Skip to main content

Functional Medicine in Addiction Recovery

Written on July 18, 2023
Functional Medicine in Addiction Recovery

Functional medicine can be a wonderful part of holistic addiction recovery. The term refers to a form of healthcare that focuses on the underlying causes of disease and promotes the use of a wide range of interventions to address these root causes. This approach can be helpful in the treatment of addiction, as it addresses the underlying factors that may have contributed to the development of the addiction, such as imbalances in the body or past trauma. In addiction recovery, functional medicine practitioners may use a variety of approaches, including dietary changes, nutrient supplementation, and stress management techniques, to help support the individual in their recovery journey.

The Importance of Diet in Addiction Recovery

Diet is an important factor to consider in addiction recovery because it can help to support the overall health and well-being of the individual. Proper nutrition can help to improve mood, energy levels, and overall physical health, which can be especially important for individuals who may have neglected their health while struggling with addiction.

Additionally, making healthy dietary choices can help to reduce cravings for substances of abuse and may make it easier to resist temptation. Some specific ways in which a healthy diet can support addiction recovery include:

  • Providing the body with the nutrients it needs to repair damage caused by substance abuse.
  • Helping to stabilize mood and reduce cravings.
  • Improving physical and mental energy levels, which can be beneficial for individuals who may be feeling drained due to the demands of recovery.
  • Supporting overall physical health and well-being, which can be compromised during active addiction.

It is important to work with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to create a healthy and balanced diet that meets the individual’s specific needs.

How Functional Medicine Supplements can Help Recovery

Functional medicine is a holistic approach to healthcare that aims to identify and address the root causes of illness and promote overall health and well-being. In the context of addiction recovery, functional medicine practitioners may recommend supplements as a way to support the individual’s overall health and address any nutrient deficiencies or imbalances that may have resulted from substance abuse.

Some examples of supplements that may be recommended in addiction recovery include:

  • Multivitamins: Substance abuse can deplete the body of essential vitamins and minerals, and a multivitamin can help to fill in any nutritional gaps.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: These fatty acids are important for brain health and may be helpful in reducing cravings and improving mood.
  • Probiotics: These supplements contain beneficial bacteria that support gut health and may be helpful in reducing cravings and improving mood.
  • B-complex vitamins: B-vitamins are important for energy production and brain function, and they may be helpful in reducing fatigue and improving mood.


Amino Acid Balancing for Addiction Recovery

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and they play a variety of important roles in the body, including supporting brain function and mood regulation. Imbalances in amino acids can contribute to a variety of health problems, including addiction. In addiction recovery, balancing amino acids may be helpful in reducing cravings, improving mood, and supporting overall health and well-being.

There are several different approaches to balancing amino acids in addiction recovery. One approach is to consume a diet that is rich in protein and includes a variety of high-quality sources of amino acids. This may include foods such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, beans, nuts, and seeds.

Another approach is to use supplements that contain specific amino acids. Some examples of amino acid supplements that may be helpful in addiction recovery include:

  • L-tyrosine: This amino acid is involved in the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which play a role in mood regulation.
  • L-glutamine: This amino acid is important for gut health and may be helpful in reducing cravings and improving mood.
  • L-tryptophan: This amino acid is involved in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is important for mood regulation.


Why Holistic Addiction Treatment is Beneficial

Holistic addiction treatment is a type of addiction treatment that focuses on addressing the individual’s physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs. This approach recognizes that addiction is a complex disorder that affects multiple aspects of a person’s life, and it seeks to provide a comprehensive range of treatments and support to help individuals overcome their addiction and achieve long-term recovery.

There are several benefits to holistic addiction treatment:

  • It addresses the whole person, rather than just the addiction. By addressing all aspects of a person’s life, holistic treatment can help individuals to develop the skills and coping mechanisms they need to sustain long-term recovery.
  • It can be more effective than traditional treatment approaches. Holistic treatment has been shown to be effective in helping individuals to overcome addiction and achieve long-term recovery.
  • It can reduce the risk of relapse. By addressing the underlying causes of addiction and providing individuals with the tools they need to manage their recovery, holistic treatment can help to reduce the risk of relapse.
  • It can improve overall health and well-being. Holistic treatment focuses on improving an individual’s physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health, which can lead to overall improved health and well-being.
  • It can be more enjoyable and engaging for individuals. Holistic treatment often includes a range of therapies and activities that can be enjoyable and engaging for individuals, which can help to increase their motivation to participate in treatment and improve their overall recovery outcomes.

If you or a loved one is seeking holistic addiction recovery that includes the option of integrating functional medicine, call us for a no-cost consultation.