Substance use disorder is extremely difficult to overcome. Part of this has to do with the impact that addiction has on the body. What most people aren’t aware of, however, is that addiction causes essential vitamins and minerals to waste away. The reason this is a problem is that the body needs these nutrients to function properly. It’s for this reason that vitamins for addiction recovery and vitamins for withdrawal are imperative.
Why Does Addiction Cause Nutrition Issues?
There are many explanations as to why addiction causes nutritional issues. Sometimes those who suffer from drug and alcohol abuse lose their appetite. This is actually quite normal as these substances destroy the pleasure center and reward system of the brain. This results in either not having a desire to eat or craving foods that don’t have many nutrients.
Another reason someone may be missing out on certain vitamins and minerals is that certain substances may be absorbing all of them. Not only that, but when a person abuses drugs, his or her gastrointestinal tract becomes damaged.
The mucous membrane in the gut breaks down food for absorption of nutrients, but drug abuse will cause damage to it. This results in the body being unable to break down the nutrients it needs for optimum performance.
For example, alcohol abuse is a roadblock to liver function. When someone drinks alcohol, it diminishes the function of producing digestive enzymes. As a result, the body cannot absorb proteins, fats, and vitamin B in an efficient way.
An insufficiency of vitamin B could lead to a plethora of problems. Some of these include the following:
- Neurological issues
- Liver issues
- Cardiovascular issues
- Digestive issues
Intentional efforts to include vital vitamins and minerals are essential to a healthy body. In addition to this, a healthy body with an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals could speed up recovery. Either that, or it could make recovery ten times more comfortable. When someone prioritizes and takes in the right vitamins and minerals, it eases withdrawal. This has the potential to reduce the risk of relapse.
In layman’s terms, substance abuse kills gut health. This sort of damage may make itself known through nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Addiction and Malnutrition
Anytime that the body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs, it’s bad news. Sometimes this can be the result of a poor diet or, as previously mentioned, damage to the gastrointestinal tract. When this occurs, malnutrition ensues. The symptoms of malnutrition could include the following:
- Muscle loss
- Bone loss
- Dry skin
- Memory loss
- Liver damage
- Heart issues
- Breathing issues
- Digestive issues
There are many issues that can arise as a result of malnutrition. Some of these issues have the potential to last a lifetime. What’s worse is that sometimes, it may result in death. It’s because of this that prioritizing sobriety is an imperative step to improvement. So, is prioritizing vitamins for addiction recovery and vitamins for withdrawal. With the right treatment and the right vitamins, you can get back on track.
Do Vitamins Help Treat Alcohol Addiction?
In a recent study, it was revealed that more than half of those age 12 or older use alcohol.
When a person abuses alcohol over a long period of time, his or her brain chemistry changes; as a result, withdrawal occurs. These withdrawal symptoms may involve depression, anxiety, chills, fever, hallucinations, or sleep troubles.
When it comes to nutrients, alcohol actually has the potential to cause vitamin deficiency. Alcoholism diminishes the presence of vitamins A, B, and C. When a person is in recovery, it may become imperative to supplement with vitamins.
There are other substances that not only help the body get back on track but also diminish withdrawal symptoms. This could include primrose oil, which contains fatty acids that support brain function and help reduce withdrawal.
Alcohol consumption does damage the pancreas. But what does the pancreas do? The pancreas regulates blood sugar. How is this combated in the wide world of vitamins and minerals? L-glutamine helps cut down cravings for alcohol and balances a person’s blood sugar. Not just that, but other nutrients like vitamin C strengthen the immune system while also riding the body of alcohol during withdrawal.
Managing withdrawal is essential to a rough recovery, but it’s not the end-all-be-all. There are still plenty of other tasks that need to be fulfilled to recover completely from alcohol abuse.
Building the foundation of the body’s function back is imperative to recovering. This is because alcoholics usually suffer from vitamin deficiencies, specifically vitamin B. Vitamin B is very important when it comes to the body’s overall function. It can also go so far as to alleviate stress or anxiety for a person suffering from withdrawal. Thus, vitamins for withdrawal are important for people that are detoxing from alcohol.
Do Vitamins Help Opiate Addiction?
Opiates are a very dangerous game to play. They’re accessible through prescriptions (which in a way makes them kind of frightening). This makes them easy to abuse.
Oftentimes, people will self-medicate or cope by using opiates if they feel as though they don’t have enough. When a person takes more opiates, it not only relieves more pain but creates a sense of euphoria for the person.
When people think of drug abuse, they typically think of a person acquiring the drugs illegally. While this may be the case in a plethora of circumstances, there is also the possibility of a person becoming addicted to prescription medication.
Opiate prescription medication, for example, is so strong that the brain has problems producing dopamine. Once this happens and the pleasure center has become compromised, it’s difficult to produce dopamine. This is because the brain cannot any longer produce neurotransmitters responsible for feelings like happiness and pleasure.
Some neurotransmitters impacted by opioid abuse include the following:
- Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)
Thus vitamins can also be helpful in the recovery and withdrawal of opiates.
Do Vitamins Help Meth Addiction?
As previously mentioned, the body requires vitamin B to function well, specifically vitamin B12. This particular vitamin does much more than just give a person energy. It also plays a heavy hand in healing the nervous system and liver. When someone uses/abuses meth, it damages the nervous system and liver. This is why vitamins for recovery, such as B12, are imperative to a person’s health, especially when recovering from meth addiction.
Vitamin B12, however, isn’t the only vitamin that helps repair the body. Vitamin B5 helps in more ways, minimizing the impact of anxiety in the withdrawal process. Not only that but serotonin and norepinephrine are improved with vitamin B5.
In addition to these vitamins, it comes as no surprise that vitamin C is also a huge help when detoxing from meth. This particular vitamin detoxifies the body while reducing meth cravings. Vitamin C also does an excellent job at repairing a depressed immune system. Whatever the body doesn’t use in this process is flushed out of the system. The positive effects that vitamin C has during meth detox and meth addiction treatment just go to show just how vital vitamins for addiction recovery and vitamins for withdrawal are.
Do Vitamins Help Cocaine Addiction?
A little over 10 years ago, 2 million people were abusing cocaine in the United States. In addition to that, nearly a quarter of emergency room visits came as a result of cocaine abuse. One could come to the reasonable conclusion that it’s because cocaine rids the body of significant nutrients that are essential to function. So what’s the deal?
When the body is depleted of essential nutrients, serious organ damage may occur. It’s because of this that getting plenty of vitamins for recovery and withdrawal along with minerals for recovery and withdrawal are essential. It certainly doesn’t hurt that vitamins and minerals have other functions than treating withdrawal symptoms.
When it comes to vitamins for withdrawal, vitamin C, for example, has the ability to reduce a person’s craving for cocaine. It also helps manage the symptoms of withdrawal. For the body to function properly, the brain has to produce neurotransmitters to reduce drug or alcohol cravings. When it does this it is also combating withdrawal symptoms.
What Foods Are Essential for Healing?
As a general rule of thumb, people should avoid sugar or processed foods; these are pretty bad sources of nutrients if any source of nutrients at all. Not only that, but it can also increase drug and alcohol cravings. The most important thing is that the body is getting the nutrients it needs through the foods a person eats. This may include the following:
- Foods rich in vitamin B – Milk, cheese, eggs, meat, fish, green vegetables
- Food rich in vitamin C – Oranges, citrus, bell peppers, strawberries, tomatoes
- Foods rich in Calcium – Cheese, yogurt, milk, almonds, salmon
- Food rich in Magnesium – Dark chocolate, avocados, nuts
- Foods rich in Amino Acids – Quinoa, eggs, turkey, mushrooms
The body needs plenty of fruits and vegetables, meats, and other foods that aren’t processed. This allows the body to get what it needs for its recovery. This isn’t just limited to recovery from addiction, however. This is pretty relevant to everyday life. Those who don’t get the proper amount of vitamins and minerals typically suffer from poor gut health.
Sometimes, healthy food isn’t enough to keep up a healthy body. For example, some people are extremely deficient in vitamin production. Because of this, it may be imperative for particular individuals to seek out supplements to achieve the number of nutrients they need. This will help a person function to peak performance.
It’s Not Too Late to Get the Help You Need
All of this talk of healthy eating, vitamins, and minerals may be scary. It’s a vast world that many people have never been aware of. There are professionals though who may be able to help, especially as it relates to detoxing from substance use disorder. At Harmony Ridge, we’re committed to your health and success. If you or a loved one are interested in finding out more, you can contact us today.