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There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. I was thinking it would be an ebook at least. Should say on the description that you are ordering a short article. The dietitian's role in treating substance abuse is an important but often lacking part of patients' long-term recovery process. Nutrition therapy for substance abuse is complex, as the nutritional risks vary depending on the substance of choice and negative conditions for successful treatment are common, including poor support, co-occurring mental health disorders, or poverty.
Addiction is defined as a chronic brain disorder characterized by compulsive and relapsing behavior. Proper nutrition and hydration are key to the substance abuse healing process because they help restore physical and mental health and improve the chance of recovery. Macro- and micronutrient deficiencies can lead to symptoms of depression, anxiety, and low energy, all of which can lead someone to start using drugs or alcohol or trigger a relapse.
Substance abuse generally leads to a lack of proper nutrition, either as a result of not eating enough throughout the day or eating foods that are low in necessary nutrients. Many programs that target substance abuse prevention address nutrition because a healthful lifestyle can promote mental health.
And for those who are battling substance abuse, nutrition plays the same key role in maintaining recovery while also improving the resulting health conditions and deficiencies. Individualized nutrition counseling and comprehensive nutrition education programs provided to the substance abuse population have been found to significantly improve three-month sobriety success rates.
Medical nutrition therapy MNT and nutrition education for this population should target the following goals: This continuing education course reviews the effects of substance abuse as they relate to nutrition and health, and addresses the role RDs play during treatment to correct nutrition-related deficiencies, address resulting health disparities, and improve the lives of addicts by providing tools for lasting recovery.
Heal and Nourish Substance abuse is known to lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies that threaten physical and mental health, damage vital organs and the nervous system, and decrease immunity. These compounding factors result in an increased risk of long-term health problems, including metabolic syndrome, diabetes, hypertension, weight problems, and eating disorders. To help an individual recover from the effects of substance abuse, it's important to supply them with balanced, calorically appropriate meals.
This may be difficult during the initial detox period but should be a targeted goal as soon as the patient is deemed stable for oral intake.
Encouraging them to consume regularly scheduled meals and snacks and to increase their level and amount of physical activity will help address these issues as well as contribute to stress management and improved sleep. It's vital to correct any nutritional deficiencies and address any medical conditions, as continued malnutrition and instability increase disease risk and will produce cravings for drugs or alcohol. Increased consumption of nutrient-dense foods eg, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and antioxidants is important; these foods help decrease inflammation, reduce cell oxidation, and provide the basics of a healthful diet.
Psychotherapy also is an important part of the healing process for substance abuse patients. Normalize Neurotransmitters and Mood Psychoactive substances may lead to psychiatric problems, as the substances can have toxic effects on brain chemistry. Before detoxification, neurotransmitters are decreased due to poor nutrition and altered amino acid absorption and utilization.
It's thought that these imbalances disappear over a period of weeks but may last as long as one year after an addict becomes sober. For some, mood and behavior abnormalities may have been present before the substance abuse. With proper diagnosis of any possible underlying mental health disorders, a healthful diet and education on how nutrition influences mood and brain chemistry, recovery can be enhanced. An understanding of how food affects mood and the risk of substance abuse begins with macronutrients.
Carbohydrates are the body's main source of energy; without this macronutrient, the brain can't properly function, blood sugar becomes unstable, and neurotransmitters become disrupted. Unstable blood sugar can lead to feelings of frustration, anxiety, and cravings. Carbohydrates aid in the production of serotonin, which facilitates a happy, stable mood; aids in sleep; and helps curb food cravings.
Low serotonin levels can result in sleep problems, irritability, and depression.
Insulin release following carbohydrate intake helps glucose enter cells, where it's used for energy and triggers tryptophan's entry into the brain. Ensuring that clients receive adequate carbohydrates and tryptophan-rich foods, such as dairy and meats, helps stabilize these reactions.
Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, also are the foundation of neurotransmitters. Low levels of neurotransmitters, particularly dopamine, can trigger an individual to turn to substances to feel better, as most substances markedly impact the body's dopamine levels. Dopamine is made from the amino acid tyrosine, and serotonin is made from tryptophan. Dietary fat also plays a role in maintaining mental health.
Because it affects inflammation and cell membrane integrity, limiting dietary fat directly influences mood. Research has shown that increased inflammation or proinflammatory cytokines result in more depressive symptoms. Omega-3 fatty acid consumption may help with depression by assisting in the uptake of neurotransmitters and decreasing inflammation. Having a proper balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids helps neurotransmitter receptors function, which in turn helps increase the amount of neurotransmitters that can be active in the brain.
Other vitamins important for mental health include iron, folate, and vitamins B6 and B Deficiencies of any of these nutrients can mimic mental health problems such as depression, fatigue, poor attention, and altered sleep. Encouraging patients to drink adequate amounts of hydrating fluids also will help them manage mood while ensuring adequate absorption of any medications they take to prevent side effects from withdrawal or underlying psychiatric disorders.
Common symptoms of dehydration include irritability, trouble concentrating, and disorientation. Dehydration also commonly results from detoxification, so monitoring daily intake and output values will help determine appropriate fluid intake recommendations.
Caffeine intake should be monitored, as it triggers the same reward centers of the brain as do substances and can markedly impact anxiety and sleep. Low caffeine intake and smoking cessation have been shown to improve long-term sobriety for all addictions. Reduce Cravings Anxiety, irritability, and low mood or energy levels are triggers for cravings. All of these symptoms can result from low blood sugar, dehydration, high levels of caffeine, and an unbalanced diet.
Increased relapse occurs when an individual has poor eating habits, mainly because of the impact on cravings.
Encouraging balanced meals and regular eating times helps patients decrease these events. Generally, a diet relatively high in complex carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and low in fat and sugar is recommended to help sustain recovery.
Often in early recovery, patients struggle with differentiating hunger from cravings for drugs or alcohol and emotions. Addicts commonly forget what normal hunger feels like and may perceive a craving for substances when actually they're just hungry.
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Similarly, many addicts will switch to sweets to replace their drug dependency; some of this is a result of seeking pleasurable foods that trigger a physiological response such as increasing dopamine , emotional eating, or experiencing irregular blood sugar levels. RDs can help educate patients on identifying physical hunger cues and encourage more frequent, balanced eating to help them maintain a normal level of hunger and satiety rather than getting overly hungry.
MNT for Substance Abuse Depending on the substances different individuals abuse, their nutritional status, weight problems, and disease may differ, leading to a need for a full assessment to determine their individual requirements. This course first examines the common needs for MNT in substance abuse and then discusses the specific nutritional threats each substance poses as well as the recommendations for addressing those threats.
Malnutrition Malnutrition related to addiction is categorized as primary or secondary. Primary malnutrition occurs when the substance replaces other dietary nutrients. Both types of malnutrition can result from any substance use.