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Establish a supplement regimen part 2

WHY SHOULD WE CONSIDER NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTATION?


Many people who are just getting sober or who have just finished a detox have persistent and recurring symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress, and fatigue.


This is not unusual.


In fact, it’s more the rule than the exception.

Much of the emotional distress that can not be directly attributed to a specific life event stems from correctable malfunctions in our body and brain chemistry - the result of critically unmet nutritional needs.


We have witnessed and experienced remarkable improvements in mood - often times within days - simply by implementing a nutritional repair plan.


Keep in mind that we are referring to what has been referred to as "false moods", meaning those that are not true, genuine responses to the real troubles we deal with in life. Those "true" emotions are actually beneficial in that they can point us to areas in our lives that need attention. They are effectively treated and relieved with talk therapy and a strong fellowship network for support.


Rather, the "false" moods are the ones that seem to come and go without reason that can severely disrupt an early sobriety attempt.


The brain (and to a lesser extent, the gut) is responsible for most of your feelings.  It transmits feelings through four primary "mood chemicals" - endorphins, serotonin, GABA, and catecholamines.


In chemical addictions, to one extent or another (depending on the substance, amount consumed, and duration of use), it stops producing these chemicals on a regular basis.


Pharmaceutical companies have been developing drugs for decades that attempt to disguise or band-aid fix deficiencies in these areas. But that is not the same thing as true repair.  Our research and experience has shown that many, many people achieve relief through nutritional supplements and can all together avoid the use of incredibly powerful pharmaceutical alternatives.


A sound nutritional program is essential to successful treatment. Giving vitamins and minerals in correct amounts and proportions will allow the cells to generate new cells, repair injured ones, and strengthen its defense against other diseases.


Because every individual entering recovery is different, each recommendation will vary.  I recommend consulting a professional educated in the use of nutritional supplementation - e.g. physician, pharmacist, nutritionist - and who is also well-experienced in the nuances of substance use disorders and how this will affect recommendations.


It may be tempting to do one's own research in this area and decide what would be best, but as a general recommendation, we discourage this.


Being your own advocate is important (and necessary), however we believe there is too much information available, mostly unsubstantiated, and the probability that a random searching will lead one to an appropriate supplement approach is unlikely.

Because the supplement market is not regulated to the same extent as the pharmaceutical industry, the discretion of an experienced professional is advised.


He/she can help you navigate through which remedies are safe and which should be avoided. What works and what doesn't. Keep in mind, no nutritional supplement is a miracle cure. In fact, a good way to rule out a particular option is one that claims to be so.  Although supplementation is a significant component (enough to make an entire rule about), it is still just a component.


Do not expect a quick fix.


In the world of drug recovery, THERE IS NO SUCH THING!

Establish a supplement regimen

12 Daily Rules for Recovery: Rule 5 - Establish a supplement regimen:


There is perhaps no aspect of-addiction treatment less optimized than nutritional supplementation.


The founders of Reaction Recovery are trained and experienced in pharmacy practice and certified in the review and recommendation of nutritional supplementation.


Each individual recovering from a chemical addiction is a unique person with a unique personal and medical history, therefore there is no one-size-fits-all approach to supplementation. Each recommendation would be made on a case-by-case approach.

There is, however, enough research in the area for us to suggest some broad considerations that are applicable to the majority of cases. We can say with certainty that a majority of people who could be noticing improvements with a nutritional supplement regimen are not taking advantage of what's out there.


If you have a known or suspected medical condition, or are prescribed medication for a particular disease state, please consult with your physician before following specific suggestions.


Supplementation recommendations are intended only as guidelines.  Because we might not be able to respond to individual's personal needs and circumstances, as we would do one-on-one, we ask that you seek a qualified healthcare professional before electing for a dosage regimen on your own.


NOTE: We have done our best to provide sound and useful information in this section. There are co-occurring disorders - including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia -  that could become exacerbated by the addition of any food or nutritional supplement. Given the complexity of the addictive disorders, we can not promise results, nor do we accept liability to anyone who uses the suggestions.

DAY 14 - FOOD MATTERS

Nutrition is linked directly with all areas of health.


What you eat matters.


Food isn’t simply fuel. We’re not cars ;-)


We’re spiritual creatures who crave union and fellowship with one another and with the Universe as a whole.


Consider eating to represent our most profound daily interaction with nature.


Our food choices reflect our relationship to the environment, and either bring us closer to or further away from that Source Energy.

DAY 13 - VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE

Many people who decide to consider a life of sobriety and recovery also make a decision to begin “eating healthy.”


Healthy eating is a noble endeavor and is absolutely essential to maximizing our daily performance and regulating the quality of our moods.


Sometimes, however, the food adjustments we have made simply get repeated over and over without changing things up.


Here we make it a point to remind you that variety is not only the spice of life, but it is what will keep your body in a state of complete wellness!


Too often we fall into a rut and eat the same things over and over again.


This has some benefits, but also some consequences.


A wider ranger of nutrients can lead to a wider range of protection and overall health benefits.


Try one new food each week that you haven’t had in the last month.


Repeat and let us know how it’s working!

DAY 12 - PRIORITIZE GOOD SLEEP

The amount of sleep one needs will vary depending on the individual, but it is typically in the 7-8 hours/night range.


Practice good sleep hygeine:


Make sure you are waking up at the same time seven days a week. It may feel like you are “catching up” by sleeping in on the weekends, but research suggests that this is not the case.


Instead, getting up at the same time each day will have a stabilizing effect on our circadian rhythms, as well as melatonin and serotonin production.


Make sure the bed is comfortable and the room is free from light or noise.


Do not go to bed hungry.


Avoid excess liquids to avoid needing to wake up to urinate in the middle of the night.


Keep caffeine products to a minimum.


Don’t take your problems to bed! Consider a nightly prayer or meditation practice to help decompress before climbing into bed.


You will be amazed how your mood and energy levels during the day improve when you prioritize your sleep habits!!

Day 11 - NUTRITION FOR MENTAL HEALTH

Malnourishment stems from years of poor eating habits and can create clinical signs and symptoms that look and present exactly like psychiatric disorders.


Currently, there are many people taking psychiatric medications who are actually just deficient in nutrients such as b vitamins, iron, vitamin D, and others.


Nutritional deficiencies along with medical conditions should always be addressed with a diagnosis of mood, or depressive disorder, because it could certainly be a core component of the underlying cause.


Eating real food is the long-term answer, of course, but for many people nutritional supplementation can certainly help in the beginning.


Misdiagnosis or missing the cause of a diagnosis can lead to a life of treating the symptoms rather than the underlying disease, which can actually harm lives.


Let us begin to eat to improve our mental health so we can focus on improving our other dimensions of health.

Day 10 - HIGHLY PALATABLE FOODS

Chronic exposure to highly palatable foods, or foods with a lot of added ingredients, has the power to change our brains and condition us to seek more, often times without us even realizing it.


Over time, the drive for a combination of salt, sugar, and saturated fat competes with our ability to resist.


Those with a history of addiction are more likely than others to find this kind of food reinforcing, and are thus drive to seek and consume it, despite negative consequences.


Start watching the mind and watching the behaviors.


Consider taking a break from highly palatable foods for a week to observe if your cravings or mood changes.


It is fascinating what we learn about ourselves when we wake up :-)

Day 9- BODY IMAGE

Body image issues have the potential to complicate an interfere with a healthy life of recovery.


It can compromise one’s ability to fully engage in activities, relationships, and quality of life.


It’s a major problem in our society and affects people of all walks of life. Also, increasingly more men are meeting the criteria for body image disorders than ever before.


It is possible to free up all of that wasted energy and re-channel it to something more beneficial and useful to the universe.


What steps can you take to start freeing up some of that wasted energy?


Here’s a practice we can do right now.


Take a minute to close your eyes, slow down your breath, and acknowledge your body for how much it does each day. How it carries you and supports you. What does your body allow you to do that is fun and enjoyable?


Take a moment to notice how your body feels right now - your skin, your muscles, your bones…


Appreciating the functional and joyful aspects of your body can help to take the focus off your body image.

Day 8 - FIBER

Fiber might be the single most important nutrient lacking in the American diet.


Dietary fiber can aid in the control of high cholesterol, blood sugar, and hypertension.


And perhaps, most importantly, fiber is food for the microorganisms that live in our gastrointestinal tract. We need to feed the microbiome properly in order to optimize our health.


Did you ever consider that you were eating for more than just you?


There are trillions of invisible life forms that need to eat too.

Time to start thinking about others ;-)

Day 7 - CONSIDER WEIGHT TRAINING

We’ve heard that exercise can begin replenishing the body and brain with neurochemical messengers necessary for positive moods.


But what type of exercise should we do?


The short answer is: the exercise you’ll do is the one you should do!


Which is to say that unless you enjoy the type of intentional movement you’re working into your routine, it won’t be sustainable.


That being said, one of the oldest and most effective forms of movement for the mind and body is weight training.


Lifting weights is not for everyone, but it is for more people than who actually do it.


It builds both your inner and outer strength and grounds you into the feeling and experience of being in your body.


Have you considered weight training?

Day 6 - NEUROPLASTICITY

Many of the patterns of behavior that became dysfunctional and harmful once did serve a legitimate purpose.


What may have been wired as “survival” in childhood has now become a source of pathology in adulthood.


Thankfully, neuroscience research done over the past twenty years has shown that contrary to previous belief, the brain really can rewire old pathways.


Thats the good news.


The bad news is it doesn’t happen quickly or easily.


New neural pathways will grow bigger, stronger, and faster in proportion to the frequency and consistency of new desired behaviors.


So the way to do it is through regular, intentional, consistently repeated behavior changes.


The old circuit will always be there, but as we travel down that “road” less and less the path will become worn and faded.


This new process of rewiring the brain is neuroplasticity in action.


Assume that your brain will be significantly rewired over the next few years, and act accordingly!


The revolutions has begun :-)

Reframe

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