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Alcohol Detox

Alcohol Detox

If you are even considering an alcohol detox then congratulations as that is the first step towards a much healthier you. However you need to be aware that starting an alcohol detox can be a difficult and painful journey.

If you are a heavy drinker then always consult a trained medical professional and be honest about your alcohol intake as alcohol withdrawal can include severe complications such as seizures and hallucinations that can lead into what is termed “Delirium tremens” a medical emergency, which has a 5% mortality rate.

If you are more of a social drinker and less chemically dependent on alcohol, then you might consider an Alcohol Detox at home as the Alcohol Detox symptoms might be as “mild” as getting the shakes, sweats, nausea, diarrhea, headache, anxiety, a rapid heart beat, and increased blood pressure. Although these symptoms are uncomfortable, they are not necessarily dangerous. The difficulty for you is that they are often accompanied by the “craving” for more alcohol, making the decision to continue abstinence much more difficult to make.

If you are more of a social drinker you may be able to avoid many of the mild withdrawal symptoms by gradually reducing your intake of alcohol over time. For example you might ensure you drink lots of water in between each glass of alcohol. Or you could limit the amount you drink, or the days that you drink alcohol. For many people however having to limit oneself to say one drink a night is more difficult than having no drinks, as once one has the taste of alcohol it is sometimes difficult to stop at one.

If you are looking to do a home alcohol detox, and you are not a heavy drinker, then you can look to incorporate the following recommendations:

1. Diet
You can find many detox diet plans out there that generally start with a couple of days of fasting with water only, followed by a gradual increase of foods like fruits and vegetables. However unless you have strong will power, many of these detox diets are so restrictive that you can’t maintain them for long. Worse, especially if used long term, detox diets can cause harm.
So for you the best way to detox your body from alcohol might be to not go on a restrictive fasting diet but rather eat a balanced proper diet, eat more fruits and vegetables and reduce or cut out your intake of sugars and caffeine. Studies have shown that anything containing sugar or coffee will increase alcohol cravings. That includes therefore junk food, sodas, desserts and caffeinated drinks.

2. Sleep
Sleep gives the body a chance to heal and allows the mind to rest after the day’s activities so that you can be fresh and able to face the next day. However for many people coming off alcohol, getting to sleep and remaining asleep can be a big problem for some months after alcohol withdrawal. Sleep issues may indeed be one of the reasons why a person first became addicted to alcohol in the first place. Therefore ensure that during your alcohol detox, you are taking enough time to rest, and try taking herbal teas and baths to relax you at night before going to bed.

3. Exercise
An exercise program will help you sweat out toxins from your body and also create more of those feel good endorphins to make you feel better about yourself. Any exercise is good but many recovering alcoholics have found Bikram Yoga to be extremely beneficial. Not only does Bikram Yoga exercise every muscle, joint and organ in your body but it is done in a room heated to 105 degrees meaning that you sweat out all the toxins from alcohol abuse at the same time. You will feel amazing afterwards. Be sure to commit to a week’s worth of classes before you decide whether this type of exercise is for you and be absolutely sure to arrive at a Bikram Yoga class well hydrated i.e, not suffering from a hangover.

4. Take Alcohol Detox Dupplements – Alcohol depletes a wide range of nutrients, including B vitamins, and so it is important to ensure that your diet supplies enough. The following herbs and nutritional supplements are recommended for alcohol withdrawal:
• Milk Thistle
• Kudzu
• Beta-carotene
• Magnesium
• Glutamine
• Vitamins (especially vitamin B), including: A, B3, B6, C, D, E.
• Primrose Oil
The best supplements for alcohol detox and alcohol withdrawal are found here.

5. Find a buddy – A support system is vital for decreasing your alcohol use at home. Someone that will hold you accountable, and help you through the withdrawal symptoms including ensuring that you drink lots of fluids and electrolytes.

Have you ever tried an alcohol detox at home? Did you succeed and what helped you to get through it?

Alcohol and Weight Loss

Alcohol and Weight Loss

Have you ever had a heavy drinking session and not been able to stop eating the whole of the next day? And you just crave lots of fatty foods like a full on English fried breakfast? If so you are definitely not alone and in fact there’s a reason for that craving.

An extensive study of 15,000 adults* found that those who drink more alcohol tend to consume less fruit and vegetables, make poorer food choices all round, and consume more calories from both the alcoholic beverages and foods high in unhealthy fats and added sugars. Alcoholic drinks by themselves are really high in calories. A small glass of white wine for example is about 90 calories; a regular beer is about 150 calories and that innocent Marguerita will set you back a whopping 450 calories.

So why do we crave food after a binge drinking session?

1. The study found that people who drink more alcohol, eat less omega-3 fatty acids, which are fats that are extremely important to enable our brains to work properly. These fats are found in fish like salmon and tuna. However alcohol also actively depletes these omega-3s from your brain and not enough omega-3s can also increase the craving for more alcohol and food. When you combine too few omega-3s, with too many omega-6 fatty acids, (the everyday fats you find in a typical American diet), it causes an imbalance which increases the craving for alcohol and food, and an inability to feel satiated.

2. Alcohol is also high in carbohydrates which are turned into sugar in your body. That sugar goes into your bloodstream and increases your blood sugar level. Your body then automatically responds by producing more insulin to lower your blood sugar level. This is also why you can feel shaky, dizzy or tired. To overcome this feeling of lethargy and tiredness from the low blood sugar level, your body sends out hunger signals that tell you to eat more so your blood sugar can get back to normal levels.

3. Alcohol is also a diuretic, which means it encourages the body to lose more water that it takes on by stopping the production of the body’s anti-diuretic hormone. This therefore makes you want to urinate more often and so you lose more fluid from the body which causes dehydration. Dehydration slows down your metabolic rate, which is not good for weight loss, but in addition dehydration is often confused with hunger so you eat more.
So if you stop drinking altogether, you are going to lose weight. Firstly you will not be consuming the heavy calories from alcoholic drinks, secondly you will not get those urges to eat all those fatty and sugary foods, and lastly you won’t get that dehydrated feeling which makes you eat more. And naturally you will feel much healthier.

* A joint study by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) led by Dr Breslow, National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) , published April 2005 in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Please help others by sharing your experiences with weight loss after stopping drinking by commenting below.

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Reasons to give up drinking and become a Teetotaler

Let’s begin by taking a closer look at reasons to give up drinking and become a teetotaler:

1. Alcohol does not make you feel very good about yourself. Alcohol is a depressant and so it can often make you feel sad and depressed. Have you ever woken up and hated yourself because you can’t stop drinking? Or ever had a blazing argument with a loved one – directly caused by alcohol?
2. Alcohol does not make you feel healthy. After the initial kick from that first sip of alcohol, alcohol can make you feel unwell. Alcohol is a poison after all.
3. Alcohol can cause embarrassing situations. How many embarrassing things, that you can remember, have happened to you when you were in a drunken stupor?
4. Alcohol piles on the weight. No doubt about it, alcohol robs your body of essential nutrients and piles on lots of calories too.
5. Alcohol is costly. Have you ever sat down and worked out how much you spend on alcohol per week, per month or per year? And don’t forget to include the cab costs you needed because you couldn’t drive. When I calculated the cost, I spent over $2000 a year just on alcohol. But have you ever also worked out how many hours of life you lost over a week, month and year because you had blacked out, slep’t badly and felt so bad the next day you could not function properly?

So with all the reasons above just why do we drink? There are many reasons and apart from alcohol’s addictive properties, often it’s because we perceive we cannot have a good time without it. I know I used to think that, but realized what a sad reflection of my life and of me that was. Another reason might be that it gives you a false sense of confidence and makes you do or say things that you otherwise wouldn’t dare. Or alcohol is often used to help a person unwind. And if you can unwind with just one glass of alcohol, then that might be fine for you. However for me having one drink was harder than having no drinks. I could never stop at just one drink. If you can examine the reasons that you drink, you can begin the journey of discovering other ways to make you feel happy, relaxed and confident. Alcohol Hypnosis products helped me with that.

Peer pressure can also make it difficult to give up drinking. Drinking alcohol is such an accepted part of western culture that often it is your best friends who will try to encourage you to keep drinking – you not drinking makes them feel uncomfortable. Or you might worry that your friends will find you boring if you don’t drink. When people ask you why you don’t drink, tell them that you are alcohol intolerant – that it makes you really ill – I found that people seem to be more accepting of that. Definitely do not say that you don’t need alcohol to have a good time as it will make them feel bad. After a while they’ll get used to it – just be prepared to be the designated car driver.

If you decide to give up alcohol, I hope as I have, you will be pleasantly surprised at how much you can enjoy life without alcohol. It’s a great feeling to enjoy real belly laughs without any alcohol inducement and it’s a great feeling to go to bed sober, have a great night’s sleep and wake up feeling fresh, clear headed and hangover free.

Let me leave you with one final thought: If you hadn’t been a drinker, would your life be any different now?

Alcoholism Hypnosis

Alcoholism Hypnosis

If there ever was a magic wand, that could help you change anything about your life, your health or your behavior, then hypnosis is a proven tool that could help you achieve just that. Alcoholism hypnosis specifically helps you to a), get rid of the unconscious drivers, blocks and fears that keep urging you to drink and b), create a new inner belief to make permanent and lasting positive changes in the way you think, feel and behave. Read On

Alcoholism Cures

Alcoholism Cures

I didn’t have the money to invest in expensive alcohol rehab centers and I didn’t feel like going public in an AA meeting. So I cured myself by reading a few books and doing a couple of at home hypnosis courses. It didn’t happen overnight – not that I am a slow learner – I think it just takes a while.

The starting point was becoming conscious that I had a problem. Read On

Alcohol and Sleep

Alcohol and Sleep

My biggest problem with alcohol was with sleep. If I had a drink I could guarantee I would not sleep at all well. Research shows that although one person in seven — and more than a quarter of insomniacs — uses alcohol as an aid for sleep, alcohol definately effects your sleep pattern, even at relatively low levels.

The more you drink, the more tired you end up. So while it may help you fall asleep, it will keep you in the lighter stages of sleep which is obviously therefore not the best sleep and of course it may wake you up because you need to go to the bathroom more frequently. We need the right balance of REM sleep (dreaming sleep) and non-REM sleep (including deep sleep), and alcohol disturbs this.

The problem isn’t always obvious sleeplessness. You may feel that you slept well, especially for the first half of the night. During the first part of sleep, the alcohol increases the proportion of non-REM sleep and decreases the proportion of REM sleep, but it doesn’t greatly disrupt sleeping patterns. The problems come mainly in the second half of sleep, when REM falls off again and sleep becomes more disturbed. This may be partly because, in the second half of the night, your body is suffering alcohol-withdrawal symptoms once it has processed the alcohol you put in your bloodstream before going to sleep. It may also be a side-effect of some of the toxins produced by the breakdown of alcohol. Some say it is your liver trying to clear the alcohol toxins – some say it is the sugar that alcohol produces that is racing around your body.

People have have told me that after a heavy drinking session they are comatosed and cannot be woken up so they think they are sound asleep. However that is not true. If you’ve had too much to drink, you will have been taken over by the sedative effect of alcohol, which suppresses brain activity, rather than by true sleep, which is an active brain process. In addition, because you never reach the 3 and 4 stages of sleep you deprive yourself of the body’s natural mechanism for cell repair and to recuperate from the day’s events.

Alcohol also impairs breathing in sleep by relaxing the throat muscles and it affects the brain’s breathing center by masking the effect of low oxygen levels in the bloodstream, possibly damaging tissue. Even people who normally don’t snore do so if they have been drinking the night before. Snorers without apnea can exhibit apnea symptoms if they have been drinking. Alcohol induced apnea can be fatal.

Alcohol will also dehydrate you which will also affect your sleep. You wake up feeling really thirsty, down a big glass of water but then wake up later needing the bathroom. It is thought that half the reason people have a hangover is dehydration – the other is sleep deprivation.

The reason I stopped drinking was because of the poor sleep I got. Even after one drink, I would fall asleep easily, but then wake up between 1am and 3am and not be able to fall asleep again until dawn. Needless to say I was extremely tired the next day, very irritable and generally did not do anything well at all that day! It took me a few years (yes I am a slow learner) to realise that the day after was not worth the evening of drinking. Think about this: For an evening of drinking say 4 hours, you then feel terrible for about 12 hours the next day. For me I realised it simply wasn’t worth it.

How about you? Does Alcohol affect your sleep? Share your experience below.

Effect of Alcohol on the Body

Effect of Alcohol on the Body

Alcohol is the most widely abused drug in the world. There are millions of people, living around the globe, who are addicted to alcoholic drinks. They probably do not even realize that they are slowly poisoning their bodies, which may ultimately take their life. Researchers have linked alcohol consumption to more than 60 diseases. Here we look at the most common ones.

Effects of Alcohol on the body in the Short Term:
Alcoholism has many detrimental effects. The initial effects of alcohol are that it depresses your central nervous system. For some people, they may initially feel stimulated by this, but as drinking continues, you become sedated. Alcohol acts to lower your inhibitions and will affect your thoughts, judgment, and emotions. When taken in large quantities, alcohol will impair your coordination and will impair your speech. Too much of this drug can act to severely depress the vital centers of your brain. A life-threatening coma can be the result of heavy drinking. Short-term memory loss and inability to sleep well can be the results of excessive drinking.

Effects of Alcohol on the body in the Long Term?

Does the above deter you from drinking alcohol or do you rather think that will not happen to me?

1. Liver Damage:
Liver disorders are common with alcoholism as alcohol is toxic to liver cells. For example, heavy drinking can be the cause of alcoholic hepatitis, which is an inflammation of the liver. There are signs and symptoms of this, which can include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, fever, confusion, and yellowing of the skin. Hepatitis may lead to cirrhosis after years of drinking. This is an irreversible disease and can destroy and scars the tissue of the liver to such a degree it cannot function. Cirrhosis can happen to people who drink huge amounts and people who don’t drink very much and for some unknown reason at present, women are particularly susceptible.

2. Anemia
Heavy drinking can cause the number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells to be abnormally low. This condition, known as anemia, can trigger a host of symptoms, including fatigue, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness.

3. Gastrointestinal Defects
Alcohol can also cause gastrointestinal problems. This can cause the lining of the stomach to become inflamed and interfere with your body’s ability to absorb B vitamins, specifically thiamin and folic acid. This heavy drinking can also result in damage to your pancreas, which is responsible for producing hormones that keep your metabolism regulated as well as the enzymes that assist the body in digesting proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Chronic pancreatitis causes abdominal pain and persistent diarrhea which is not curable. Some cases of chronic pancreatitis are triggered by gallstones, but up to 60% stem are from alcohol consumption.

4. High Risk Of Cancer
Alcoholism also puts you at an increased risk of developing cancer. Alcoholism has been linked to cancer of the throat, esophagus, liver, larynx (voice box), mouth, colon, breast, and rectum. Scientists believe the increased risk comes when the body converts alcohol into acetaldehyde, a potent carcinogen. Cancer risk rises even higher in heavy drinkers who also use tobacco.

5. Bones
Alcohol abuse can also lead to the interference with the production of new bone. This can lead to bone thinning and more chances to fracture your bones.

6. Neurological Defects
Neurological complications are also possible, as excessive drinking can hurt your nervous system, especially causing your feet and hands to become numb, but it also can assist you in developing dementia and confused or disordered thinking. As people age, their brains shrink, at an average rate of 1.9% per decade. However heavy drinking speeds the shrinkage of certain key regions in the brain, resulting in memory loss and other symptoms of dementia.
Heavy drinking can also lead to subtle but potentially debilitating deficits in the ability to make judgments, solve problems, and other aspects normal human function. In addition to the “nonspecific” dementia that stems from brain atrophy, heavy drinking can cause nutritional deficiencies so severe that they trigger other forms of dementia.

7. Nerve damage
Heavy drinking can cause a form of nerve damage known as alcoholic neuropathy, which can produce a painful pins-and-needles feeling in the extremities, as well as muscle weakness, incontinence, constipation, erectile dysfunction, and other problems. Alcoholic neuropathy may arise because alcohol is toxic to nerve cells, or because nutritional deficiencies attributable to heavy drinking compromise nerve function.

8. Cardiovascular
Heavy drinking, especially binge drinking, makes platelets more likely to clump together to form blood clots, which can lead to a heart attack or a stroke. In a landmark study published in 2005, Harvard researchers found that binge drinking doubled the risk of death among people who initially survived a heart attack.
Heavy drinking can also cause cardiomyopathy, a potentially deadly condition in which the heart muscle weakens and eventually fails, as well as the heart rhythm abnormalities atrial and ventricular fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation, in which the heart’s upper chambers (atria) twitch chaotically rather than constrict rhythmically, can cause blood clots that can trigger a stroke. Ventricular fibrillation causes chaotic twitching in the heart’s main pumping chambers (ventricles). It causes rapid loss of consciousness and, in the absence of immediate treatment, sudden death.
Diabetes complications are another issue. Alcohol keeps glucose from being released from your liver and can increase your risk of low blood sugar. If you have diabetes and are taking insulin to lower your level of blood sugar, this is very dangerous.

9. Sexual Organs
For men, alcohol abuse can cause erectile dysfunction, and for women, it can effect your menstruation. If a pregnant woman is consuming alcohol, she is taking a very high risk of causing her baby to be born with fetal alchohol syndrome. This is a condition that will result in birth defects, that include heart defects, shortening of the eyelids and other physical traits, having a small head, and having behavioral and cognitive developmental delays.

10. Depression
It’s long been known that heavy drinking often goes hand in hand with depression, but there has been debate about which came first — the drinking or the depression. One theory is that depressed people turned to alcohol in an attempt to “self-medicate” to ease their emotional pain. But another large study in New Zealand showed that it was probably the other way around — that is, heavy drinking led to depression.

11. Seizures
Heavy drinking can cause epilepsy and can trigger seizures even in people who don’t have epilepsy. It can also interfere with the action of the medications used to treat the disorder.

12. Gout
A painful condition, gout is caused by the formation of uric acid crystals in the joints. Although some cases are largely hereditary, alcohol and other dietary factors appear to play a role. Alcohol also seems to aggravate existing cases of gout.

13. High blood pressure
Alcohol can disrupt the sympathetic nervous system, which, among other things, controls the constriction and dilation of blood vessels in response to stress, temperature, exertion, etc. Heavy drinking — and bingeing, in particular — can cause blood pressure to rise. Over time, this effect can become chronic. High blood pressure can lead to many other health problems, including kidney disease, heart disease, and stroke.

14. Infectious disease
Heavy drinking suppresses the immune system, providing a toehold for infections, including tuberculosis, pneumonia, HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases (including some that cause infertility).

What affect has Alcohol had on your health?

Does the above article make you sit up or do you think “nah that will never happen to me?”

Celebrities who Don’t Drink Alcohol

Celebrities who Don’t Drink Alcohol

The lifestyles of celebrities often involves lots of partying. And when they party, boy do they party with lots of alcohol, drugs and all the trimmings. And sadly you see and hear of many really talented superstars who end up paying the price with serious alcohol or drug addiction problems. You’ve probably seen the photo’s of stars like Lindsay Lohan, Robert Downey Jr, Britney Spears, Amy Winehouse and Kate Moss looking their less than their best from alcohol and drug addictions. While the lure of alcohol and drugs may be more accessible for the rich and famous, there are celebrities who refrain from drinking alcohol and who can be classified as “teetotalers.” There are actually quite a few celebrities who stay away from alcohol completely: stars like Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, and David Bowie for example. Jay Leno once told CNN that he doesn’t drink alcohol and that he has never smoked a joint or a cigarette in his life. The infamous Bruce Lee apparently never drank any alcohol or did any kind of drugs ever. Apparently celebrities can make good decisions sometimes! Other famous people who have been abstinent their entire lives, or who simply quit after a prolonged addiction to alcohol are as follows: Muhammad Ali, World Heavy Weight Champion, Akon, rapper, Tyra Banks, American supermodel, Naomi Campbell, British model, Jim Carrey, Canadian actor, Eric Clapton, English musician, Tom Cruise, American actor, Brett Favre, NFL quarterback, Steven King, American author, Jennifer Lopez, American singer/actress, Christina Ricci, American actress, and Prince, American musician.

Reply to this blog post if you know of celebrities who have not had a drink for the last 5 years and we’ll create a new list here.