction
- Drive disorders
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Thyroid hormone hypofunction
- Adrenal gland insufficiency
Firstly, it is worth visiting various specialist physicians (including rheumatologists, cardiologists, angiologists, orthopaedic specialists, gastroenterologists, etc.) to determine the cause
Our practice can also serve as a point of contact for clarification of various kinds.
The increase in abdominal fat in ageing males is an important risk factor for the development of diabetes mellitus. Poorly managed diabetics are often tired and weary and develop depression more often than the average person.
Manifest hypothyroidism can cause symptoms similar to those of chronic fatigue syndrome or burn-out syndrome. These symptoms can be eliminated completely by administering thyroid hormones. Often however, the treadmill from which the patient is no longer able to escape leads to painless (autoimmune-related) inflammation of the thyroid gland (Hashimoto’s disease). Slightly increased TSH is measured in the blood, but this does not explain the full picture of the disease. Instead, it may be due to secondary causes and can disappear again after treating the burn-out syndrome. Only concomitant thyroid hormone therapy is necessary in this case.
Regulation between the pituitary gland and the adrenal gland is disturbed in patients with burn-out syndrome or those suffering from endogenic depression. We ascertain this via the CRH test (blood analysis with multiple blood samples after the injection of a stimulating native hormone). Low-dose, concomitant cortisone substitution therapy can help such patients. Severely ill patients experience an inhibited reproductive system. In times of crisis, females fail to menstruate and males experience erection problems. Patients have low testosterone levels in their blood; concomitant testosterone therapy can therefore offer good support in therapeutic efforts to alleviate their complaints.
Therapeutic strategies for burn-out syndrome:
- Better management of one’s own reserves
- Learning anti-stress rituals and regularly incorporating them in daily life
- Learning to say no
- More time for sport and hobbies
- Work-life balance
- Taking time out
- Viewing disease as an opportunity to restructure one’s life
- Changing one’s inner attitude: thankfulness, satisfaction, demarcation, etc.
The patients require complex therapeutic intervention by both their GP, if necessary specialist physicians, and possibly a psychologist.