Getting through the substance detox and recovery process is difficult enough as it is…
And trying to get through it with certain nutrient deficiencies makes it much harder than it has to be.
Here are three of the most common nutrient deficiencies and how they increase the difficulty of quitting addictive substances.
Vitamin D Deficiency
It’s estimated that around 80% of U.S. adults are deficient in the essential vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiencies can lead to the following symptoms (source):
- Frequent illnesses and infections
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Bone and back pain
- Impaired wound healing
- Bone loss
- Hair loss
- Muscle pain
- Dry skin
I know quite a bit about the topic of vitamin D, as many years ago I had many of the above-mentioned symptoms and found out it was from vitamin D deficiency.
Imagine going through acute then post-acute withdrawal while you’re also severely lacking adequate levels of vitamin D.
This one nutrient deficiency alone can make detoxing from opioids and/or other substances significantly more challenging.
Here are some ways to boost vitamin D intake:
- Get adequate sunlight
- Consume vitamin-D rich foods and beverages
- Take a vitamin D-3 supplement (and use with vitamin K2 or MK-7 to help absorption)
Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms
Studies have shown that up to 50-75% of U.S. adults are not meeting their magnesium requirements.
This “Anti-Stress Mineral” (as it’s often called) is very important as it’s involved in more than 300 physiological processes in the body.
Magnesium deficiency can lead to the following symptoms (source):
- Muscle twitches and cramps
- Mental disorders
- Fatigue and muscle weakness
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
Imagine detoxing from opioids and/or other substances while concurrently suffering from both vitamin D and magnesium deficiencies!
Here some ways to boost magnesium levels:
- Consume magnesium-rich foods
- Take a magnesium supplement
- Take hot baths mixed with magnesium chloride bath flakes
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Deficiency
According to a large study from 2014, “U.S. adults are not meeting recommended levels for fish and omega-3 fatty acid intake.”
Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acids deficiency may include (source):
- Attention deficits
- Poor concentration and memory
- Mood swings
- Signs of dehydration
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Symptoms of allergies
Now imagine going through acute and post-acute withdrawal while you’re severely deficient in vitamin D, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids!
Here are some ways to boost omega-3 fatty acid levels:
- Eat wild-caught fish and other omega-3-rich foods
- Take a fish oil supplement (my favorite is cold-pressed wild Alaskan sockeye salmon oil!)
- Take a krill oil supplement
- Decrease the amount of processed and boxed foods you consume
Analyzing the Data
The data I’ve covered suggests that a large percentage of U.S. adults could be deficient in all three of these uber-important nutrients.
Research has also suggested that individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs) are a high-risk population for having severe nutrient deficiencies.
Since deficits in the three important nutrients I mentioned can make quitting opioids and/or other substances a much harder process, it makes sense that checking for these and other nutrient deficits prior to detoxing can help in a big way.
I’ve suffered from the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, magnesium deficiency, and omega-3 fatty acid deficiency.
And guess what???
I’m 99.99% confident that these in large part attributed to my mental health and physical health issues — which lead to my “self-medicating” with addictive substances — which led to addiction — which led to worse nutrient deficiencies — which led to worse mental health and physical health issues — which led to more use of substances — and on and on.
It was only when I began learning about and implementing customized nutrition, supplementation, and exercise therapies that I was finally able to feel amazing and not need addictive substances to feel “comfortable in my own skin”.
Final tips to leave you with:
- If you’re going to detox off a substance or two or more, you might want to first have your doctor check for nutrient deficiencies and other biochemical imbalances
- In addition to nutrient deficiencies, people wanting to quit a substance will also typically have neurotransmitter imbalances, inflammation, liver issues, other organ issues, digestion issues, gut-brain axis issues, sex hormone deficits, endocrine and adrenal problems, and more
- Most doctors and treatment programs don’t look for these issues and thus don’t treat them as a result of either ignorance or simply not wanting to go the extra mile; as a result, if you choose a detox facility that doesn’t do this it won’t be the best treatment you can get
- Often you can figure out some of your nutrient deficiencies by simply having awareness of your symptoms and doing some self-learning and experimenting (that’s often what I do!)
- Investing a little time and money into seeing a physician that performs a comprehensive health check-up can often provide you with the ultimate edge for quitting (as you’ll be able to ascertain and address these problems before detoxing, thus making your detox run smoother)
P.S. Please share this article with anyone that you believe would enjoy learning this valuable information. And thanks for reading.
Hello. Can you name brands for
Vit D. – should you take both D and D-3?
What raises dopamine? What supplement!
I have trouble with alcohol so I’m probably not on the right part of this site. But I believe you had trouble with alcohol and opiates.
AND WHERE TO BUY SUPPLEMENTS?
GOOD BRANDS/ BAD BRANDS???
I love the Ancient Nutrients brand for these, and the major dopamine-boosting supplements are L-Tyrosine, L-Phenylalanine, DLPA, Mucuna Pruriens (aka Velvet Bean), Heantos-4 (from Vietnam), and to a lesser extent L-Theanine.
I recommend taking the Mood Questionnaires on JuliaRossCures.com to find out your dominant neurotransmitter deficits.
Also, Julia’s book The Mood Cure is an excellent resource. As is this Elevation Recovery Podcast episode with me interviewing Julia Ross about amino acid therapy for alcohol or drug recovery.
Favorite Brands these days: Dragon Herbs, Ancestral Supplements, Ancient Nutrients, New U Life, BioRebalance, Kyani. Many of these are quite pricey but way better than most supplements.