Walk With Jennifer, Weight Loss Progress Report

Walk With Jennifer, AWAREmed, Dr. Dalal Akoury, weight loss, healthy lifestyle

Can you believe it?!

Jennifer has been working with the AWAREmed weight loss program for approximately 3 weeks and you can already see a big difference! Although obese patients want to see instant weight loss results, it’s a slow process, but, as you can see, even in a short period of time there is a visual difference.

Jennifer says:

“So far things are going very well, Im getting used to eating right, I havent had any cravings at all, I have been excercising everyday and I feel so much better. My blood pressure is almost at normal and I can breathe right for the first time in a very long time, it’s getting easier in some ways but I know I still have a long road ahead. I will not give up!

I am so determined to be successful with my weight loss and be 100 % as healthy as I can be! I think having to be accountable for my actions publicly makes me even more determined to not mess up! Showing myself on television was really hard, but the last show we did, I was much prouder of the way I looked on camera.

What I expect to gain from this is the knowledge of how to eat right and replace my bad habits with good habits, such as excercising everyday instead of sitting in front of the television eating whatever I want.”

Remember, not everyone will have the same weight loss results in the same amount of time.

The complete program with AWAREmed consists of meal changes and nutrition coaching with Patricia Coppola, specific supplements for the individual, and special IV therapy and injections, again, tailored to the individual. And along with this, and perhaps just as important to see results, is regular exercise. Jennifer has been walking as well as beginning twice a week workout sessions with a trainer.

Sessions with Jillian Maas Backman  help with setting new intentions, using a personal power statement to push through the times when it seems too hard, and motivation to take a deeper, more spiritual look inside and come to a new understanding of the self, before, during and after weight loss.

Even if you can’t do the complete weight loss program, you can still become a part of Walk With Jennifer by making the simple changes in diet and exercise. You can add the supplements, and you can add the IV therapy if you choose, but it’s not a requirement.

It’s your choice, choose to change!  Let’s help each other by spreading the word and this website!

If you still need to be visually motivated, check out this story about a young couple in St. Louis!


photo courtesy FOX2 St. Louis

Walk With Jennifer, Weight Loss Progress Report



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The effectiveness of proteins in addiction recovery

The effectiveness of proteins in addiction recovery: What unit of protein is adequate?

The effectiveness of proteins in addiction recovery

The effectiveness of proteins in addiction recovery is realistically working and any deficiency in protein must be avoided if we have to win in the fight against addiction

In one of the forums where I lecture people on the usefulness of nutrition in the sustainability of good health one of the listeners ask a very important question. She enquired the role of protein intake in the fight against drug addiction. Her concern raised a very healthy discussion and we want to share with you some of the effectiveness of protein in addiction recovery even as we progress in to the discussion. Ideally whenever protein is mentioned what come to your mind is body building and good health it is therefore no doubt that protein is a very essential dietary component for those recovering from addiction. According to the experts at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center under the able leadership of doctor Dalal Akoury, when poor eating patterns is combined with the use of drugs and alcohol a lot of health complications follows suit including mental, social and physical damage. Doctor Akoury says that the knowledge of this negative impact of the addiction on individuals is very important besides taking time in the proper identification of the modalities of achieving optimal health in during the recovery process. It is from these understanding that we want to take time to look at the physical health problems that addiction creates in the body and how protein can be of help in correcting some of these issues.

The effectiveness of proteins in addiction recovery: The role of protein in the body

Proteins like we have already mention is one of six most essential food nutrients in food which is partially responsible for the structure of all cells, tissues and organs in the body. They are broken down into amino acids, which help in the process of replacing and regenerating all cells. Experts are all in agreement that protein plays a vital role in sustaining life. And this brings us to the next vital question which is “where exactly do we find this valuable nutrient from?” Even though this list may not be exhaustive, the following are some of the great sources of protein you can rely on for your nutrition:

  • Meat including all the poultry, red meat, and seafood
  • Legumes both dry beans and peas
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products including milk, cheese and yogurt
  • Soy and tofu
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Some grains e.g., quinoa, whole grains etc.

The effectiveness of proteins in addiction recovery: How much protein do we need?

On average, most people across the globe get enough protein from their diet. Like for instance in the western cultures, there appear to be more than enough quantities of in their diet which often go exceedingly beyond the daily consumption recommendations. According to the experts at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center, the daily recommendations for dietary protein should be based on weight and physical activity levels. That is to say that for adults they should aim to consume approximately 0.8g of protein per kilogram of their weight. (Weight in kg x 0.8g/kg = protein intake in g). However it is important to appreciate that when looking at the protein and food intake of someone suffering from an addiction, their intake falls below the average. It therefore means that when drugs or alcohol are present in ones’ life, other areas fall short and nutrition is no exception thereby making repair for recovery to become very necessary. And therefore since drugs and alcohol have a harmful effect on many metabolic processes, various organs and systems are greatly affected and need repair in addiction recovery. The following are just but a few of some of the organs that are greatly affected:

The effectiveness of proteins in addiction recovery: Protein and the digestive system

The gastrointestinal tract (GIT), also known as the digestive system is one area that is affected by addiction. The GIT transports food to the stomach to be broken down, and into the small intestines where most nutrients are absorbed. The inner part of the GIT is lined with a thin layer of mucous, which protects the outer layers of cells, muscle, blood vessels and nerves.

Mal-absorption is an abnormality causing poor nutrient absorption, can occur in addicts. Chronic alcohol use is one of the major causes of a folate deficiency, as it impairs the uptake of folate in the intestines. The bigger problem with most alcoholics is that their diets are weak and limited in many food nutrients including folate. It will interest you to note that folate deficiencies alter the intestines normal physiological role of absorbing other vitamins and minerals. Besides that the other characteristic of mal-absorption is diarrhea, which accelerates the excretion of nutrients and limits their absorption. This combination of factors culminates to mal-absorption, which eventually leads to malnutrition. Doctor Akoury recommends that for a better solution to this condition, sobriety is very essential in helping reverse these damages in the gastrointestinal tract, as the toxic effect of alcohol causes this chain reaction. In addition, providing extra nourishment, from protein can help to accelerate the recovery from the effects of mal-absorption.

A common, yet painful occurrence in alcoholism is gastro esophageal reflux or heartburn. Stomach acid is very potent, and can dissolve a nail! Alcohol relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, a muscle that separates the esophagus and the stomach. When relaxed, stomach acid rises up into the esophagus. In severe alcoholism, chronic alcohol use can create tears in the esophagus causing esophageal varicosities. In addition, alcohol causes direct damage to the esophageal mucosa (a thin protective layer of mucous in the gastrointestinal tract). As with all damage in the body, protein is an important element of the healing process.

The effectiveness of proteins in addiction recovery: Protein and muscle

As discussed previously, food and nutrition is not a high priority for most addicts. They are normally lazy in preparing meals for themselves. Full meals can interfere with the ‘high’, and cause unpleasant side effects when mixed with alcohol or drugs. When using drugs or alcohol, appetite is suppressed and most addicts skip at least one meal a day. Others can go for hours to days without eating and without food the source of fuel for our body is limited, causing the body to fall back on stored energy supplies to sustain energy. And before you knew such individual will be starving causing the body to rely on glycogen stores, which are located in our muscles and liver. When addicts restrict their food intake and ‘starve’ their bodies, they continuously exhaust glycogen stores which deplete and reduces lean muscle mass. This is one of the major causes of weight loss during the addiction. In recovery, it is important to rebuild strength and muscle, to support a healthy lifestyle for recovery. Protein and exercise are essential in preserving and rebuilding muscle mass, as well as increasing energy levels in recovery.

Finally doctor Akoury reiterates that the effectiveness of protein in addiction recovery is a very healthy way of solving the problems of substance abuse and should be embraced by all standards. Therefore if you or any one you know is struggling with addiction doctor Akoury is more than willing to help you through the whole process if only you can schedule for an appointment with her today.

The effectiveness of proteins in addiction recovery: What unit of protein is adequate?


Seeking for support in dealing with addiction

Seeking for support in dealing with addiction: Why it is necessary that you get help from the professionals?

Seeking for support in dealing with addiction

Seeking for support in dealing with addiction from experts is paramount in solving all problems of addiction and avoiding future relapse.

The journey of addiction recovery will not be an easy one and therefore when adding nutrition to your list of elements and tools of fighting addiction, it will be very important for you to find and collaborate with a trained nutritionist who can tailor your diet to your specific needs in recovery. Remember that no matter where you live, seeking for support in dealing with addiction is not optional and for sure it will not be difficult for you finding a trained nutritionist within your locality. The good news to you is that when you reach out for experts at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center under the able leadership of doctor Dalal Akoury, you will not only find nutritionist but also highly qualified addiction experts who will be able to holistically address all your nutritional and addiction needs professionally and timely leaving you to enjoy your life to the fullest thereafter.

Dr. Akoury is fellowship trained and certified in anti-aging functional and regenerative medicine, as well as having more than twenty years of accumulated experience in emergency medicine, pediatrics, and a master’s degree in public health. She has also served fellowships in pediatric hematology/oncology and has performed research in leukemia and the effects of smoking. Besides that her decision to create a medical center whose main objective is to transform each individual’s life through increasing awareness about health and wellness and by empowering individuals to find their own inner healing power was guided by the enormous struggle that she saw in the faces of those struggling with addiction problems. It will also interest you to note that Dr. Akoury’s practice focuses on personalized medicine through healthy lifestyle choices that deal with primary prevention and underlying causes instead of patching up symptoms. Therefore if you or any of your loved ones is struggling with any kind of addiction, you can reach out for her on telephone number 843 213 1480 and schedule for an appointment with her to have all your addiction needs professionally addressed today.

Seeking for support in dealing with addiction: The sugar saboteur and food as a substitute addiction

In her practice, doctor Akoury strongly emphasizes on sugar regulation because of its addictive nature. It is not uncommon, she says, for people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction to become addicted to sugar. Alcoholics are especially prone to sugar addiction and to the energy rollercoaster that accompanies it, nonetheless that is not all because sugar addiction also affects other addicts too. Akoury believes that eating in a way that promotes blood sugar spikes and crashes is a recipe for disaster when it comes to maintaining your sobriety. She says that when you get that blood sugar crash, your body craves for more sugar. In an alcoholic’s mind, and it works this way in a drug addict’s mind too, when you crave sugar it immediately translates in your brain to alcohol and you get a really strong craving for alcohol. It may be a craving that you can’t control. By regulating their blood sugar, recovering alcoholics can avoid the sugar highs and lows that often send them running for a drink. According to her, in many cases, an addict’s overwhelming urge for his or her next fix is actually a sugar craving in disguise.

The tendency for recovering addicts to develop sugar addiction as they withdraw from alcohol or drugs is an example of a very common phenomenon in addiction recovery. It is not uncommon for those recovering from addiction to turn to food as a replacement. According to a study published in the international research journal Appetite, men in the early stages of recovery often practice dysfunctional eating habits, including substituting food for their drug of choice.

Seeking for support in dealing with addiction: The role of amino acids

Professionals at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center agrees that one of the most promising areas of nutritional therapy for recovering addicts relates to neurotransmitters, amino acids, and how they all affect the brain. Research has also demonstrated that the substantial role neurotransmitters, the chemicals that transmit messages between neurons and other cells in the body, play in addiction.

The connection between neurotransmitters and addiction results from the ability of drugs and alcohol to impact the brain’s output of certain neurotransmitters. For example, cocaine causes the brain to increase its production of the neurotransmitter dopamine which impacts mood and stimulates the feeling of pleasure. A problem arises, however, when the brain has been artificially stimulated to produce a neurotransmitter so often that it no longer produces this neurotransmitter on its own. Essentially, what this means is those recovering from addiction are dealing with a brain that no longer creates neurotransmitters, like dopamine, which play an integral role in their well-being.

According to doctor Akoury, amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, are precursors to neurotransmitters including those most related to addiction like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. This connection indicates the potential to treat addiction through the targeted consumption of amino acids, which can be done through the intake of certain foods or supplements. Since dopamine is the key neurotransmitter involved with addiction and is associated with ‘reward,’ it is critical to restore depleted dopamine levels through a higher protein intake. Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid which is widespread in food that becomes tyrosine, which is converted to dopamine.

An example of how amino acid supplementation works for addiction can be found in the instance of alcohol withdrawal. Alcoholics going through withdrawal experience an increased turnover of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. The amino acid phenylalanine, however, is a precursor to norepinephrine. If an individual recovering from alcohol addiction eats foods high in phenylalanine, like meat and fish, he will be helping to fulfill the need for this neurotransmitter during withdrawal.

Finally says doctor Akoury, it is important to note that dietary recommendations do vary mostly depending on the substance you are withdrawing from. Alcohol and opiates, for example, negatively impact the stomach it therefore means that people recovering from these substances should work to restore gut health through increased intake of probiotics. Cocaine however is associated with essential fatty acid deficiency, so those recovering from cocaine addiction would benefit from increased consumption of Omega 3. Because of these nuances in each recovering addict’s dietary needs, it is important to collaborate with a trained nutritionist to determine what nutritional approach will help you most on your road to recovery.

Seeking for support in dealing with addiction: Why it is necessary that you get help from the professionals?


Staying sober by ensuring healthy eating habits

Staying sober by ensuring healthy eating habits: Nutrition and recovery

Staying sober by ensuring healthy eating habits

Staying sober by ensuring healthy eating habits is not only good for yourself but also beneficial to your loved ones. Take note of that and seek for professional help immediately.

Did you know that the food you eat could either help you out of your addiction situation? On the other hand the same food can also make you to sink further into addiction. These are two conflicting statements yet they are pregnant with a lot of truth in them. If you are wondering how, then you are just right in time for the commencement of this healthy discussion whose main focus is based on staying sober by ensuring healthy eating habits. Now to begin with, there is the general concern that the escalation of substance abuse is ruining the young, the old and even the unborn children. This is not something to be taken lightly because lives are being lost, manpower in our work stations is reducing and the cost of maintaining the victims in the rehabilitations centers is chocking the economies of our states down to the local villages and to the smallest unit of our families. Doctor Akoury a veteran addiction expert is not left out in this matter and she is saying that as things stand right now, there is mounting evidence which suggests that some of these sweet and appealing food stuff may be the reason why we are ever struggling with all manner of addictions. If this is the prevailing circumstance, the question that begs for an answer is what is the best solution to the problem? This is the one million questions that we want to respond to in this discussion.

Staying sober by ensuring healthy eating habits: The nutritional double whammy

From the professional point of view, the nutritional dilemma faced by recovering addicts is coming in two different categories. The first one being the very act of ingesting drugs or alcohol which is no doubt wreaking havoc on the body of users. Like for instance alcohol is one of the greatest impediments to nutrient breakdown and assimilation resulting in nutritional deficiencies. Opiates on the other hand tend to cause gastrointestinal issues, and more so during opiate withdrawal, severe vomiting and diarrhea can lead to nutrient depletion while stimulants will be suppressing appetite which can ultimately lead to an insufficient intake of calories and nutrients.

In addition to the purely physiological implications of drug and alcohol abuse, there is another factor that results in a less than stellar nutritional report card for addicts and that is change in lifestyle. Professionally doctor Akoury reports that when a person is lost in an addiction, he/she is less likely to eat in a very unhealthy manner. This is so because some of these drugs will cause you to eat too much while on the other hand the others will do the opposite thereby causing you to eat too little. At the height of their drinking, alcoholics often derive as much as 50 percent of their daily calorie allowance from alcohol itself.  In most cases, the need for the addictive substance is prioritized over the need for, say, a whole-grain turkey sandwich or other high-quality nutrient-dense food says doctor Akoury.

We spoke to the professionals at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center under the able leadership of doctor Dalal Akoury and they are in agreement that given the nutritional standing of most recovering addicts, it’s surprising that proper nutrition is not emphasized more in recovery programs. And besides that there are mounting evidence pointing to one emerging consensus and that is the significance of nutritional therapy in helping those individuals who are recovering from addiction. It is ideally in order that proper nutrition has the potential to make those in recovery feel much better both mentally and physically. Moreover, various researches have suggested that the inclusion of nutrition education in substance abuse treatment programs can increase participants’ success in achieving recovery and these needs to be embraced by all standards if we are to see any meaningful changes in the fight against substance abuse.

Staying sober by ensuring healthy eating habits: The roles of nutrition in facilitating the healing process

Proper nutrition helps recovering addicts (and everyone else) feel better because nutrients give the body energy, help build and repair organ tissue, and strengthen the immune system. Because recovering addicts have usually damaged vital organs during the course of their drug or alcohol abuse, good nutrition provides them with the nutritional building blocks they need to begin restoring these damaged tissues. Besides that various studies have established that nutrition also plays an important role in mood. Research suggests that changes in your diet can alter brain structure both chemically and physiologically, and influence your behavior. Furthermore, the consumption of certain foods has been tied to increased production of key neurotransmitters like serotonin, which enhances mood.

This means recovering addicts can use food to feel better physically (as their bodies receive the nutrients they need to repair prior damage and operate on a more optimal level) and mentally (as they eat foods that enhance their mood and overall well-being). In many cases, feeling better will reduce the risk of relapse, as demonstrated conversely by the fact that recovering addicts with poor dietary habits are more likely to relapse. Additionally as we had mentioned before that in some cases, addicts may be so unfamiliar with the feelings of hunger, they misinterpret hunger as a drug craving and fall face-first into relapse. This is potentially a very disastrous mistake which can easily be remedied by frequent feeding on healthy meals.

Finally staying sober is the best thing you can do to yourself and to your loved ones. It will not only facilitate your recovery from all sorts of addictions you may have, but it will also bring a lot of comfort, piece and satisfaction in your whole life as a responsible bread winner of your family. We appreciate that doing this may not be very easy, and that is why doctor Dalal Akoury established this facility (AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center) to help you go about any challenges you may be feeling in your struggle with addiction. Therefore if you are struggling with any kind of addiction, you can call doctor Akoury today and schedule for an appointment with her so that all your addiction concerns can be addressed professionally.

Staying sober by ensuring healthy eating habits: Nutrition and recovery


Understanding the specific nutritional impact on addiction

Understanding the specific nutritional impact on addiction: Detailing nutritional impact on individual substances of abuse

Understanding the specific nutritional impact on addiction

Understanding the specific nutritional impact on addiction will help you take timely precautions before the damage is too overwhelming to handle.

While looking at the nutritional impact on individual substances of abuse, we discussed at length specific substances like alcohol and opioids in the previous article. You can make reference on that however for the purpose of this article, under the title “understanding the specific nutrition impact on addiction” we want to further on the discussion specifically exploring on the on other substances of abuse like stimulants and marijuana. Besides that we are also going to find out from the discussion how promoting self-care and a healthy life style will benefit this worthy journey of eliminating drug addiction. Dealing with matters relating to addiction is never easy and therefore consulting with able professionals from AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center under the able leadership of doctor Dalal Akoury (MD) is very much in order.

It will interest you to note that doctor Dalal Akoury is one of the most respected addiction professionals globally who out of her passion of offering lasting solution to all she made a passionate decision of creating a medical center (AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center) whose primary objective is to transform each individual’s life through increasing awareness about health and wellness and by empowering individuals into finding their own inner healing power. Besides that, it will also interest you to appreciate that Dr. Akoury’s practice focuses on personalized medicine through healthy lifestyle choices that deal with primary prevention and underlying causes instead of patching up symptoms. This therefore means that if you are struggling with any kind of addiction of whatever nature and irrespective of the level of your addiction, this is the place and home of lasting solutions. If this description suits your needs, then you can call doctor Akoury on telephone number 843 213 1480 to schedule for an appointment with her to have all your concerns addressed professionally and in good time. In the meantime, let us progress with our quest of understanding the specific nutritional impact on addiction following.

Understanding the specific nutritional impact on addiction: Stimulants

Stimulants, including crack, cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamine, nicotine, and caffeine, generally lead to decreased appetite and weight loss. Cocaine has been associated with anorexia and eating disorders and may impact energy intake and requirements. Large amounts of stimulants result in insomnia, paranoia, anxiety, malnutrition, and memory problems. Therefore when individuals first discontinue stimulant use, dehydration and electrolyte imbalances may occur, so careful monitoring is important. Since low weight and eating disorders may be of concern, encouraging and educating patients on proper nutrition and helping them achieve a healthy BMI is important.

Methamphetamine abusers commonly suffer severe dental problems that interfere with diet quality. According to one of the studies, it was established that up to 41.3% of methamphetamine users had dental disease and nearly 60% had missing teeth. Doctor Akoury is suggesting that based on such facts it is necessary that dietitians should take lead role in offering nutritional education to support dental health and recommend foods with an appropriate consistency.

Understanding the specific nutritional impact on addiction: Marijuana

Marijuana, which impairs memory, attention, judgment, and balance and increases heart rate, is the most commonly used drug in the United States. The main nutritional impact of this drug is increased appetite. Long-term users may be overweight and may need a calorically restricted diet and an exercise program to help them achieve a healthy weight. Since marijuana is a fat-soluble drug, it can take up to six months for a daily user’s brain to return to normal functioning after abstaining.

Understanding the specific nutritional impact on addiction: Promoting self-care and a healthy lifestyle

Various professionals should help promote a healthy lifestyle to accompany substance abuse patients’ recovery. Important aspects of self-care include physical activity, proper sleep, and devoting time for pleasurable activities. These activities may help to keep patients positive, improve health, establish new routines, and reduce idle time that may lead to relapse. Exercise is thought to stimulate some of the same circuits in the brain as do most substances, so promoting healthful activities may be a good way to replace old behaviors. Lack of sleep can lead to a decrease in well-being, reduced cognitive function, and reduced energy, so encouraging patients to practice healthful bedtime routines is beneficial.

Patients must be educated on the importance of nutrition in their recovery process. Grocery shopping, cooking, and preparing foods are important skills that dietitians can promote for patients in recovery. Cooking classes or recipes may be of interest to clients who are unsure about how to cook or are looking for ideas for healthful options. Financial struggles and unstable living situations are common obstacles to recovery that can lead to food insecurity, which significantly contributes to the nutritional status of drug abusers and to relatively unbalanced diets. Educating patients on nutrition resources, budget-friendly options, and support may be helpful.

Finally in order to achieve this worthy course, some serious commitments must be made and everyone must pool together in one direction of finding solutions. In that respect it is necessary that the dietitians play the overall and important part in the process of recovery for all patients seeking help for substance abuse. It must be appreciated that in many situations the obstacle of denial will pose a serious challenge and therefore consistency in encouragement in going to be very paramount. Doctor Dalal Akoury reiterates that many patients must be professionally encouraged to understand how nutrition can play an important part in their recovery process. The commitment in encouragement must not be a one stop thing instead it should be continuous because this is the only way through which victims of substance abuse will be able to get the much needed help to navigating the struggles that arise so that they can achieve a healthy lifestyle. Doctor Akoury encourages that this is a challenge that we must all be ready to take so that together we can make a difference.

Understanding the specific nutritional impact on addiction: Detailing nutritional impact on individual substances of abuse



Nutritional impact on individual substances of abuse

Nutritional impact on individual substances of abuse: The significance of nutrition on substances effects

Nutritional impact on individual substances of abuse

Nutritional impact on individual substances of abuse has delivered real success in the treatment of drug addiction

It is very important for all of us to appreciate and understand the nutritional impact on individual’s substance of abuse if we are to make any meaningful changes in the fight about this problem. In many instances we are quick in pointing fingers without really having the knowledge of some of the possible solutions at our disposal which we are not exploring. It is because of this reason that we want to engage services of doctor Dalal Akoury a veteran addiction experts of very many decades and founder of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center, to help us understand some of the specific nutritional impact on individual substances of abuse in this article. This is a discussion that you don’t want to miss and we welcome you to stay on the link for this very informative discussion of a life time.

Nutritional impact on individual substances of abuse: Alcohol

Alcohol is one of the major causes of nutritional deficiency not just in the United States but it cuts across the globe. Alcohol is very rich in calories but provides little or no nutrition to the body at all. It is no wonder that many alcoholics are malnourished, either due to ingesting a nutritionally inadequate diet or changes in the body’s ability to use the nutrients it receives. Doctor Akoury says that it is important to appreciate that alcoholism is very indiscriminative on the way it at attacks the body and is capable of affecting every area of the body irrespective of age, gender or status. Other effects of alcoholism may include insomnia, anorexia, weight changes, gastrointestinal cramping, decreased digestive enzymes, ulcers, muscle wasting, liver disease, and abnormal glucose levels depending on the amount of alcohol ingested. Besides all these, it is important to appreciate that those who take in more than 30% of their total calories in alcohol generally have a significant decrease in their intake of all macronutrients and deficiencies in vitamin A, vitamin C, and thiamine.

Alcohol’s impact on digestion and the absorption of essential nutrients is important to understand when treating an alcoholic. Alcohol interferes with protein metabolism, leading to important clinical consequences, including low albumin levels, increased fluid in the abdomen, reduced blood clotting, and decreased urea production (resulting in excessive ammonia levels), which may increase the likelihood of altered brain function (e.g., hepatic encephalopathy).

Of all the organs of the body affected by alcohol, the liver is the one that suffer the most and therefore all liver disease resulting from alcoholism alters the its ability to take up beta-carotene or convert it to vitamin A, thereby causing disorders such as night blindness. Doctor Akoury advices that dietitians should be cautious when treating alcoholics with low vitamin A, levels since blood levels may be inconsistent with what’s stored in tissues and because of high doses are toxic. It’s recommended that patients with low vitamin A and night blindness be treated with some 2 mg of vitamin A daily for several weeks, and besides that Zinc treatment also may be useful, as it’s needed for vitamin A metabolism.

The body moves through four stages of liver damage as alcoholism progresses: fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and encephalopathy or coma. Protein-calorie malnutrition predicts survival in patients with alcoholic liver disease. Forty-five to seventy percent of alcoholics with liver disease also are glucose intolerant or diabetic.

Treatment goals for patients with alcoholism are to reverse malnutrition, prevent alcoholic liver disease, and establish a healthy lifestyle and coping skills for avoiding alcohol use. If malnourished, alcoholics benefit from a diet high in carbohydrates and moderate in protein. Low-calorie diets and fasting should be avoided because of the nutritional risks and the possibility that a patient has an existing eating disorder or may cross over to a new addiction with food, dieting, or exercise. Such diet should include a mix of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids since the amount and type of fats impact hepatic steatosis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis. If tube feeding or total parenteral nutrition is required, dietitians should avoid glutamine-enriched formulas, as they increase ammonia levels. The amino acid taurine, in addition to patients’ prescribed diets, has been used to help maintain recovery after detoxification, as it represses the rewarding effect in the brain associated with alcohol.

Nutritional impact on individual substances of abuse: Opioids (Narcotics)

Ordinarily opioids are used for the purpose of pain treatments that are likely to include codeine, oxycodone, heroin, methadone, and morphine. From the experts’ point of view, doctor Akoury and her team of professionals from AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center are in agreement that these drugs are capable of slowing down the body movements and can also cause sedation, leading to slower digestion and constipation. Amidst all these, it is important to note that withdrawal symptoms can also occur with opioids, even within a very short duration of use. It therefore brings with it a very wide range of symptoms, mainly diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, which can lead to poor oral intake, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances. Nutrient deficits may then be caused by poor nutritional intake or the drug’s impact on digestion and absorption. Remember that opioids are always water soluble, meaning that they will in a record time clear the body faster than would have been done by fat-soluble drugs which in many cases would produce some painful and uncomfortable detox periods.

Heroin use can cause glucose intolerance, but this usually resolves with abstinence. For that reason, patients will require blood sugar monitoring and balanced, frequent meals. Finally says doctor Dalal Akoury, when newly abstaining from opioids, patients typically have very low pain tolerance, increased heart rate, anxiety, and trouble sleeping. These symptoms commonly cause them to relapse to their drug of choice. Pharmacotherapy, counseling, and lifestyle changes help prevent relapse in this population of addicts. However amidst all these worthy options at your disposal, if you are still not seeing any break through, it is not the end of the road for you. We will always be there for you at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center under the able leadership of doctor Dalal Akoury. You can therefore schedule for a one on one meeting with her for a more in-depth professional touch in all your pending concerns and you will not regret it for the rest of your life there-after.

Nutritional impact on individual substances of abuse: The significance of nutrition on substances effects


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