Last Updated on September 8, 2022 by Dr. Alberto Solà

Proper nutrition is crucial for a happy and healthy life.

Vitamins and minerals help our brain and other organs function at their best. When they are missing from our diet and our body, we suffer.

People who do not get the proper nourishment often find that they are always tired, even if they sleep a lot. They may get sick frequently and when they hurt themselves it may take them an extended time to heal. Brain fog and confusion may also arise; this can make relationships and employment challenging.

Unfortunately, most people who have struggled with addiction for an extended time find that they have major vitamin deficiencies when they visit their doctors when starting their recovery journeys.

The reasons for this are numerous, but for ultimate recovery success, this is an issue that must be addressed.

Addiction recovery centers recognize this problem and combat it by providing nourishing, healthy, and diverse meals to individuals in their residential treatment programs. Many people who attend these programs have not eaten healthily on an everyday basis for months or even for years.

Taking vitamins can also help restore your body’s health and natural balance.

Read on to learn more about the role of vitamins in addiction recovery.

Addiction and Vitamin Deficiency

Researchers who specialize in studying addiction and people’s management of and recovery from substance abuse disorder have found that vitamin deficiencies are common in people who have abused drugs or alcohol for any period of time.

Much of the reason for this is due to the fact that people who heavily consume drugs or alcohol often fail to eat healthily.

In some cases, eating healthy meals is simply forgotten. Some drugs suppress the appetite, so regular meals are often skipped.

Other people struggling with addiction don’t have the time or energy to cook healthy meals for themselves so they turn instead to junk food to meet their hunger needs. Still others are unable to afford nutritious food because they spend much of their income on supporting their drug and alcohol habits.

But there are other causes of these vitamin deficiencies as well. In some cases, the substance that is being abused can hinder the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals.

People who struggle with alcoholism are often deficient in vitamin B1 and thiamine, both of which support the brain, the nervous system, and digestion. They also may suffer from deficiencies in vitamins A, D, and E; lack of these vital vitamins can result in liver problems and loss of bone mass and density.

Individuals who struggle with addiction to various drugs are often deficient in vitamins B1, B5, B6, C and E, and in calcium, magnesium, and niacin. All of these are crucial and essential for one’s body to function properly, and low quantities of any or all of them can lead to serious health problems in time.

No matter what the cause, eating food that is not nutritious for a period of time will result in physical suffering. If you’re taking the first steps on your recovery journey, you must do whatever your doctor advises you to help restore the levels of these nutrients to their proper levels.

Symptoms of Malnourishment

If you’re suffering from nutrient deficiency, you probably already know. How do you feel? If you don’t feel well most of the time, this may be the problem that you are facing.

Some symptoms of vitamin and mineral deficiencies and malnourishment include fatigue, dizziness, and memory loss. It may also result in tooth decay, swollen or bleeding gums, dry skin, and menstrual troubles. Internally, long-term malnourishment can lead to problems like bone and muscle loss, kidney damage, heart problems, liver problems, and digestive issues.

Of course, when most people experience one or more of the above symptoms, they will likely visit a doctor to get checked out. However, people who are struggling with addiction may be hesitant to follow up with a medical professional due to their drug or alcohol dependency.  As a result, many may not recognize or address these symptoms until they have begun working on their recovery.

General Nutrition

Of course, the very best way to ensure that you get all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs is to eat healthy food every day. If you are unsure how to do so, there are many great online resources to guide you, or you can meet with a nutritionist for advice.

In general, you should make sure that you eat plenty of complex carbohydrates like white potatoes, brown rice, and whole grain breads and lots of protein and fiber as well. All of these macronutrients work together to power and energize the body. As long as you eat a balanced diet that is rich in natural, unprocessed foods, you will be on the right track.

Also be sure to limit sugar and to keep your caffeine intake low. These substances will put your body on a roller coaster that can do further, ongoing harm to your body. You should also eat small meals to keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout your days.

Vitamins That Can Help

You can also take vitamins and supplements to further rebuild your store of nutrients in your body.

Unless your doctor has recommended individual vitamin or mineral supplements due to specific deficiencies, you might just begin with a multivitamin. Multivitamins are, as their name implies, a collection of vitamins and minerals combined into one capsule that you can take daily. These can offer great support to your overall health.

Your doctor may also suggest that you take other supplements like omega 3 fatty acids or magnesium to reduce your withdrawal symptoms or B vitamins to control your cravings. Vitamin D and vitamin C supplements can help support your recover as well, and zinc is a great aid to lower anxiety and bolster your overall mental health as well.

Take Care of Yourself

As you can see, vitamins and minerals play a huge part in your overall health and they can offer you immense support in both the early days of your recovery and on your recovery journey overall. They are just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to getting you back to the you that you are supposed to be. Just as you are dedicating yourself to your recovery, dedicate yourself to your overall health today.

At Clear Sky Recovery, we are here to help you get started on your own path to recovery.  Our ibogaine therapy is innovative and effective, and our staff is standing by to answer any questions you may have about our staff, our facility, or the process.  Please give us a call today!  We can’t wait to hear from you!