Overcoming an alcohol dependence is challenging. At times, even after taking professional care, individuals tend to relapse as a result of factors like severity of their addiction, biochemical imbalances and genetic factors that act as an impediment to the recovery. The procedure for 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 brain is provided nutritional support to overcome genetic and biochemical deficiencies, an individual has a better prospect of committing to sobriety.
Alcohol addiction and nutritional deficiencies
People grappling with alcohol dependence frequently have deficiencies of certain vitamins, minerals and proteins. Many holistic addiction centers supplying alcohol abuse support screen these patients for the deficiencies, put them on a multivitamin, and then fortify their treatment plans with essential nutrients. Individuals who are heavy drinkers have a good deal of empty calories and lack several important nutrients. By way of example, such people have a major deficiency of zinc. This is because after poor consumption of dairy products, whole grains and meat, alcohol impedes the absorption of zinc by gut and lots of it can also be excreted through the urine.
The lack manifests in the shape of a compromised sense of smell and taste, reduced night vision, etc.. Additionally, it 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 get to the liver and lead to alcohol-related liver disorders. Similarly, deficiency of folate and vitamin B6 can slow down the production of feel-good hormones like serotonin and dopamine responsible for handling cravings.
Steady Glucose Levels are essential to staying sober
It’s been found that a vast majority of people with alcohol addiction have low and at times very low blood sugar levels. These low levels then prompt somebody to seek something which could boost energy. Someone could 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 several alcohol addiction centers provide their patients with low glycemic index food and provide fats and proteins in meals to compensate for the carbohydrates 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 is not threatened. Since alcohol dependence also causes sleeplessness, intake of caffeinated and soda drinks is also discouraged.
Dopamine regulation is vital to managing cravings
People with alcohol dependence also struggle with dopamine dysregulation. People with alcoholism have a tendency to reach out for sugar, as it assists in the release of dopamine and 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 issue 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 ways 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, becoming involved in physical activity and managing stress levels.