Alcoholism and Nutrition

This article was written and published by Holdfast Recovery


What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism, or alcohol abuse, occurs when your body becomes dependent on alcohol. When you are dependent on alcohol, you may miss school or work because of drinking, neglect your hygiene habits, drink alone, eat poorly, or continue to drink after legal problems develop. Physically, when people rely on alcohol, they may experience symptoms like alcohol cravings, shaking, nausea, vomiting, tremors, or lapses in memory.

When people drink alcohol, they will notice a spike in their dopamine levels, also known as the pleasure hormone. For some, feeling this burst of dopamine may make them feel ‘normal.’ It also may make them feel more confident, happier, and more courageous in social settings. If you are prone to addiction, chasing that feeling will result in drinking more until your body eventually becomes dependent on it.

How Does Alcohol Affect Your Digestive System?

Many people who suffer from alcoholism may also be malnourished. This happens for several reasons. The primary reason someone who abuses alcohol may be malnourished is that they ingest too little essential nutrients, such as protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins. Another reason malnutrition takes place is due to alcohol preventing the body from properly absorbing, digesting, and using those nutrients.

When people think of their metabolism, they frequently link it to how quickly they may digest food. Realistically, our metabolism is made up of chemical reactions that turn our food into nutrients our body needs to function properly.

Most Common Nutritional Deficiencies

People entering a treatment center to address their alcoholic dependency are usually deficient in zinc, vitamins, and proteins.

Zinc can be found in various meats, nuts, whole grains, and dairy products, which may not be high in consumption by someone who abuses alcohol. However, alcohol also decreases zinc absorption in the gut while enhancing zinc loss through the urinary tract.

Additionally, when the gut doesn’t provide a good barrier between the intestines and other parts of the body, toxins will travel to the liver and cause what is known as a “leaky gut.” This can lead to future health complications and liver disease.

Why Nutrition is So Important

Maintaining a healthy, balanced eating plan is one step toward living a healthier lifestyle; what you put into your body fuels you. In fact, studies have also linked your gut health to your brain health. Therefore, if you include the proper nutrients into your diet, you may also begin to recognize that you think more clearly. By consuming high levels of protein, vitamins, and nutrients, you will notice overall benefits to your physical health.

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