Proper Nutrition Can Help Reduce Symptoms of Withdrawal
Weaning the body off of any addictive substance; food, drugs, alcohol, etc. take a toll on the body’s ability to function properly. The essence of recovery is changing negative behaviors into positive ones. Good nutrition, relaxation, and proper self-care all play important roles in a successful change. Proper nutrition and making healthy food choices is a good step toward creating a healthier lifestyle.
For people in recovery it is import to note the impact of nutrition. Fat contains more calories per gram than alcohol. While drinking, addicts experience a sense of being full regardless of how much they’ve eaten. These empty calories can lead to malnutrition. Drug abusers can experience similar affects. The alcohol and drugs keep the body from properly absorbing nutrients and expelling toxins. Putting the body through this type of nutrition depletion can lead to many health problems such as gastrointestinal disorders or the inability to digest foods properly.
In order to combat the negative effects of alcohol and drug abuse, addicts need foods high in nutrients. Proper nutrition can facilitate the rebuilding of damaged tissue and organs. Foods high in protein and complex carbohydrates are extremely beneficial to an addict suffering from poor nutrition.
It’s not new news that food can affect our mood. We know that sugar and caffeine can contribute to mood swings. A deficiency in specific nutrients like folic acid or B-complex vitamins can also have a serious negative impact. The processing of tyrosine and tryptophan can be diminished by alcohol and drug use. These two important amino acids are responsible for the production of norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. These neurotransmitters are essential for emotional stability, mental clarity, and a general state of well-being. A decrease in levels of these neurotransmitters negatively affects mood and behavior which in turn can lead to a greater desire to for more drugs, etc.
There are many beneficial reasons to promote proper nutrition for everyone. For addicts, it is even more important due to the affects that alcohol, drugs, sugar, caffeine and other addictive substances have on the body. The average person may suffer from a reduced level of nutrients as a result of poor nutrition. For an addict in recovery, there is a need to replenish a depleted resource. Proper nutrition is even more important in this situation as the addict’s body is working overtime to repair damage caused by using.
You can’t fix a person’s addiction, but you may be able to support them in their struggle. One way is to help ensure they are working on improving their diet. Help them work towards good clean foods and avoid foods that can negatively affect their mood. The body needs proper fuel to repair itself. We should continue to strive for the best nutrition possible. It’s a journey. Total Health Guidance can help to keep you moving forward and find the best nutrition sources for you. If you or someone you love is struggling in this area, please call our office at 321-332-6984 and ask to speak with one of our healthcare professionals. You are not alone.