Eating disorders or misuse of drugs or alcohol can dangerously impact physical health. Eating disorders can lead to severe digestive issues, including malnutrition and starvation. Drugs and alcohol bombard the body with toxins, damaging organs, and weakening the immune system.
Both substance use disorder (SUD) and eating disorder (ED) cause nutritional deficiencies which can compromise physical and mental functions. The results can be fatal.
For those with substance use disorders, detoxification is the first step in the healing process. Once the body has been cleansed of toxins, proper nutrition, physical exercise, and stress management are important components of any recovery program.
Tips for Healing the Body
Food provides the fuel necessary for the brain and body to function. To function optimally, the body requires a variety of food containing complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, vitamins and minerals, healthy fats, and water.
If you regularly abuse drugs or alcohol or have an eating disorder, it is unlikely you are eating a healthy, balanced diet. Eating irregularly and in insufficient amounts or consuming foods lacking essential vitamins and minerals can lead to numerous, life-threatening conditions.
Body systems that may be damaged by excessive drug or alcohol use or by disordered eating include:
- Stomach and Intestines
Good nutrition is essential for a healthy, functioning body and strong immune system, and can often repair much of the damage caused by poor nutrition and unhealthy habits.
A successful recovery program fosters a commitment to eating a nutritious, balanced diet as an important part of the treatment plan. You will be rewarded with increased energy, improved mood, a more alert mind, and less risk of disease.
Regular exercise also serves to boost energy and increase a sense of well-being. Added benefits include better sleep, improved digestion, increased muscle strength and endurance, stronger cardiovascular and respiratory systems, and a stronger immune system.
Studies have shown physical exercise helps relieve cravings. Two studies funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that exercise lowers the levels of a protein linked to drug cravings. Multiple studies agree that exercise reduces cravings.
Unmanaged stress causes great harm to the body. Over time, stress can even harm vital functions of the body, as well as interfere with mood and cognitive functions. Stress also increases the risk of relapse in those seeking recovery.
Practicing stress management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, positive thinking, yoga, journaling, involvement in interesting hobbies, spending time with positive people and support group participation can be effective in reducing stress.
Proper nutrition, exercise and stress management help heal and strengthen the brain and body. A strong, healthy body raises self-esteem, increases confidence and positivity, reduces the risk of relapse and greatly increases the likelihood of a successful long-term recovery.
Turning Point of Tampa has been offering Licensed Residential Treatment for Addiction, Eating Disorders and Dual Diagnosis in Tampa since 1987. If you need help or know someone who does, please contact our admissions department at 813-882-3003, 800-397-3006 or email@example.com.