by Dr. Lawrence Wilson

© January 2019, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.


All information in this article is for educational purposes only.  It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.


            Definition.  ÔBurnoutŐ refers to nutritional depletion of the adrenal glands.  However, it is also a more general term that refers to lowered energy, lowered vitality, and a poorer overall state of health of the body.  It is a somewhat general term, but we define it precisely using hair analysis.  It is useful to explain a personŐs symptoms and even a personŐs psychological outlook.


Causes for burnout.  The underlying cause is a derangement of body chemistry.  It involves nutrient deficiencies, excessive toxic metals or toxic chemicals, and other problems such as chronic infections in the body.  The causes and effects at other levels include bad diets, bad eating habits, overwhelming stress, and emotional problems.  These cause nutrient depletion and toxin buildup in the body.  Fortunately, these conditions are reversible, although it takes some effort and persistence to undo the damage.




            Among the many symptoms are fatigue, often unrelenting no matter how much sleep a person obtains.  Another is depression.  Others range from low blood sugar, anxieties, skin problems, headaches, constipation, impaired digestion, lowered immune response, infections, candida albicans and other fungal infections, chronic pain in the body, brain fog. mood swings, mind racing, insomnia and others.

            As the condition progresses, however, it can lead to almost any symptom or condition from simple allergies to cancer.




            According to Dr. EckŐs research, the main factors responsible for the sodium reading on a hair mineral analysis are the level of aldosterone, an adrenal hormone, along with the activity of the rennin-angiotensin mechanism of the kidneys.  Low aldosterone is associated with reduced adrenal glandular activity.  In some cases, the kidneys may also cause reduced sodium in the blood, and eventually in the tissues of the body.




The most important single adrenal exhaustion or burnout pattern on a properly performed hair mineral analysis is a sodium level less than about 8 mg% on a hair mineral analysis, but only when the hair is not washed at the laboratory.  This is critical for accurate sodium readings, as this is a water-soluble mineral that is easily washed out if the hair is washed at the lab, as is often the case.

            While a low sodium level on a hair test is considered Ňbasic burnoutÓ, there are several other indicators of adrenal burnout or exhaustion on a hair mineral analysis.  Among the most reliable are the following:


á           Four lows pattern.

á           A three lows pattern.

á           Potassium less than about 5 mg%.

á           A sodium/potassium ratio less than about 2, and definitely if it is less than 1.

á           A very slow oxidation rate.


When a person has more than one of the indicators for adrenal burnout, we refer to it as double burnout, triple burnout of even a quadruple or quintuple burnout pattern.  This simple way to quantify burnout is often extremely helpful to assess the degree of burnout in many cases.




Assessing the number of burnout indicators that are present on a hair mineral analysis in which the hair has not been washed at the laboratory is one of the most important assessments to make when interpreting any hair mineral analysis.  Research is ongoing to identify ways to quantify burnout more precisely, but for now the simple method described above works well.

For many more details on adrenal burnout, read Adrenal Burnout Syndrome on this website.



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