While alcohol intake can give you temporary enjoyment initially, it can cause serious health issues later. Poor cognitive function, liver damage, dehydration, and a higher risk of certain diseases are some of the ill effects of constant consumption of this additive drink.
Therefore, it becomes essential to periodically detox the body from alcohol to restore health and well-being. This article discusses the most effective alcohol detoxification methods and specific foods and vitamins that can aid this process.
What Are The Different Ways To Detox From Alcohol?
There are two ways in which you can detox your body from alcohol. These are:
- Medical detox
Let us look at each one by one.
You perform this type of detox from alcohol at home without professional or medical support or supervision. In other words, you would not have access to external help or treatment. This method is suitable for occasional drinkers who have mild alcohol withdrawal systems.
This individualized approach to alcohol detoxification is affordable and allows you to manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms in a comfortable and familiar environment.
Note that the process can be dangerous to people with alcohol dependence. However, as at-home detox is intense, it can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms. To mitigate such issues, you may require to contact medical professionals.
- Remove all access to alcohol and abstain entirely from alcohol.
- Slowly taper your alcohol consumption as it will help ease withdrawal symptoms and lessen alcohol cravings.
- Identify new activities or hobbies to avoid triggers and stay sober.
- Practicing Yoga and Controlled breathing to help relieve stress accompanying alcohol withdrawal.
- Consume beverages that contain vital nutrients and electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, and calcium, such as lime water, green tea, fruit juices, herbal infusions, etc. It is crucial as alcohol intoxication and withdrawal can cause electrolyte imbalances, muscle spasms, seizures, and numbness.
- Take vitamin supplements during ‘detox’ as heavy drinkers or prolonged drinking causes vitamin deficiencies. Vitamin B, B1 (thiamine), C, folic acid, and magnesium supplements help reduce alcohol withdrawal symptoms and correct nutrient deficiencies due to alcohol use.
- Sleep with an empty stomach to promote efficient detoxification from alcohol. Sound sleep of 7-8 hours helps the liver function effectively and flush out all the toxins that might impact your system’s health.
- Daily light physical exercises will boost toxin elimination through sweat and carbon dioxide. It releases endorphins and helps fight depression and anxiety caused during detoxification. Also, aerobic activities like short walks or light stretching help increase stamina, relax muscles, reduce body heat, bolster your immune system, enhance mood, and assist in detoxification.
- Healthy eating is also required as it helps the body heal from the side effects of alcohol quickly. Proper nutrition helps maintain stamina during the stress the body goes through during detox.
As appetite tends to decrease during the detox, eating vegetable soups and sweet fruits rich in fiber, such as berries, peaches, citrus, melon, and bananas, is beneficial. They regulate hunger levels and fulfill the craving for something sweet. Fruit fasting is suggested at this stage as it helps increase alkalinity, boost digestion, and expel toxins from the body.
Additionally, increase your intake of Vitamin B foods such as salmon, dairy, leafy greens, beans, poultry, lentils, and whole grains as they help the body produce energy, and boost the nervous system and serotonin hormone that aids in a successful recovery.
Fiber-rich whole grains such as oats, whole wheat bread, and brown rice are gut-friendly that help maintain a healthy liver and kidneys.
Foods rich in healthy Omega-3 fats help lower inflammation, uplift mood, and enhance brain function. That’s why including walnuts, chia, flaxseed, salmon, and other foods rich in omega-3s is helpful during the detox stage.
If you consider at-home detox, consult your doctor before starting the process. They can assist you in determining the safest action for your needs.
Medical detox is recommended for heavy drinkers who have severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The key features of the program are –
- 24/7 professional monitoring in a well-structured and safe environment
- Therapeutic intervention,
- Mental health treatment
- Aftercare support
- Peer support
You can find several comprehensive treatment plans for Alcohol Use Disorders, including a 12-step Program or Alcoholics Anonymous offering the following services to help overcome alcohol addiction:
- Group therapy
- Family Counseling
- Support group meetings to help maintain sobriety post-treatment
- Individual counseling
- Wellness activities
- Medication treatments
- Short-term Cognitive behavioral therapies
- Medication-assisted therapy using counseling, medication, and therapy to treat addiction
After successful completion of detox, you may require the following treatment options to allow further recovery and relapse prevention.
- Inpatient treatment, including medical supervision at a professional treatment facility
- Partial hospitalization treatment at a rehabilitation facility for a day
- Outpatient treatment
What Happens When You Start Detoxifying Your Body From Alcohol?
Stopping drinking all of a sudden causes your nervous system to become overactive. It may lead to experiencing specific withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Rapid heart rate
Symptoms may persist for a few hours through several weeks after starting the withdrawal process. They are at their peak on the third day of withdrawal. After this, the intensity reduces, and symptoms resolve within 5 to 7 days. It is when your body gets wholly detoxified from alcohol.
How Much Time Does It Take To Detox From Alcohol?
The time required to detox from alcohol depends on various factors, such as:
- The type of treatment you choose – self-detox or medical detox
- how much you drink
- how long have you been drinking
- whether you have experienced alcohol withdrawal before.
Usually, at-home detox takes longer as you need to be cautious to avoid severe complications. People generally stop experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms and get fully detoxed from alcohol in 4 to 5 days after their last drink.
Gradually tapering off alcohol is the safest method to detox the body from alcohol. While self-detox can help treat mild withdrawal symptoms, medically supervised detox is necessary for people with alcohol dependence.
Whether you are struggling with alcohol addiction or looking to enhance your overall health, the above strategies can help restore well-being and promote a healthier lifestyle.
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.