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Spit and Blood Test to Detect Burnout in Distressed Workers

A simple blood and spit tests can predict if a person is on the verge of a burnout or not, according to the researchers at the the Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital and the University of Montreal. Besides taking a toll on one’s professional and personal life, burnout affects the distressed workers physically as well as psychologically. The study is quite relevant in these times as 10% of Europeans and Americans suffer from work-related depression, burnout and anxiety, as per the International Labor Organization.

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The study was carried out on 30 middle aged participants. Their blood and spit samples were examined. They were also asked questions about their current levels of stress, depression and burnout. The blood test is helpful in looking at the physiological problems like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, blood pressure etc. Saliva samples and the questions would assist to assess mental health. It was observed that healthy workers under chronic stress and burnout symptoms will have worse physiological problems and low cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone involved in the body’s stress response. Imbalance in the cortisol levels is bad for physical and mental health.

Workers with burnout symptoms are often treated with anti-depressants which lower the cortisol levels. However, if the level of cortisol is already low, the treatment might worsen the condition. The study might help treat stressed out workers more effectively before they burnout completely.

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