Are Multivitamins Good for Recovering From Addiction or Other Conditions?
Drug or alcohol use may start out as a casual indulgence but once addiction develops, you’re left with makings of chronic disease. Addictive substances change the way your brain and body function over time, creating a progressive cycle of decline, much like the effects of heart disease and diabetes. If you’re recovering from addiction, helping your body repair and rebuild by supplying the nutrients it needs can help a great deal. Healthy eating is a must but multivitamin supplements can offer a much-needed boost in the areas where deficiencies are most pronounced.
Addiction’s After-Effects and the Body’s Health
Addiction works in much the same way as a disease, becoming progressively worse, all on its own. Whether your substance of choice was alcohol, heroin, or cocaine, all addictive substances target the brain and alter its chemical pathways in destructive ways. When your brain doesn’t work right, your body suffers since the brain is the central regulator of the body’s systems. These conditions set the stage for short-term and long-term health issues to develop.
Here are just a few conditions that alcohol and drug addictions can leave behind in recovery:
- Liver damage
- A weakened immune system
- Mental confusion
- Emotional instability
- Lung disease
- Heart problems
- Digestive issues
- Problems with memory
For these reasons, recovering from addiction happens on a physical level where the body heals as well as on a psychological level where the addiction lives.
The Importance of Nutrition for Addiction Recovery
Recovering from addiction may be one of the most challenging things you ever do. And the stronger your body and mind are, the easier the process will be. When your body doesn’t get the nutrition it needs, you can experience low energy levels, symptoms of depression, and feelings of anxiety, all of which place you at greater risk of relapse.
Something else to keep in mind is many addictive substances go so far as to weaken your digestive system to the point where it’s hard for your body to extract nutrients from the food you eat. Under these conditions, multivitamins can pick up where your diet leaves off, supplying the nutrients your body needs to repair the damage left behind by addiction. Ultimately, nutrition for addiction recovery is critical to your success in recovery.
Multivitamins to Take When Recovering From Addiction or Other Conditions
Vitamin D is not only essential for strong bones but also plays a critical role in maintaining healthy levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter chemical, helps regulate your mood, cognitive functions, and overall sense of contentment. Dopamine is also one of the brain chemicals most impacted by substance abuse.
The results from a 2019 study appearing in the Journal of Addiction Medicine shows vitamin D supplementation improved cognitive functions in patients receiving methadone maintenance treatment. Considering patients in MMT are recovering from chronic opioid-based addictions, these results illustrate how Vitamin D nutrition for addiction recovery can go a long way towards helping a person stay the course in recovery.
Magnesium, a nutrient that many people lack, may well be a super-nutrient when it comes to nutrition for addiction recovery. The body uses magnesium to carry out over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. On top of this, magnesium stimulates the brain reward system, which is the area of the brain where addiction takes root. Since drug and alcohol addiction work by stimulating this system, supplementing your diet with magnesium is believed to reduce drug and alcohol cravings.
The mental and emotional withdrawal effects experienced in recovery can last for months or even years depending on the severity of the addiction. Symptoms of depression and anxiety make it difficult to stay engaged in the recovery process let alone maintain sobriety. Zinc, another essential nutrient, provides much-needed mental health support, especially for individuals in alcohol rehab. Chronic alcohol abuse depletes the body’s zinc supply, which will only strengthen addiction’s hold in recovery. A multivitamin that includes high levels of zinc or a zinc supplement by itself can help restore the body’s zinc reserves.
Recovering from addiction is a process of healing and anything you can do to support the body’s healing mechanisms can only help. Any nutrient deficiencies left behind by drugs and alcohol will only make the recovery process harder and place you at greater risk of relapse. Whether you decide to take a multivitamin or supplements, providing your body with the nutrition it needs during this critical time can only support your efforts in recovery.
- Are Multivitamins Good for Recovering From Addiction or Other Conditions? - September 15, 2020