Alcohol addiction is a complex medical disorder that affects people of all walks of life – adults, teens, college students, and everyone in between.
Nonetheless, experts still can’t pinpoint the exact causes of the disease. Alcoholism causes changes to the functioning of the brain and the neuro-system, which leads to the inability to control one’s actions.
Many alcoholics lose themselves and their identity altogether when they become addicted to the drug and may end up becoming a shell of who they once were.
The journey to recovery can be both complex and challenging. That’s why the patient must desire to go through the process first.
You can’t force anyone to get sober if they aren’t ready. It’s usually not a “quick fix”, and there’s no going around it – in fact, recovery from alcohol is a lifetime commitment.
To commit and stick to sobriety, you must be conscious of your physical and mental health. You must get rid of all the symptoms in a healthy manner to avoid a relapse and get over the habit successfully.
Mind and body wellness consists of understanding your problem and taking the necessary steps to ensure that your mind remains clear and calm and that your body is at its healthiest.
What Happens to Your Body When You Abuse Alcohol?
When under the influence, you tend to:
- Eat less
- Skip meals or consume less nutritious foods
- Use-up more energy
- Lose more nutrients through diarrhea and vomiting
- Damage your stomach, which leads to poor food absorption
Medical Conditions Exacerbated by Alcoholism
Following the resultant poor eating habits, alcohol abuse has been found to increase the risk of the following medical conditions:
- Cirrhosis/Liver Disease – Prolonged use of alcohol may result in liver damage. Here’s how to keep your liver healthy.
- Brain Damage – Deficiency of some nutrients (thiamine) in alcoholics can cause severe and permanent neurological problems. For more on how the wrong food can impair brain function do read this.
- Pancreatic damage – Research shows that a protein-lacking diet, mostly observed in alcoholics, can increase the risk of pancreatitis.
Eating Habits to Adopt During and after Recovery
Food stimulates the working of the brain. If your body does not produce enough neurotransmitters (brain chemicals), your body reacts through sleeplessness, irritability, or anxiety which may eventually cause stress or depression.
During recovery, you should eat a diet that will balance the brain chemicals to allow for calmness and relaxation.
Take foods high in carbohydrates such as legumes, grains, root vegetables, whole bread, and pasta. Combining this food group with proteins will keep you healthy and strong.
When broken down, a recovery diet should consist of:
- 50% – 55% – Complex carbohydrates (grains, vegetables, and fruits), and calcium (dairy products, tofu, etc.)
- 15% to 20% – Moderate protein (meat or fish – 2-4 ounces or other foods rich in protein)
- 30% – Fats (good oils – canola, flaxseed, olive, omega)
Lifestyle Changes after Recovery
- Try not to skip meals
- Eat a variety of all food groups
- Consume less and less caffeinated beverages
- Your food should be high in fiber
- For those who don’t like to cook, try eating healthy fast foods such as smoothies, salads, and grilled chicken
- Cut on sugar and sweets
- Stay hydrated
- Be physically active
- Learn how to cope with stress and anxiety in a healthy way
- Seek support from loved ones, counselors, etc.
Good nutrition and physical activities are critical in helping with your recovery since they reduce any withdrawal symptoms that you may experience.
All in all, you can’t do it on your own. You’ll need supportive structures and services to provide a safe environment for treatment and personnel to treat any mental health conditions.
If you are looking for alcohol detox Austin, you can find holistic care and support centers that you can turn to.
Local treatment facilities have highly qualified health care providers, nutritionists, mental health specialists to nurse you back to health if you are recovering from addiction.