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It’s very easy to get hooked on alcohol, but getting sober is an entirely different matter. At some point, you may simply get fed up with the lifestyle or a health condition forces you to stop. This is when you have to buckle up and deal with the harsh reality of detox.

People who struggle with this phase will tell you that quitting isn’t the only challenge they face. At their best moments, they will probably describe it as “uncomfortable.” Visit our alcohol addiction treatment page for more information.

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Medical Treatment of Alcohol Detoxification

A significant number of individuals dealing with alcohol withdrawal experience the symptoms of detoxification. The symptoms are often more severe for the heavy drinker.

Symptoms can range from an almost uncontrollable need for a drink, tremors, lethargy, insomnia, anxiety, agitation, nausea, vomiting, and sweating, to hallucinations and seizures.

For less severe cases, the symptoms may abate after a couple of hours or days. However, more severe symptoms may require medical intervention.

Medical detox is perhaps the safest way of detoxing from alcohol as the setting is a controlled one. Medications such as benzodiazepines or barbiturates are often used by licensed professionals to combat intense symptoms [1].

To manage the problem, most clinics or rehabilitation centers assess the patient to determine whether or not they can be treated on an outpatient basis [2].

Every state in the U.S. has an alcohol treatment center or rehab center. They tend to provide the best care possible for people struggling withdrawal symptoms. A single alcohol and drug treatment center in Texas has helped over 20,000 individuals with a personalized treatment plant.

 Also, in Texas, there are residential treatment centers that can provide patients with the best care possible in a safe and homely environment.

Traditional Methods for Treating Alcoholism and Issues Related to Alcohol Detoxification

Detoxification is usually the first step in treating alcoholism. Conventionally, it’s done in a controlled (often medical) setting for a period of 4 – 7 days. Medications are used to treat the symptoms of withdrawal.

Afterward, rehabilitation programs would often be suggested to help the individual remain on the path to a healthier life. Also, support groups such as Alcohol Anonymous and a solid support system at home are essential for a successful abstinence journey [3].

Nutrient Deficiencies in Alcohol Abusers

This aspect of alcoholism is often understated or ignored. People are so concerned with the detoxification and its scary reality that they fail to take note of factors such as vitamin and mineral deficiency.

Most times, something as essential as a good diet is not even prioritized. You might argue that alcohol does contain a high number of calories and you would be correct. However, the calories in alcohol are a far cry from the nutrients the body requires to function.

Alcoholics also tend to replace food intake with alcohol by up to 50%. This is a massive blow on their daily nutrient requirements ultimately leading to nutrient deficiencies [4].

Even when somehow, an alcoholic manages to get the recommended daily dose of units and minerals, their systems will not be able to utilize them optimally. It’s a known fact that alcoholism can affect the body’s ability to absorb some vitamins and minerals. Essentially, the person will lose nutrients in several different ways and might just blame it all on the withdrawal.

However, with a well-balanced diet, and some supplementation, a recovering addict will truly be on his way to ‘recovery’.

Ways of Controlling Nutrient Deficiency Caused by Alcohol Withdrawal

In theory, all you have to do is stop depleting the nutrients and replace the lost ones. However, as detoxification is an ongoing process, you can’t just snap a finger and stop the nutrients from getting depleted.

At this point, the only feasible option would be to replace the lost nutrients. For this, you’ll need vitamins and supplements.

These nutrients include but are not limited to protein, B vitamins, vitamin C and others, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and herbal supplements [5].

  1. B Vitamins

The B Vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and B12) are involved in some important processes in the body, ranging from the conversion of glucose to energy to the formation of blood cells. Also, you need energy and blood to survive. However, you don’t need alcohol to survive yet alcohol impedes the absorption of these vital nutrients.

You can easily get your hands on these vitamins. However, be on the lookout for B-Complex tablets that contain the full cocktail.

Another benefit of taking B Vitamins is that they (especially Niacin, B3) have cleansing properties and can remove toxins produced by detoxification.

You can also sneak in these vitamins (and others) through a healthy diet. Leafy greens fruits meat and eggs pack a healthy dose of B Vitamins.

  1. Vitamin C

Is there anything this vitamin cannot do? From strengthening the immune system to giving you clear skin, vitamin C is there to serve your needs.

What most people don’t know is that vitamin C deficiency can lead to feelings of fatigue or depression. No one undergoing withdrawal from alcohol should be depressed. They will just fall off the wagon entirely.

Adding vitamin C supplements to your regimen while detoxing will go a long way in helping you recover fully.

  1. Zinc supplements

Zinc is another important mineral alcohol blocks from being absorbed and utilized. Deficiency of zinc can lead to confusion, depression, decreased organ function, as well as a significant reduction in senses of smell and taste.

Several treatment centers, whether residential rehab centers or others advocate for daily doses of zinc and other vitamins [6].

  1. Magnesium and Calcium supplements

These minerals play a vital role in relaxing the CNS to relieve anxiety. Also, the irritability, twitches, and cramps that come with detoxing can be improved by these two minerals.

Supplementing the diet with magnesium and calcium capsules is recommended for any treatment plan made for recovering addicts.

  1. Omega -3 fatty acids

You’ve probably seen brands marketing their products by claiming that they are “rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.” Omega-3 fatty acids have been extensively researched and linked to several health benefits.

They can fight depression and anxiety and may even improve sleep. These effects will be highly beneficial for someone experiencing bad withdrawal symptoms [7].

  1. Protein

Protein can usually be gotten from a balanced diet. However, recovering alcoholics require a bit more than that to supplement the ones they’ve lost. This protein is typically in the form of amino acids – the building blocks of proteins [8].

Several forms of amino acids can be gotten artificially as supplements including Glutamine, L-tyrosine, 5-HTP (hydroxytryptophan), and L-theanine. The supplements are best taken with supervision from a doctor to avoid excessive intake.

  1. Herbal supplements

These may not do much on their own but they may enhance your general well-being during the period of detoxification and even after that.

Most of these herbal remedies have been researched and proven to make a difference. Consider adding herbal supplements such as Korean red ginseng, milk thistle, and kudzu extract to your diet. These can easily be gotten at any ayurvedic medicine store [9].

  1. Multivitamins

A lot has been said on vitamins B and C, however, multivitamins contain beyond more vitamins and some other essential minerals and nutrients that the body requires to function [10].

Alcoholism is a real problem today. Withdrawal symptoms certainly make quitting that much tougher on addicts. Irrespective of the difficulties, there is still a light at the end of the tunnel that is worth fighting for.

References

  1. 3 Regimens for alcohol withdrawal and detoxification. Chad Asplund, M.D. MD Edge. https://www.mdedge.com/familymedicine/article/65531/addiction-medicine/3-regimens-alcohol-withdrawal-and-detoxification.  Accessed 21-08-2020.
  2. Alcoholism. Dr. Weil. https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/addiction/alcoholism/. Accessed 21-08-2020.
  3. Why a Healthy Diet Is Important During Alcohol Detox. Summit Detox. https://www.summitdetox.com/detox-blog/why-a-healthy-diet-is-important-during-alcohol-detox/. Accessed 21-08-2020.

Contact Us

Stonegate Center
Address: 7510 FM 1886, Azle, TX 76020
Phone: (817) 993-9733
Fax: (817) 704-4576
Email: info@stonegatecenter.com
Web: StonegateCenter.com
Location: Click for Map & Directions

Stonegate CenterStonegate Center is a private faith-based and gender-separate rehab center located in Azle, Texas. We offer long-term residential addiction treatment for men and women struggling with drug & alcohol addiction. Our rehab center serves the communities of Forth Worth, Dallas, and as far as Oklahoma & New Mexico.

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