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Nutrient Deficiency Prevents Recovery from Alcohol

I recently met someone who drank alcohol instead of eating. This is not unusual. But why do they do it?

Here are the very simple alcohol / food basics:

  • Alcohol decreases the appetite. Since you get your nutrients from food, this causes nutritional deficiencies.
  • Alcohol also makes absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids very difficult. So not only does an alcoholic eat less, they all get less nourishment out of what they do eat.

The lack of nourishment actually makes it almost impossible for the person to not drink because the person’s emotional condition – which is often why they want to drink in the first place – is affected by the lack of nutrients.

For example:

  • B vitamins are depleted by alcohol and, remember, the alcoholic is not getting them through his or her food. Lack of B vitamins can make a person anxious, they can have difficulty focusing or concentrating, and reality becomes distorted.
  • A deficiency in Trytophan, an amino acid, can cause a person to become anxious, angry (even violent), depressed, and have trouble sleeping. Each of which can make a person want to have a drink.
  • Many alcoholics are also hypoglycemic – meaning their blood sugar is too low (because of their bad diet). Low blood sugar can cause anxiousness, irritability, fatigue and a number of other symptoms. Alcoholics drink, as is their habit, in an attempt to feel better (by raising the blood sugar). That may work, but only for a very short time. Then they’re back into drinking more to help control the symptoms. The low blood sugar, and other deficiencies, also will cause the person to smoke more, drink more coffee, eat more junk food – anything to get that energy level up and feel better.

Don’t be surprised if you talk to an alcoholic about this and they deny everything. They’re not hungry, they eat enough or they eat pretty well, or their not sick so must be doing okay with the food, they’re not trying to make themselves feel better physically or otherwise – they just like drinking. That’s what they’ll tell you. And chances are they’ll also tell you they don’t even drink ‘excessively.’  Forget trying to change their mind – remember, alcohol distorts perception and reality.

Studies on nice have shown that people who are recovering from alcohol who eat properly, take the right vitamins, minerals and amino acid supplements as needed have an 80 percent chance of still being sober six months later. For those on a bad diet, the chances are reduced to 34 percent.

Studies also indicate that a bad diet and nutritional deficiencies can actually lead to alcoholism. The mice in these studies were more likely to drink a lot of alcohol and die prematurely if the were on a bad diet. Mice on a good diet drank less, lived longer, and were healthier.

How Should You Eat If You’re Recovering from or Trying to Stop Alcohol?

  • To get the most nutrients out of your food it should be organic. Food that is not certified organic is grown or produced with a lot of chemicals – the last thing your body needs – and is usually short on  nutrients.
  • Your diet should consist primarily of vegetables, with moderate fruit (to high in sugar and it will cause the hypoglycemia to continue) and moderate protein – beef (grass fed), chicken, fish, eggs and so on.
  • To make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need, it’s best to get tested by an expert – someone who specializes in nutrition. Not someone who’s studied nutrition per the government standards, which are very low, but someone who knows real nutritional biochemistry, anti-aging medicine – all that sort of advanced specialty medicine. Regular M.D.s study very little about nutrition and don’t know enough about it to do you a lot of good.

The first step to recovery, of course, is alcohol rehab. Call us at 855-889-0555 if you need help finding the best addiction help available for your situation.

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