Having a beer or cocktail with a healthy dinner might give you the illusion that you are doing everything you need to do to keep your body running smoothly. However, frequent alcohol consumption can actually prevent you from receiving the benefits of vitamins and nutrients. This problem is called alcohol vitamin deficiency.
Understanding alcohol vitamin deficiency can be challenging, but if you ask yourself the questions below, you will be able to better know the risks, recognize the symptoms, and protect yourself from the health consequences that come with this disorder.
Are You at Risk for Alcohol Vitamin Deficiency?
The first question to ask yourself is whether or not you are at risk for alcohol vitamin deficiency. Having one alcoholic beverage every so often usually doesn’t pose a serious risk. But if you are one of the millions of people in the United States who struggle with an alcohol use disorder, you might be damaging your body in ways that you aren’t even aware of.
Addiction looks different for everybody, but some key warning signs to look out for include:
- Constantly craving alcohol
- Feeling withdrawal symptoms when not drinking
- Needing a lot of alcohol to feel its effects
- Blacking out
- Experiencing memory loss
- Worsening mental health
In short, if any of these red flags look familiar, you might be struggling with an alcohol use disorder. As a result, you are much more likely to suffer from the side effects of alcohol vitamin deficiency.
Furthermore, there are certain risk factors that play into the development of an addiction. These include your upbringing, your family history, and any mental health symptoms you may have. Alcoholism is inherited, meaning that it can be passed down from one family member to the next. Studies even show that certain people are more likely to struggle with alcohol addiction based on their gender, occupation, and other personal factors.
On top of this, many people who have untreated mental health conditions, otherwise known as co-occurring disorders, often turn to alcohol as an unhealthy coping mechanism to numb their discomfort. Unfortunately, mental health symptoms usually become harder to treat when drugs or alcohol are added to the equation.
Therefore, when evaluating yourself to see if you are at risk for alcohol vitamin deficiency, you must also assess whether or not you struggle with your mental health. Common co-occurring disorders are:
- Mood disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Many others
Consequently, mental health conditions can also become more severe when you are deficient in certain vitamins. Filling your diet with foods that are rich in vitamins C and D is a great start to improve your mood and mental health symptoms. However, it’s also important to receive medical attention for alcohol vitamin deficiency through other means, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, individualized counseling sessions, and dual diagnosis treatment for long-lasting results.
Do You Have Alcohol Vitamin Deficiency Symptoms?
The next step in figuring out if you have alcohol vitamin deficiency is to take stock of your symptoms. As mentioned above, mental health distress is a sign of alcohol vitamin deficiency but the symptoms do not stop there.
The defining characteristic of alcohol vitamin deficiency is that the body stops absorbing important vitamins that are essential to processing nutrients, digest food, and produce energy. Simply put, vitamins and alcohol do not mix well because the human body needs vitamins like vitamin B, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D to survive. But the enzymes from alcohol cause damage to different parts of the body.
Research shows that people who struggle with alcoholism are more likely to have vitamin deficiencies that cause gastrointestinal concerns, chronic fatigue, and brain damage. In situations of extreme alcohol use, alcohol disrupts the entire body’s natural ability to function as it normally would.
For example, you might find yourself more prone to catching illnesses. Feeling sick, being low on energy, not getting enough sleep or sleeping too often, having fluctuating weight gain and loss, and struggling with memory are also all symptoms of alcohol vitamin deficiency. Additionally, vitamin deficiencies put you at a greater risk for rare conditions like Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome that can be life-threatening.
This shows that the symptoms of alcohol vitamin deficiency are wide-ranging and can affect many different areas of your life. Ask yourself: do I have any of the symptoms of alcohol vitamin deficiency? If the answer is yes, it’s time to think about the next steps in improving the quality of your life.
Do You Want to Treat Alcohol Vitamin Deficiency?
Now that you understand the risks and the symptoms, you might be wondering how to treat alcohol vitamin deficiency. The most effective treatment for this condition and any other medical issues that stem from alcohol use is to receive professional help for addiction immediately. In treatment, you will finally have a safe and supportive environment that is essential in helping you to stop drinking so that your body can begin to heal and absorb nutrients once again.
Going through alcohol detox in a monitored setting is crucial when you want to heal from alcohol vitamin deficiency. Your addiction treatment program will be able to recommend essential vitamins for recovering alcoholics as well as vitamins for alcohol withdrawal. Supplementing your nutrition with the right vitamins to boost your mood, immune system, and energy levels can make all the difference as you enter recovery.
Where Can You Find Recovery Options Near You?
You can access the benefits of a healthy mind, body, and soul at Baton Rouge Behavioral Hospital in Louisiana. In addition to addiction recovery, we offer treatment paths for you to address your physical and emotional health so that you can walk out of rehab feeling healthier and happier than ever.
For more information on alcohol vitamin deficiency and all of the ways that you can recover from the side effects of addiction, give us a call at 225-300-8470. If you feel as though you don’t quite have the energy to pick up the phone, you can also get in touch with a member of the Baton Rouge Behavioral Hospital team by completing a confidential form online. However you are able to reach out, we are honored to be an instrumental part in your life-long recovery journey.