Do you feel like you may be addicted to something? Addiction is something that almost everyone has to some degree—big or small. For some people, it’s easy to stop a habit or issue before it affects their life in a severely negative manner. One way to purge the effects of an addiction is to detox. But how does detoxing improve your overall health? Here are just a few examples.
Help With Addiction
If you have some form of addiction to drugs or alcohol, detoxing is a small part of the entire recovery program. If you have a strong addiction—drink several alcoholic beverages a day or abuse drugs on a daily basis, it’s important to not try to detox on your own. Seeking professional treatment for both drugs or alcohol is important for the detox process. This is to help you with some of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, which can be severe, such as:
- *Severe flu-like symptoms
- *Depression and restlessness
- *Fever and sweating
- *For severe alcohol withdrawal, delirium tremens can occur—a condition that can cause irreversible effects, including brain damage
Overall, outpatient drug treatment programs can help you achieve this goal. After the initial consultation, you may be referred to an inpatient detox service for a complete medically supervised detox session.
Improve Your Physical Health
While drugs and alcohol require detoxing to rid your body of the negative effects it triggers, other addictions and habits can also benefit from a complete detox of what you’re consuming. This holds true with having an addiction to sugar. Sugar can become an addictive ingredient in many of your daily foods and drinks. While sugar in itself isn’t harmful—it’s a natural ingredient, the effects of consuming too much sugar can affect your health. This can put you at risk for:
- *Type 2 diabetes
- *Poor oral health
- *Being overweight or obese
- *Non-alcoholic steatohepatits- inflammation of liver caused by fat deposits.
- *Dyslipidemia- A disorder that triggers a lipoprotein metabolic inefficiency.
When you eliminate sugar from your diet, or greatly reduce your daily intake, your health can improve. Start by asking your doctor for a referral to a dietician. Then you can be put on a balanced sugar-free diet and consume foods that have a low glycemic index—to help reduce cravings. Cutting your cravings from sugar and detoxing completely can reduce your risk of developing other medical conditions.
Enhances Mental Status
Detoxing from bad habits, such as smoking cigarettes, can do more than just improve your pulmonary and cardiovascular system, it can also give you a clearer mind in the long run. Detoxing from nicotine can be challenging, because of its addictive qualities. Increased anxiety, shaking and slight confusion are common signs of withdrawal. To ease these symptoms during detox, you can slowly minimize your cigarette intake a little at a time. From there, you can substitute an e-cigarette or vape pen to help you cope with symptoms. Patches and pills, some prescribed by your doctor or found over the counter can also help you with withdrawal symptoms.
Improve Your Physical Health
Have you been eating a lot of junk food or just following a high sugar and high carbohydrate diet? If so, you may be experiencing weight gain, which can lead to high cholesterol levels and other cardiovascular conditions. Changing over to a low-fat, low-calorie diet can be difficult both physically and mentally. You may have cravings that can be difficult to overcome, or you may binge eat on some of your favorite salty snacks. Detoxing from junk food and high-fat foods is challenging. Marc Lallanilla from Live Science explains that the withdrawal symptoms can be similar to detoxing from addictive drugs. Try substituting with low-fat alternatives that are similar. This may help you as you transition from being a junk food junkie to incorporating more clean eating habits. The result is a healthy mind and healthy body for the long-term.
Eliminates Bad Behaviors
Detoxing can also help eliminate bad behaviors that may be hard to snap out of. One example would be a shopping addiction. Overspending and being away from family for long periods of time on a frequent basis can directly affect personal relationships and put your financial lifestyle in jeopardy. Detox from over spending by putting yourself on a spending diet and only setting aside an acceptable amount for personal use each week.
There are several ways that detoxing from certain habits or behaviors can be beneficial. If you feel you have an addiction or serious problem, contact your doctor for further help.