Vitamins for Alcoholics and Supplements for Addiction
Vitamins for alcoholics, supplements for addiction and proper nutrition is essential for addiction recovery. It’s common (even typical) for individuals physical health to be negatively affected by drug and alcohol use. Drug and alcohol addiction cause nutritional deficiencies and a lack of desire for healthy foods. In fact, addicts are often malnourished when they start outpatient drug rehab. The chaotic, unpredictable lifestyle of an addict can also complicate physical health, as addicts often eat processed or fast foods at odd hours of the day.
The only way to stop and ultimately reverse the damage is through quitting drugs and alcohol and leading a healthier lifestyle. To be successful, you’ll need to go through a detox program and start a healthy regimen that includes the right mix of diet, exercise, supplements and vitamins. Your treatment team will start you on this path, but it will be up to you to continue it when you return home.
Why is it Common for Addicts to be Malnourished?
People who struggle with addiction usually have some form of malnourishment. Undernutrition is a condition that occurs when the body doesn’t get enough protein and calories. Over-nutrition occurs when the body gets too many calories. Most drugs cause undernutrition within the body.
Why Addiction and Malnutrition are Closely Intertwined:
- Addicts Substitute Drugs for Food. It’s common for addicts to forgo eating and use drugs and alcohol instead. This deprives them of essential nutrients.
- Alcohol Lowers B Vitamins. Drinking alcohol Directly Lowers the Body’s Supply of B Vitamins such as thiamine, folic acid, and pyridoxine. This can lead to nervous system dysfunctions and anemia.
- Alcohol Damages the Liver and Pancreas. When these two organs can’t function properly, it affects the body’s ability to absorb and use proteins, carbohydrates, and fat.
- Marijuana Causes Overconsumption. Even without a physical dependence, marijuana users are at a higher risk for weight-related health problems because they tend to Indulge in Foods Rich in Fat and Sugar.
- Stimulants Suppress the Appetite. Some people start out with stimulants to manage their weight. Over time, these drugs end up suppressing the appetite and nutrient intake.
- Opiates Slow Down the Body. Opiates cause the stomach and small intestine to slow down. Not only does this make it difficult to absorb nutrients, but also the body can’t extract nutrients and pass them into the bloodstream.
The Dangers of Malnutrition During Alcohol Rehab in Phoenix
As you can see, there are many reasons why Addicts Struggle with Malnutrition. While there are many effective ways to get back on track, the detox process comes first. This process rids the body of drugs, alcohol, and toxins. However, it’s incredibly hard on the body, particularly for those who are already dealing with malnutrition.
For this reason, many detox centers offer IV therapy to help addicts go through the detox process. IV therapy helps purge drugs and toxins out of the body while replenishing it with depleted fluids and nutrients. By adding these essential nutrients to an IV drip, people in detox can lessen withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and promote healing.
IV therapy is safe and effective, which is why it may be used later in substance abuse treatment in Phoenix. Continuum Recovery Center offers a wide range of Naturopathic Therapies to Support the Recovery Journey, including IV therapy. Our IV treatments include an individualized blend of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to ensure optimal physical health.
Vitamins for Alcoholics and Supplements for Addiction
Ideally, you should get the majority of your vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat. Over time, this will happen. But until you get to this point and are eating a balanced, nutritious diet, it helps to take supplements. Your outpatient rehab in Phoenix can determine the best mix of vitamins to take each day, but here are some to familiarize yourself with:
- Vitamin B1. B1 is essential for the healthy functioning of the brain and nervous system. It also assists with digestion and the flow of electrolytes. You can find this nutrient in fortified foods like bread, cereal, and milk.
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C protects the cells and maintains healthy skin, blood vessels, bones, and cartilage. It’s found in citrus fruits, green peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli. If you’re not consuming these foods regularly, you may need a supplement.
- Vitamin B12. This nutrient keeps the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA. B12 also prevents anemia. You can find B12 in animal products (meat and dairy) and fortified foods.
- Folic Acid. Folic acid has a wide range of functions in the body. It helps tissues grow, forms red blood cells, and creates new proteins. This B vitamin can be found in leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, beans, and fortified foods.
- Magnesium. Magnesium is a nutrient that regulates muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. It also makes protein, bone, and DNA. Dairy products, fortified foods, and whole grains are good sources of magnesium.
Additional vitamins and nutrients that drug rehabs in Phoenix often recommend for recovery are Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and zinc. The benefit to IV therapy is that you can Receive the Perfect Blend of Nutrients for your body and physical needs.
Combining Nutrition and Vitamins for Alcoholics
Nutrition is an important part of a healthy recovery. Eating a well-balanced diet helps prevent relapse and restores neurotransmitters in the brain. The right foods will also provide you with the energy needed to get through your days.
Knowing how to eat sensibly doesn’t come overnight. While you were using alcohol or drugs, you probably sought out foods that provided instant gratification such as sweets and processed meals. Swapping out convenience foods for nutrient-rich options takes diligence, but you must start somewhere.
During intensive outpatient drug treatment in Phoenix, you’ll learn some of the basics of healthy eating. Continuing these sensible habits requires practice, but it does get easier. Let’s talk about the best foods to focus on in early recovery and an example of a sample meal plan that can be used in conjunction with supplements and vitamins.
Diet and Nutritional Guidelines in Early Recovery
Small changes eventually lead to big changes. Here is what we recommend focusing on in early recovery.
- Eat more complex carbs. Complex carbs provide sustainable energy. Foods high in complex carbs include oatmeal, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, brown rice and whole grain breads.
- Eat more protein and fiber. High-protein foods help repair and build muscle tissue that may have been lost while you were using drugs. Foods rich in protein keep you feeling fuller longer, decreasing cravings.
- Take vitamins and supplements. Talk with your doctor first, but it’s likely that your body is deficient in certain nutrients. Common vitamins used in drug rehab in Phoenix are Vitamins A and C, B-complex vitamins and zinc.
- Eat small meals. To keep your blood sugar levels stable and avoid unhealthy snacking, eat small meals throughout the day. Usually, six small meals are ideal – breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks.
- Reduce caffeine intake. Caffeine can be addictive plus cause dehydration. Reduce your intake of caffeine. Try a warm cup of tea instead!
- Drink water. Dehydration can trigger cravings and make you feel fatigued. It’s recommended to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.
- Limit sugar. Too much sugar is bad for the body. It puts stress on the liver, increases cholesterol and triglycerides and raises the risk for cancer. The less you eat it, the less you will crave it.
- Avoid processed foods. They may be easy, but fast foods and processed meals are unhealthy and contain few nutrients.
Meal Plan for Recovering Addicts
Here is an example of what a healthy meal plan looks like. You will eat meals similar to this in alcohol rehab in Phoenix. Find the food combinations that work for you – there are many delicious options to choose from!
- Breakfast. Jumpstart your day with something high in protein, such as Greek yogurt mixed with fruit or an omelet topped with cheese and fresh veggies.
- Snack. Opt for complex carbs to keep you feeling full such as whole-grain toast, whole-grain crackers or oatmeal.
- Lunch. Eat high-protein foods to sustain energy levels. Great picks include salads topped with veggies and grilled chicken, soups made with beans or stir fries with fish and vegetables.
- Snack. A light snack with vegetables and hummus or cottage cheese and fruit provide a pick-me-up in the late afternoon.
- Dinner. Include foods from each food group, such as a lean meat, a scoop of brown rice and a side of vegetables.
Learning to eat a well-balanced diet will come easier over time. Follow the tips above and focus on eating six small meals to prevent drops in energy. If you’re still struggling to adopt a healthy eating plan, talk to a nutrition counselor for support.
Follow Your Aftercare Plan for the Best Results
When you return home from outpatient alcohol rehab in Phoenix, be sure to follow your aftercare plan. It will include vitamins for alcoholics and addicts, minerals, and meal planning you should be taking to avoid malnutrition. Most people are able to readjust their body with a well-rounded diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products.
Hydration is important as well, as thirst can sometimes be mistaken for drug cravings. Staying hydrated also ensures the body is able to function properly and rid itself of waste products. We do recommend staying away from foods that are high in fat, sugar, and carbohydrates. These do little to fill your appetite and nourish the body.
To learn more about the naturopathic remedies available through Continuum Recovery Center, please contact us today. We offer vitamin therapy, B-12 shots, supplement, and nutrition education to help our clients rebuild their physical health.