We who deal with addiction are told cravings originate from the desire of the body to fill our receptors with the substance of choice to satisfy the need to fill the empty space.
I have never been dependent on a substance but yet cravings are an everyday thing for me. For many years friends would come to my house and go to the freezer and pull out the ice cream…they all knew it would be packed with a number of ice cream flavors because “I had to have ice cream at least once each day.”
Later on, after reading The Vitamin D Solution By Dr Michael F Holick MD, I had my Vitamin D level tested. It was on the border of normal and insufficient. This was while I was eating, quite literally, 2 or more gallons of ice cream each week. Turns out despite what we have been told milk and ice cream have very low levels of vitamin D infused in them. There is enough to keep our bones in good shape but not really enough for our body to function optimally.
I began a supplementation routine of low dose and rechecking my Vitamin D level and increased until I found the correct level of supplementation to meet my body needs. A few months later a friend came over and went for the ice cream and I had none. We were both shocked when I realized my ‘need’ for ice cream was gone. I still enjoyed it but no longer needed it and had completely forgotten to purchase any! No more cravings!
What does this have to do with substance use cravings, or food cravings, or any cravings in fact? I have come to the conclusion - an opinion formed by observing a number of patients - no formal research - that my grandmother was right when she said “You have to eat a peck* of dirt before you die.” What she unknowingly meant was the dirt we used to eat when we pulled that fresh carrot out of the ground was covered in micronutrients and beneficial bacteria our bodies need to function properly. When was the last time you bought a carrot at the store with dirt on it? Would you even consider purchasing such a thing?
When we have cravings we do almost anything to satisfy the craving. We seldom understand the source of the craving. We frequently do things we ‘think’ will satisfy the cravings but may instead blunt the signal and divert it to something else like a drug, or illegal substance, or maybe just gallons of ice cream.
As part of care at SilverArc APN, a good health diet, Mediterranean perhaps, and supplements can restore you to the level your body requires to function properly. Excess supplements are expensive and potentially harmful.
Based on my observation of recovery patients, proper nutrition, healthy gut microbiome, and micronutrient balance go a long way to reduce the intensity of cravings. Those in recovery still need to “Do the work” to clear the path to a clean and sober future but the road is a bit smoother with proper nutrition.
Ask us how to achieve this balance 702-586-5060
* For those of you wondering a peck is a unit of dry measure approximately 1/4 bushel.