Meet the Expert
Nutritional supplements are becoming more and more popular in the United States. They can help people with poor nutrition and vitamin deficiencies.
Alcoholics often suffer from nutritional deficiencies. Supplements can play a role in recovery.
We reached out to nutritionist and health advocate Meaghan Greenwood to ask some questions about supplements for recovering alcoholics. Here's what she had to say.
Supplements are products that are taken orally to supplement or add to the nutrients that someone gets from their diet.
For recovering alcoholics, supplements can help support their health as they recover from the physical and mental effects of alcohol abuse.
Recovering alcoholics may need supplements because alcohol abuse can deplete the body of essential nutrients.
Additionally, people recovering from alcoholism may experience decreased appetite or gastrointestinal issues. These can make it difficult to get all the nutrients they need from food alone.
Alcoholism can lead to deficiencies in several important nutrients, including:
Supplements can help address nutritional deficiencies by providing the body with the nutrients it needs to function properly.
For example, a vitamin B complex supplement can help address deficiencies in B vitamins, which are essential for many functions in the body, including energy production and nervous system function.
Supplements that may be particularly helpful for recovering alcoholics include:
Some supplements may interact with alcohol or medications commonly used during alcohol detoxification. These supplements should be avoided by recovering alcoholics:
Recovering alcoholics should speak with their healthcare provider or a qualified nutritionist to help determine which supplements are right for them.
They can make a plan based on their patient’s individual needs and health status.
Supplements can be integrated into a larger recovery plan by working with a healthcare provider or nutritionist to develop a plan that includes healthy eating, regular exercise, and other supportive therapies.
This will depend on their needs and the severity of their nutrient deficiencies. It's important to work with a healthcare provider or nutritionist to determine the appropriate length of time to take supplements.
Some common side effects of certain supplements include:
Some supplements can interact with other medications or treatments used for alcohol addiction.
It's important to speak with a healthcare provider before taking any supplements to ensure that they will not interact with other treatments.
To ensure the quality and safety of the supplements they take, people should:
In addition to taking supplements, it's important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods.
Signs that supplements may not be working or causing negative effects can include:
To monitor their progress and adjust their supplement regimen accordingly, people should work with a healthcare provider or nutritionist to track changes in their nutrient levels and overall health.
A common misconception about supplements for recovering alcoholics isthe idea that supplements can replace a healthy diet.
Another myth is that taking large doses of certain nutrients will speed up the recovery process.
It's important to work with a healthcare provider or nutritionist to determine the appropriate use of supplements as part of a larger recovery plan.