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Stress

22 February 2011

Saliva and blood tests might detect burnout before it happens

Your blood and the level of a hormone in your saliva could reveal if you're on the point of burnout.

Your blood and the level of a hormone in your saliva could reveal if you're on the point of burnout, according to new research. In addition to professional and personal suffering, if ignored, burnout puts distressed workers at further risk of physical and psychological problems.

This is significant, as burnout, clinical depression, or anxiety related to the workplace affect many people.

The study was undertaken by Dr Sonia Lupien and Robert-Paul Juster of the Centre for Studies on Human Stress of Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital and the University of Montreal.

Chronic stress and misbalanced cortisol levels can exert a kind of domino effect on connected biological systems. The term "allostatic load" represents the physiological problems or "wear and tear" that ensue in these different systems related to risks for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and immune problems.

By looking at various factors such as insulin, sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure and inflammation, an allostatic load index can be constructed and then used to detect problems before they occur.

 

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