Nutritional impact on individual substances of abuse: The significance of nutrition on substances effects

Nutritional impact on individual substances of abuse

Nutritional impact on individual substances of abuse has delivered real success in the treatment of drug addiction

It is very important for all of us to appreciate and understand the nutritional impact on individual’s substance of abuse if we are to make any meaningful changes in the fight about this problem. In many instances we are quick in pointing fingers without really having the knowledge of some of the possible solutions at our disposal which we are not exploring. It is because of this reason that we want to engage services of doctor Dalal Akoury a veteran addiction experts of very many decades and founder of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center, to help us understand some of the specific nutritional impact on individual substances of abuse in this article. This is a discussion that you don’t want to miss and we welcome you to stay on the link for this very informative discussion of a life time.

Nutritional impact on individual substances of abuse: Alcohol

Alcohol is one of the major causes of nutritional deficiency not just in the United States but it cuts across the globe. Alcohol is very rich in calories but provides little or no nutrition to the body at all. It is no wonder that many alcoholics are malnourished, either due to ingesting a nutritionally inadequate diet or changes in the body’s ability to use the nutrients it receives. Doctor Akoury says that it is important to appreciate that alcoholism is very indiscriminative on the way it at attacks the body and is capable of affecting every area of the body irrespective of age, gender or status. Other effects of alcoholism may include insomnia, anorexia, weight changes, gastrointestinal cramping, decreased digestive enzymes, ulcers, muscle wasting, liver disease, and abnormal glucose levels depending on the amount of alcohol ingested. Besides all these, it is important to appreciate that those who take in more than 30% of their total calories in alcohol generally have a significant decrease in their intake of all macronutrients and deficiencies in vitamin A, vitamin C, and thiamine.

Alcohol’s impact on digestion and the absorption of essential nutrients is important to understand when treating an alcoholic. Alcohol interferes with protein metabolism, leading to important clinical consequences, including low albumin levels, increased fluid in the abdomen, reduced blood clotting, and decreased urea production (resulting in excessive ammonia levels), which may increase the likelihood of altered brain function (e.g., hepatic encephalopathy).

Of all the organs of the body affected by alcohol, the liver is the one that suffer the most and therefore all liver disease resulting from alcoholism alters the its ability to take up beta-carotene or convert it to vitamin A, thereby causing disorders such as night blindness. Doctor Akoury advices that dietitians should be cautious when treating alcoholics with low vitamin A, levels since blood levels may be inconsistent with what’s stored in tissues and because of high doses are toxic. It’s recommended that patients with low vitamin A and night blindness be treated with some 2 mg of vitamin A daily for several weeks, and besides that Zinc treatment also may be useful, as it’s needed for vitamin A metabolism.

The body moves through four stages of liver damage as alcoholism progresses: fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and encephalopathy or coma. Protein-calorie malnutrition predicts survival in patients with alcoholic liver disease. Forty-five to seventy percent of alcoholics with liver disease also are glucose intolerant or diabetic.

Treatment goals for patients with alcoholism are to reverse malnutrition, prevent alcoholic liver disease, and establish a healthy lifestyle and coping skills for avoiding alcohol use. If malnourished, alcoholics benefit from a diet high in carbohydrates and moderate in protein. Low-calorie diets and fasting should be avoided because of the nutritional risks and the possibility that a patient has an existing eating disorder or may cross over to a new addiction with food, dieting, or exercise. Such diet should include a mix of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids since the amount and type of fats impact hepatic steatosis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis. If tube feeding or total parenteral nutrition is required, dietitians should avoid glutamine-enriched formulas, as they increase ammonia levels. The amino acid taurine, in addition to patients’ prescribed diets, has been used to help maintain recovery after detoxification, as it represses the rewarding effect in the brain associated with alcohol.

Nutritional impact on individual substances of abuse: Opioids (Narcotics)

Ordinarily opioids are used for the purpose of pain treatments that are likely to include codeine, oxycodone, heroin, methadone, and morphine. From the experts’ point of view, doctor Akoury and her team of professionals from AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center are in agreement that these drugs are capable of slowing down the body movements and can also cause sedation, leading to slower digestion and constipation. Amidst all these, it is important to note that withdrawal symptoms can also occur with opioids, even within a very short duration of use. It therefore brings with it a very wide range of symptoms, mainly diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, which can lead to poor oral intake, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances. Nutrient deficits may then be caused by poor nutritional intake or the drug’s impact on digestion and absorption. Remember that opioids are always water soluble, meaning that they will in a record time clear the body faster than would have been done by fat-soluble drugs which in many cases would produce some painful and uncomfortable detox periods.

Heroin use can cause glucose intolerance, but this usually resolves with abstinence. For that reason, patients will require blood sugar monitoring and balanced, frequent meals. Finally says doctor Dalal Akoury, when newly abstaining from opioids, patients typically have very low pain tolerance, increased heart rate, anxiety, and trouble sleeping. These symptoms commonly cause them to relapse to their drug of choice. Pharmacotherapy, counseling, and lifestyle changes help prevent relapse in this population of addicts. However amidst all these worthy options at your disposal, if you are still not seeing any break through, it is not the end of the road for you. We will always be there for you at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center under the able leadership of doctor Dalal Akoury. You can therefore schedule for a one on one meeting with her for a more in-depth professional touch in all your pending concerns and you will not regret it for the rest of your life there-after.

Nutritional impact on individual substances of abuse: The significance of nutrition on substances effects

 

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