Tatiana Mercier – Being Genetically Predisposed To Poor Metabolisation Of Stress Hormones And Neurotransmitters Is One Of The Main Underlying Causes Of Burn-Out & Other Diseases Of Stress

Only recently (28th May 2019) did the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared “burn-out” as a syndrome. In other words, as a real disease, requiring a real treatment that works.

Burn-out is the result of chronic stress that is unmanaged. Proper stress management is a whole lifestyle in itself, a philosophy and art of living that we ought to practice everyday of our lives in order to keep the hormones of stress (mainly cortisol) at bay and avoid it from disrupting our other hormones, our neurotransmitters, and the optimal functioning of organs like our heart and brain. Stress is ubiquitous and a part of life. Stress alone is not the problem. The problem is living a life that is too stressful and never doing anything of value, consistently enough, to support our body and mind from its devastating effects, from the inside-out.

One of the factors that cause people’s health to go down-hill when under chronic stress, is their genes. Predispositions to a poor metabolism of dopamine, noradrenaline, and adrenaline – a very common phenomenon, as a matter of fact-  is a major contributing factor in the development of burn-out, anxiety, insomnia, depression, schizophrenia, alcoholism, bipolar disorder, high blood pressure, panic disorder, nervousness, fibromyalgia, or even cancer. But unfortunately, mainstream doctors don’t offer genetic testing to detect genetic underlying root-causes to their patients’ health problems.

People born with a genetic flaw or SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) at their gene COMT (catechol-o-transferase), experience higher levels of the excitatory brain chemical dopamine, and the adrenal hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline, which makes them feel wired, stressed, anxious, and exhausted easily.

Luckily, although our genes cannot be changed, the environmental factors influencing their expression can. This is done with epigenetics, the science that studies how our behaviours and environment can modify the way our genes work[1]. In functional medicine we use genetic testing a lot. I personally love the methylation panel, a functional test that helps me pinpoint variants of the COMT gene to better support my clients with burn-out and other diseases of stress like anxiety, insomnia, depression, high blood pressure, auto-immune disorders, and more.

Poor COMT activity is improved with fish oils (which protect the brain from inflammation); phosphatidylserine (a potent amino-acid that brings spikes of cortisol down); and antioxidants like vitamins A, C, E, alpha lipoic acid, glutathione, or CoQ10, which protect the brain, the vessels, and other organs from the damaging effects of cortisol and chronic inflammation. A good multi-mineral that includes boron and magnesium is essential. Adaptogenic herbs like Rhoidola, Ginseng, Ashwagandha and Basil are crucial too. Natural brain excitation modulators like L-Theanine and GABA, daily exercise, yoga, and meditation -proven to lower cortisol [2] [3] [4] – , a diet rich in organic animal protein and organic fresh vegetables, and a daily B complex in its methylated form are always included in my strategic prescriptions.

Did you know that the most effective breast, uterine, ovarian and prostate cancer prevention treatment is the one that checks your estrogen and methylation genes and switches off your pro-carcinogenic genes while switching on the protective ones at the same time with epigenetics?

And no, it’s not about dangerous mammograms or similar routine conventional screening. It’s about checking how your genes work and improving their expression with targeted foods, nutrients, and lifestyle change.

It’s an individualised approach.


About The Author


Tatiana Mercer is a nutritional therapist, a functional medicine practitioner and a yogi. She has been teaching yoga for 14 years, and practicing as a therapist since 2011. She specialise in stress management and the disorders of severe, unmanaged stress like insomnia, burn-out, obesity, and auto-immune diseases.

She’s currently delivering her unique  “7 Step Body* Mind *Spirit Program To Break-Up With The Vicious Cycle of Stress, Fatigue & Burnout”, on a 1-to-1 basis, both on-line worldwide, and in person in her area. This is a holistic program she created that is based on the wisdom of the 7 chakras of yoga and Tantra, destined to help people caught up in the cycle of stress & extreme fatigue to reclaim their lives back, and that encompasses:

  • A gut healing program;
  • A hormone balancing program;
  • A detox program;
  • Pranayama and asana for the adrenals;
  • Meditation with mantra to downregulate brain inflammation;
  • Mind-set strategies;
  • Modern Psychology
  • Psychology of the chakras;
  • …and more!

You can contact her here:



(Dip.CNM, Dip.FMU; mBANT, mCNHC, mA4M) 

To find out more visit: www.VitalityExpression.co.uk


[1]  The CDC – Center For Disease Control – https://www.cdc.gov/genomics/disease/epigenetics.htm

[2]  J Med Assoc Thai. 2013 Jan;96 Suppl 1:S90-5.

[3]  J Hypertens. 2017 Apr;35(4):696-706. doi:

[4]  J Psychosom Res. 2014 May;76(5):341-51.


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