08 July, 2011
L-Theanine, Fatigue and Adrenal Support
If you are chronically fatigued and frequently do not feel well, it is possible that you may be suffering from a condition called adrenal fatigue. This condition is characterized by increased stress levels, chronic illness and general exhaustion, and it can be exceedingly frustrating. One treatment option for adrenal fatigue may be the amino acid L-theanine, which can promote relaxation.
L-theanine is an amino acid present in teas, particularly green tea, according tho clinical pathologist Carolyn Pierini CLS, CNC. It is responsible for the calm feeling you may have about half an hour after you drink green tea. When you consume L-theanine, it acts on your brain to stimulate the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, both of which act to combat anxiety. It also helps in the production of alpha waves in your brain, which help you to stay alert and concentrate better while staying relaxed, Pierini states
Adrenal fatigue is a medical condition in which patients experience a feeling of exhaustion with slight anxiety and generally poor health, says David S. Klein, M.D., of the Pain Center of Orlando. If you suffer from adrenal fatigue, you may also suffer from insomnia, confusion and difficulty concentrating. This often-overlooked disease can be a gateway to further health problems, including diabetes and chronic respiratory infections, if it is left untreated.
Adrenal fatigue is most often caused by stress, Dr. Klein says. This stress can be environmental, psychological or physiological. When your body is under stress for a prolonged amount of time, your stress hormone levels become disrupted. These stress hormones, most commonly cortisol, are secreted by your adrenal glands and this imbalance places further stress on your body. If you have a bad infection or an undiagnosed autoimmune disorder, you may experience adrenal fatigue.
The most severe form of the condition is called Addison's disease and can be fatal if left untreated, says Dr. Klein. Named after Sir Thomas Addison, who discovered it in 1855, it was most often the result of structural damage to the adrenal glands due to continued tubercular infection. This permanent damage to the adrenal glands can lead to long-term illness and, ultimately, death. Fortunately, addison's disease only occurs in only about 4 out of every 100,000 people.
L-Theanine can be used as an effective treatment for adrenal fatigue. It promotes the release of a prominent neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid, commonly abbreviated GABA, which in turn promotes the release of relaxation neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, as mentioned above, says Dr. Klein. The relaxing effect L-theanine has on your body helps to reduce stress levels and restore your adrenal glands to proper function. Dr. Klein also mentions that L-theanine can help combat insomnia, further reducing your stress levels.
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