Physical preparation

Having nursed alcoholics I knew what a toll alcohol takes on the body physically so before I stopped I wanted to start addressing that.

B vitamins, especially B1, B2, B3 and B6, are destroyed by alcohol, which primarily affects the liver and nervous system.  When we were detoxing patients on the ward they would all receive daily multivitamins, thiamine and folic acid, intravenously if they could not take it orally.

I started taking a daily multivitamin & multimineral and a 1000mg Vitamin C.  Milk thistle is also good for liver detoxification.

If you read Patrick Holford Optimum Nutrition Bible he recommends for alcoholism:

Multivitamins and multiminerals

Antioxidant complex

Vitamin C 1000mg

Adaptogenic herbs, plus tyosine – which helps to prevent emotional and physical lows after stopping.

Bone mineral complex (including calcium and magnesium)

Glutamine powder twice a day in water on an empty stomach – which  helps the gut and reduces cravings.

He also says that a very alkaline diet reduces the cravings for alcohol and recommends a diet high in whole grains, beans and lentils and frequent meals containing protein such as nuts, seeds, fish,, chicken, eggs or milk produce.  Soberistas are currently running a Love Your Liver 14 day Detox, Cleanse & Rejuvenate Programme put together by their Nutritional Therapist, Clare Shepherd which you can find here.

Oh and lots and lots of water.

He also warns that sugar addiction is often substituted for dependency on alcohol, as booze is just liquid sugar, so avoiding sugar and stimulants is recommended.  I can attest for the sweet tooth but have personally decided to let it slide as I am less than 6 months without a drink and I would rather put not drinking before anything else at this point in time.  The sugar issue will be addressed once being sober is a stable part of my life.

Edited to add 14th May 2016:

Chronic drinking interferes with absorption of critical vitamins by pancreas

Chronic exposure to alcohol interferes with the pancreas’ ability to absorb vitamin C, potentially predisposing the body to pancreatitis and other pancreatic diseases, a new study in the American Journal of Physiology — Cell Physiology reports.

So that 1 gram of Vitamin C is a really good idea 🙂

7 thoughts on “Physical preparation

  1. What a practical and helpful post! I hadn’t thought about the sugar connection- but it fits. I do not have much of a sweet tooth, but over the past 3 months, I’ve probably eaten more sweets than in the past 5 years put together. Which is OK, since, as you say, sobriety is my priority now. But I’m noticing a wee bit of tightness in my waistbands, so it is probably time to ease off on this a bit- and depend more on non-ingestable forms of support- books, more fabric, more glass (picture slight drooling of happiness as I type these words, lol!).

  2. Thanks Carrie 🙂 Yep need to find a non-sugar way to manage too! Mind you 550 calories in a bottle of wine means we can forgive ourselves a few sweets 😉

  3. My sugar cravings are starting to slow down a little, as is my desire for diet soda. I am glad I didn’t give myself a hard time about it…it was much healthier than drinking for me. Now I crave it when I am feeling emotional. I think it’s ok…as I get better at dealing with emotions I will crave it less. I am finding substituting tea and a bubble bath helps, too! 🙂

    1. Me too – I reach for the biscuit barrel rather than a bottle these days when I’m stressed or anxious. Like you I think it will resolve itself in time 🙂

  4. Thank you for a very helpful post! I have been taking B vitamins, folic acid and calcium magnesium everyday in my first 4 months of sobriety so far. I am now trying to cut back on sugar, but I feel reassured with your priority of waiting until sobriety is stable. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jocelynn! Thank you for reading and commenting and glad that you felt re-assured. Giving up the booze is hard enough without having to give up sugar at the same time 🙂

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