Burnout in Children

Many mineral analyses on children indicate mild to severe exhaustion and burnout, even as young as age three or four. Many factors contribute to this situation, including genetic and congenital factors, family and school stress and poor eating habits.

Causes Of Childhood Exhaustion

Many children are born with nutrient deficiencies and excessive levels of toxic metals. Poor post-natal nutrition in many children adds to the deficiencies. Feeding formulas are often unbalanced and may contain toxic metals. Breast milk from mothers eating the average American diet is not the perfect food, either.

Additional stress from birth trauma, medications for infections and vaccinations further deplete vital nutrients. Psychological stress in the home may also be important.

Is Genetics The Cause?

Genetic factors are those involving genes, chromosomes and DNA. Medicine often blames children's problems on genetics. This is half true. It ignores the fact that genes are activated by nutrients. It is known that many genetic defects can be prevented by adequate nutrition. Sometimes a genetic condition such as Down's Syndrome can be improved through scientific nutrition programs.

The mother's diet and lifestyle, her emotional state during pregnancy and the condition of her body chemistry all influence her baby.

Some day prenatal care will begin as soon as a woman reaches her childbearing years. To pay attention to prenatal care once one is pregnant is too little, too late.

Symptoms Of Childhood Burnout

Common symptoms in exhausted children include failure to thrive, impaired learning ability, anti-social behavior, impaired growth, chronic or recurrent infections, poor appetite or fussy eating habits, allergies, asthma, fatigue, irritability, low self-esteem, depression and even suicidal tendencies.

Children may compensate for fatigue and exhaustion through aggressive behavior, violence, or compulsive habits. In some cases, energy levels may fluctuate, causing surges of energy followed by periods of fatigue.

Hair Analysis Indicators Of Burnout

Children in burnout typically have one or more of the following:

  • Low sodium/potassium ratio, often less than 1:1.It is not uncommon to see a ratio of 0.5:1 or even lower in some children.
  • The oxidation rate is abnormal.Young children are usually fast oxidizers. A child who is in burnout may have an extremely fast oxidation rate with a low sodium/potassium ratio. In other cases and more often, the oxidation rate is slow.
  • Toxic metal levels may be high, most commonly cadmium, copper and aluminum. In some children, lead or other toxic metals may also be elevated. Which toxic metals are elevated depends upon the geographical location, parent's occupations, diet and water supplies.
  • Trace element levels may be very low. This can indicate congenital deficiencies, poor diet or inadequate absorption of nutrients due to food allergies, stress, or other nutrient deficiencies.

Low zinc, for example, is quite common. Zinc is needed for appetite, growth and digestion and has a calming effect upon the nervous system.

Hair mineral patterns reflect the child's overall situation. Which of the above factors is most important in any one case varies from child to child. The more factors that are addressed, the more successful will be the outcome.


Diet is very important for children. A diet of fresh, organically grown food is best. Home-cooked meals eaten in a friendly, relaxed, peaceful environment assures the best absorption of nutrients and development of good eating habits.

Children who are fast oxidizers need more fats and oils in their diet. They will often crave butter, peanut butter, meats and other fatty foods. Not allowing a child to have these foods for fear of high cholesterol or other reasons will aggravate tendencies to irritability, hyperkinesis and hypoglycemia.

Most children's cereals are not only refined, but laden with chemicals and sugar. Fast food that so many children eat also contains many chemicals and is often not the best quality. Unfortunately, most of our food today is not very nutritious and, for this reason, not even very tasty.


Many children crave sweets. This may be due to a diet low in protein or fats, deficiencies of chromium, manganese or zinc, or some other factor.

Sweets will aggravate the exhaustion condition. Children have less ability to control the energy swings and mood shifts that occur from overloads and drops in blood sugar. Correcting body chemistry will often improve appetite and reduce cravings.

Forcing children to eat properly, however, can cause resentment. A balance must be struck. Setting a good example for children is very helpful.

Children's Supplements

Supplements are necessary for many children in burnout. If there is a difficulty swallowing pills, they may be ground up and placed in strongly-flavored food such as yogurt, peanut butter, apple sauce, or spaghetti sauce. Pills may be blended in smoothies.

Parents, set an example for your children. That is the best way to encourage good eating habits and a willingness to take supplements. Some ask us for liquid vitamins. Most liquids that are available are not potent enough or complete enough and are often loaded with sugar. You are better off making your own liquid supplements by blending them in a drink.

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