In order for the brain and body to function normally, it needs food. Food fuels the body throughout the day by breaking down foods into glucose. The glucose is then released into the bloodstream to be used for energy, or to be stored in the body for later.
The body needs a variety of foods to thrive. While carbohydrates are great for a short-term burst of energy, the body also needs proteins and healthy fats to preserve for later use. Maintaining a balanced diet is key to creating a healthy lifestyle in addiction recovery.
How Addiction Affects Diet And Nutrition
Like most things during active addiction, proper diet and nutrition often fall by the wayside. Instead of spending their time, money or energy on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, those suffering from addiction use these resources to perpetuate their destructive drug or alcohol habit.
As an addicted person continues to neglect their nutrients, it will begin to interfere with the body’s overall well-being and ability to function.
Some typical food-related behaviors that those suffering from addiction exhibit are:
- Failing to eat: Those abusing drugs or alcohol often have a suppressed appetite and will forget to eat while under the influence.
- Eating poorly: During active addiction, most users will spend all their money on drug or alcohol. This leaves little to no money to spend on healthy meals.
- Binge eating: When coming down from a high, some people suffering from addiction will regain an insatiable appetite and continue to eat even after they are full.
Months or years of extreme drug or alcohol abuse combined with a poor diet will take a toll on the body.
How Addiction And Poor Diet Affects The Body And Brain
Bad eating habits and addiction often go hand in hand. Unfortunately, this combination can disrupt many essential functions of the brain and body.
Persistent drug or alcohol abuse and lack of food will quickly lead to malnutrition, which can manifest in ways, such as:
- Low body temperature
- Cognitive impairment
- Muscle degeneration
- Heart rate inconsistencies
- Suppressed immune system
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Electrolyte imbalances