One of the reasons that addiction is so difficult to overcome is that drugs impact the way your brain works. They create chemical imbalances that lead you seek out the substance, even if you know it’s not good for you. For example, substance abuse generally causes a deficiency in dopamine, a neurotransmitter in our brains that controls our mood. Since dopamine levels impact our moods, a lack of dopamine can lead to depression. The best way to address these deficiencies is through nutrition. The amino acid tyrosine is a precursor of dopamine. This is why the proper nutritional diet based on the individual is crucial to recovery.
In addition to impacting your brain, drugs and alcohol also deprive the rest of your body of nutrients. Without a healthy body, recovery is very difficult. That’s why many treatment programs place a heavy emphasis on proper nutrition.
Common Nutritional Deficiencies Caused by Addiction
Although the list below is far from comprehensive, here are some of the most common deficiencies caused by drug and alcohol use:
- B-Complex Vitamins: B Vitamins assist your metabolism and enhance the functioning of your immune system and nervous system. Addicts often have insufficient levels of phosphate, thiamine and niacin. Deficiencies can cause symptoms such as paranoia, depression, and confusion.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C strengthens your immune system and plays a big role in brain function.
- Iron: Abusing a substance can inhibit your body’s ability to absorb iron, which can lead to anemia. Low iron levels can lead to fatigue, dizziness, depression, and headaches.
- Calcium/Magnesium: Calcium and magnesium impact bone health, protect heart muscles, help regulate body temperature, and influence your energy levels. Both are commonly found as deficient in people who abuse drugs and alcohol.
- Zinc: Zinc is believed to help our liver function, brain function, and digestive system. Deficiencies can cause symptoms such as hypothyroidism, lethargy, and poor blood circulation.
Recovering the Right Way at The Raleigh House
At The Raleigh House, our clients go through an initial assessment to determine an on-going nutritional treatment plan. Our nutritional experts and personalized chef create pro-recovery menu options that help stabilize, rebalance and improve body functioning and mental clarity.
Some of the topics our nutritional therapist will address with you include supplements, digestion, hydration, sleep patterns and personal health issues.
A large aspect of our nutrition treatment includes amino acid therapy, which helps regulate the discomfort of withdrawal and reduces cravings during recovery. Many clients have found that amino acid therapy has made recovery much more attainable during the intensive first 30 days.
Proper nutrition is critical to the success of an individual’s treatment and has a significant impact on both the mind and body. For more information on nutritional recovery at The Raleigh House or immediate help, contact us at 720.891.4657.