Natural Alcohol Detox – Can you really detox from alcohol naturally without the help of medication?
We have said throughout this blog that there are many different types of detox and rehabilitation programmes to support you through your alcohol withdrawal and that different approaches suit different people.
Natural detox is another approach. It will not be for everyone, but for some people this could work, particularly if you are not heavily addicted. That said, you should still seek medical supervision to monitor your progress.
What is Natural Alcohol Detox?
Natural detox is quite simply detoxing without the use of medication. Instead you use diet and food supplements to boost your body’s deficiencies which have developed as a result of your alcohol dependency.
One method of natural alcohol detox, which was used regularly before the days of medication being available, is to gradually taper off your alcohol intake.
For example if you usually drink five glasses of wine every day, try cutting back to four. You can introduce this really slowly if you feel you need to, in the same way that Doctors prescribe a gradual reduction from drugs, have five drinks one day, then four the next, and alternate for a week, then gradually reduce. If you are planning to reduce in this way, it is a good idea to create a planner, so you can see when and by how much you need to reduce your intake and follow your plan. It will also help to keep you motivated if you cross off the days when you have done them and you can see how far you have come.
Other people have used beer to help them taper off, if beer is not their usual drink, as it has less alcohol content than wines or spirits. The danger can be that if you don’t like beer and still crave some wine or spirit, you could end up drinking more than you were before.
Tapering off is best practised in a controlled environment, where you are accountable to someone else, as most people who are alcohol dependent have little self-control. If you start to experience any kind of discomfort or withdrawal symptoms, it will be too easy to give in if you are not accountable. Try finding a detox buddy, either someone else who is going through the same thing or a friend, who will be willing to support you. Ultimately, you have to want to do it for yourself. Detoxing is not easy and it will require a certain degree of self-determination to achieve it.
A Healthy Diet For Detox
When you have been experiencing an addiction, your body is often malnourished. After a harmful build-up of toxins from the alcohol, the body is unable to process and digest nutrients as effectively as it should. Following a healthy diet during and after natural alcohol detox, will mean your body has the energy and nutrients it needs to recover and repair itself.
During detox it is really important to drink plenty of water, to keep hydrated.
Try and get plenty of these foods:
- Protein – chicken, fish, eggs and nuts
- Healthy fats – fish, nuts, avocado, flaxseed and coconut oils
- Green leafy vegetables – kale, spinach, chard
And avoid these foods:
- Processed foods
- Foods high in sugar
Because alcohol has high sugar content, as you go through detox you might find yourself craving foods that are high in sugar. Try to minimise them and use healthy alternatives such as fruits which contain natural sugars.
Nutritional Supplements to help you through detox
In addition to a healthy balanced diet, it will be important to take some additional vitamin and mineral supplements. Speak to your Dr to get the right balance. These should include
- Vitamin – B complex plus a vitamin B1 supplement
- Vitamin C
Other vitamins you might be lacking include
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
A combination of amino acids or a large dose of L-glutamine will help combat cravings. An over-the-counter sleep remedy can help with insomnia bought on by alcohol withdrawal.
If you would like to discuss whether a natural alcohol detox would work for you, speak to one of our specialists who will take the time to understand your level of addiction and recommend a suitable programme of rehabilitation.