Natural Approach To Health
Eating For Alcoholism
We had a question the other day about alcoholism.
About 64% of American adults over 18 drink alcohol and 1 out of 10 people suffer adverse consequences from it.
Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive disease and can have fatal consequences.
This dependence can be physiological, psychological, social, or genetic.
There are 2 separate classes of alcohol-related problems: alcohol abuse, or “problem drinking,” and alcohol dependence, or alcoholism.
Problem drinkers use alcohol on a regular basis, and although they may need some support or guidance, they’re not as physically and/or emotionally dependent on the drug as alcoholics.
We’ll use the term alcoholism loosely below for practical purposes, but it’s important to remember this distinction.
Heavy drinking contributes to illness in each of the top 3 causes of death: heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
Alcoholism affects approximately 4 times as many men as women, but alcoholism among women is rising, as is the use of alcohol by children, adolescents, and college students.
The overall rate of premature death related to alcohol abuse is 50-100% higher for women than for men.
Alcohol affects everyone differently.
Some become intoxicated with the first drink; others may be able to have 4-5 drinks before showing any effects.
Alcoholism is a progressive disease usually starting with acceptable social drinking.
Overindulgence often leads to depression, anxiety, memory loss, and lack of coordination, and can exaggerate antisocial behaviors like aggression and/or other personality disorders.
Intoxication also causes blood pressure and heart rates to be higher at first and then to decrease with prolonged consumption.
Respiration rates are lowered, and reflexes and reaction times slowed.
Alcoholics often become ashamed and angry at their compulsive behavior, leading them to further alcohol abuse.
Some people drink moderate to heavy amounts of alcohol for years before becoming dependent on it, while others may become addicted the very first time they take a drink.
But, alcohol alone isn’t the only cause of alcoholism.
There’s a lot of debate about whether alcoholism is mainly caused by genetic, environmental, or psychological factors.
Depression can lead some people to alcohol.
A family history of alcoholism is common, and research shows heredity is involved almost 50% of the time.
Alcoholism causes metabolic damage to every cell in your body and depresses your immune system.
The social consequences of alcoholism can also be very destructive.
Alcohol abuse takes a tremendous toll on society through traffic and other accidents, poor job performance, and emotional damage to entire families.
Alcoholism is currently the second major preventable cause of death in the U.S., second only to cigarette smoking.
Treatment can vary with the individual.
If the person to be treated is alcohol dependent, complete abstinence should be the goal.
Dietary supplements, while important for everyone, are especially vital for alcoholics.
Studies show some of the diseases associated with alcoholism can be avoided by improving the nutritional health of your body.
The following program is designed to help recovering alcoholics improve their nutritional condition.
You should begin with a high-potency multivitamin and mineral complex, and then add the nutrients listed not included in the complex.
To deal with alcoholism recovery it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily to hydrate and flush toxins.
*Alfalfa is a good source of needed nutrients.
*Burdock root and red clover cleanse your bloodstream.
*Dandelion root and silymarin (milk thistle extract) help repair damage done to your liver. Silymarin is a powerful antioxidant.
*Valerian root has a calming effect. It’s best taken at bedtime.
*Avoid all alcohol. Total abstinence is an absolute requirement for regaining control over your life.
*Seek help from someone knowledgeable. A strong support system can make behavioral changes much easier for everyone.
*If possible, consult a nutritionally oriented physician to get your specific nutritional needs.
*Go on a 10-day live juice and cleansing fast to remove toxins from your body quickly.
*Eat a nutrient-dense diet of fresh whole foods, organically grown if possible, and follow the nutritional supplement program outlined below. Your primary foods should be raw fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
*Avoid saturated fats and fried foods, which put stress on your liver. Use cold-pressed olive oil.
*Don’t consume refined sugar or anything containing it. Alcoholics often have disorders of sugar metabolism.
*Get plenty of rest, especially in the early weeks of recovery, to allow your body to cleanse and repair itself.
*Avoid people, things, and places associated with drinking. Make new friendships with people who don’t drink.
*As much as possible, avoid stress. Cultivate patience; this will be needed for the long, slow road to recovery.
*Don’t take any drugs except those prescribed by your physician.
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