Fatigue To Burnout

Fatigue is the most common, unexplained, complaint presented to health practitioners today, with approximately 50% of all cases identified as having no identifiable cause.

We have a long-term fatigued population due to commonly unresolved answers to their fatigue with, often, unsuccessful treatment. The underlying cause/s of fatigue, I believe, needs to be addressed to correct the imbalance.

‘Adrenal Fatigue’ is a term used broadly over many years, across mainstream and complementary fields of medicine, BUT is it really the Adrenal’s that are Fatigued? I believe it is not.

Did you know that there is over 90 causes of Fatigue? This makes finding a cause difficult and a somewhat lengthy process.

Some common contributors to Fatigue include:
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Chronic exposure to stressors – including WORK stress e.g. long hours
  • Menopause
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Obesity
  • Lack of exercise
  • Cancer
  • Poor dietary intake
  • Malabsorption
  • Poor gut function & unhealthy biome
  • Medications
  • Underlying disease
  • Overuse of stimulants
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Inflammation
  • Heavy metals
  • Environmental toxins & lifestyle factors
  • Virus, bacteria, pathogens

Today, ‘Fatigue’ is being challenged with the term ‘Burnout’ and many organs and systems are orchestrated in this web of dys-regulation contributing to the cause of fatigue.

In relative terms, ‘Burnout’ appears to fit a general criteria for the body’s inability to cope with incoming stressors, affecting overall health and wellbeing.

So what is occurring in BURNOUT?
  • There is no structural abnormality of the adrenal gland
  • The stress adaptation process including the sympathetic nervous system is being compromised
  • The body is unable to ‘adapt’ to the incoming stressor
  • It is a functional stress-related disorder affecting the endocrine system
  • Deficient neurotransmitter activity affecting well-being (eg. Serotonin)

A range of mental and physical signs across many organ systems including the nervous system are presented clinically, such as;

  • “I feel wired but tired”
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Lowered energy
  • Tiredness
  • Brain fog
  • Increased irritability
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Negative thoughts or general melancholy
  • Lack of exercise & low motivation
  • Poor dietary habits e.g. desire for sugary or carbohydrate foods
  • Anxiousness
  • Headache
  • Bowel changes e.g. IBS
  • Reliance on stimulants

Naturopathic Steps Towards Healing


  • Understand the underlying mechanisms of what has led to the fatigue
  • Endocrine system review, clinical medical history, genetics
  • How is it affecting the adrenals and cortisol release
  • Assessing nutritional, herbal and lifestyle factors involved to support the correction.


  • Functional Pathology (e.g. nutritional deficiency, cortisol levels, hormone analysis, microbiome testing, genetics)
  • Herbal Medicine choices (Adaptogen, Nervine, Anxiolytic)
  • Nutritional Medicine (cellular co-factors/nutrients, vitamins and minerals, methylation, mitochondria, amino acids, pre-cursors, probiotic)
  • Dietary “Food as Medicine” – healing whole foods with balanced nutrients for cellular energy
  • Lifestyle enhancements (exercise, social, environmental)

Is it time you had your fatigue assessed? Begin by reviewing your life habits, including food choices, exercise, mood and behaviour, sleep patterns and bowel motions. Notice anything abnormal?


More To Explore


G.E.M.M. (Gut Ecology & Metabolic Modulation) could be the missing link in restoring your health.

Humans have existed on this planet for thousands of years without the benefit of any of today’s technology. This tells us that every cell of our body is naturally equipped with all the processes it needs to remain healthy. So how can we support our wellness?

Read More »