Addiction recovery isn’t meant to focus solely on treating an addiction; holistic recovery is meant to treat the mind, body, and spirit. When a person struggles with substance abuse, they may lose vital nutrients and minerals along the way that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning; in turn, a person may experience minor or major distress regarding their memory, cognitive abilities such as decision making, vital organ functioning, and more. Nutrition is an extremely vital component to addiction recovery because it aims to help restore some of the loss that occurred due to substance abuse – getting your health and well-being back on track. As with any aspect of recovery, however, there may be some challenges that you will experience – but it will always be worth it to push forward.
If you’re part of a program at a reputable treatment center, you may be assigned a nutrition counselor who will assess your current health condition. There are many factors they may take into consideration including:
- Your height, age, and weight
- Your grooming habits and personal hygiene
- Any bruises, wounds, cracks, scars, dark areas, dry skin, red eyes, tremors, signs of muscle weakness, dull or loss of hair, pale nail or skin color, missing teeth, etc.
- Prescription medications you’re taking
- Your current eating habits
A 2018 study published in the journal EC Nutrition involved the analysis of 61 academic articles between the years of 2012 and 2013; the researchers wanted to identify appropriate factors to consider regarding nutritional concerns of patients in addiction recovery. The results from the study concluded that because many substance abusers have a diet that is high in sugar and fat, taking on an abstemious diet or switching to foods high in nutrients as part of a treatment program may certainly equate to weight gain of approximately 15 pounds.
Another challenge shown from the study was that of disordered eating; that is, several studies emphasized that some clients were not familiar with healthy eating habits and would therefore skip meals or smoke cigarettes to help control their weight. Lastly, it was show that some patients were taking nutritional or herbal supplements in order to hopefully replace eating nutritiously – this was shown to have harmful effects such as insomnia, delusions, and more.
Based on these challenges, it’s important to maintain open communication with your nutrition counselor about any problems that you are experiencing. Yes, the process will be a bit uncomfortable – you will be developing new habits for eating and taking care of yourself, which will cause you to look and feel different over time. Accept these changes as a process of your recovery. Don’t give up, and don’t give in.
Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer a variety of treatment options including hypnotherapy; call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.