Alcohol addiction causes a number of problems with appetite and the ability of the body to process nutrients. It isn’t uncommon for alcoholics to become malnourished, which means that during recovery, not only must they stop consuming alcohol, but they must also follow a diet which can repair the body and eradicate its dependence on the substance.
How Alcohol Effects The Body Nutritionally
Alcohol deceives the body into believing that it is getting the calories that it would normally receive from foods which are rich in nutrients. Many alcoholics make things worse by consuming junk food, and researchers have discovered that the more alcohol that is consumed, the quality of the diet overall will become lower. Typical vitamins and minerals which are lacking in the diets of alcoholics include folic acid, vitamin B6 and thiamine.
These nutrients and vitamins are essential in the production of red blood cells, as well as the body’s absorbent abilities. This is why doctors must monitor alcoholics carefully during the detoxification process as supplementation may be needed to maintain the proper functioning of the body. Additionally, doctors must monitor iron, electrolyte and protein levels to determine if permanent damage has been sustained to the liver.
The Importance of Balance
One of the key reasons why alcohol should not be abused is due to the fact that it can cause damage to the liver which is irreversible, at least with current medical technology. For instance, pancreatitis and cirrhosis are two health problems which are common among alcoholics, and neither has a cure. However, other effects such as reduced red blood cell count or absorption difficulties can be reversed through dietary changes.
The best diets for recovering alcoholics are those which are protein rich and sugar free. A recovering alcoholic’s meal plan should provide no more than thirty five percent of calories from fat on a daily basis, with a split between protein and carbohydrates which is even. But it is also crucial to add in the right supplements.
The Best Supplements For Recovering Alcoholics
A recovering alcoholic must rapidly strengthen their metabolism. This is best accomplished through B12 and other B complex vitamins. Doctors may provide recovering alcoholics with these vitamins orally or through shots during their first few weeks in rehab. Other important supplements that should be consumed include Vitamins E, A and C, along with minerals such as zinc, magnesium and selenium.
Alcohol’s Association With Sugar
Alcohol has an intimate relationship with sugar. The human body will convert alcohol into sugar just as it does with all gains that are refined. This increases the body’s blood sugar levels which results in an insulin response to reduce them. As a consequence it isn’t unusual for recovering alcoholics to have strong sugar cravings after completing detoxification. These cravings will fade along with other withdrawal symptoms, but the recovering alcohol may retain a desire to consume sugary foods which may replace their alcohol addiction. This is why it is critical to maintain a good diet plan and avoid eating sugary foods both during and after alcohol rehab.