Overcoming an alcohol dependence is challenging. At times, even after taking professional care, individuals tend to relapse due to factors like severity of their addiction, biochemical imbalances and genetic factors that act as an impediment to the recovery. The process of aligning the mind with the body is known as biochemical repair and nutritional therapy forms an important part of this repair program. The role of nutrition in recovery from alcoholism is also supported by a growing body of literature. According to specialists, if the mind is supplied nutritional support to overcome genetic and biochemical deficiencies, an individual has a higher prospect of committing to sobriety.
Alcohol addiction and nutritional deficiencies
Many holistic addiction centers supplying alcohol abuse support screen these patients for the deficiencies, put them on a multivitamin, and fortify their treatment plans with essential nutrients. People who are heavy drinkers consume a good deal of empty calories and lack several important nutrients. For instance, such individuals have a major deficiency of zinc. This is because after bad consumption of dairy products, whole grains and meat, alcohol impedes the absorption of zinc by intestine and a lot of it is also excreted through the urine.
The deficiency manifests in the shape of a compromised sense of smell and flavor, reduced night vision, etc.. It also causes confusion and depression. The lack of zinc also causes the gut to become leaky where it fails to compartmentalize between the intestine and rest of the body due to which toxins can reach the liver and cause alcohol-related liver ailments. Similarly, deficiency of folate and vitamin B6 can slow down the production of feel-good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine responsible for managing cravings.
Steady blood sugar levels are essential to staying sober
It has been found that a vast majority of people with alcohol dependence have low and sometimes very low blood sugar levels. These low levels then prompt somebody to seek something that could boost energy. Someone may then struggle with cravings and succumb to alcohol and glucose. Therefore, wholesome eating habits are indispensable to maintain the cravings at a bay. This is why some alcohol addiction centers provide their patients with low glycemic index food and provide fats and proteins in meals to compensate for the carbs included in the diet. These centers also teach their patients about the craft of cooking so that when the patients are in their own, their sobriety isn’t threatened. Since alcohol dependence also causes sleeplessness, intake of caffeinated and soda drinks is also discouraged.
Dopamine law is vital to managing cravings
People with alcohol addiction also struggle with dopamine dysregulation. People with alcoholism tend to reach out for sugar, as it assists in the release of dopamine and also to get more of the rush, people start self-medicating with alcohol. However, prolonged use of alcohol reduces the number of dopamine receptors, thus, diminishing its effect. The problem exacerbates in people with poor eating habits, because they lack the essential amino acids that act as the building blocks for dopamine. One of the strategies to rectify the problem is by introducing high protein foods from the diet – eggs, cheese, nuts, legumes, etc..
Alcohol addiction can be conquered by fueling the body with healthy food rich in essential vitamins and minerals, getting involved in physical activity and managing stress levels.