The Unexpected Food That May Ease Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
Opioid withdrawal symptoms are brutal. Some of the issues that someone quitting opioids might experience include nausea, sweating, diarrhea, fatigue, insomnia, and anxiety. These are caused by the body’s lack of the painkillers that it has been relying on for an extended period. While these withdrawal symptoms fade after a maximum of ten days, those days can be so brutal that many people relapse and take opioids again just to make the withdrawal symptoms stop. While there are other, medication-assisted ways to wean your body off opioids, some people still opt to quit cold turkey. During this time, it is important to stay hydrated and consume nutritious food to make sure your body is getting what it needs to help make the withdrawal process easier. Recently, there has been research into one such food that could make the recovery process easier. Dark Chocolate contains many compounds and natural substances that could ease opioid recovery symptoms. Read on to see exactly how Dark Chocolate could help make opioid recovery a little easier.
Why Dark Chocolate Could Ease Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
For starters, opioid withdrawal symptoms are extremely intense, and eating Dark Chocolate during recovery will not make your symptoms magically go away, but it could help make them more bearable.
Dark Chocolate could help ease opioid withdrawal symptoms because it is packed with many compounds that engage the opioid receptors and help produce natural amounts of endorphins and serotonin, which your body is lacking after opioids have been removed from your system.
One of these compounds is Phenethylamine, also known as PEA, which is a chemical that triggers the nervous system and releases endorphins. These endorphins help produce the euphoria-like effect of opioids on a much smaller scale. These endorphins also act as natural painkillers, similarly to a massively smaller degree than opioids, though they can still help,
Dark chocolate also contains serotonin, the “happy chemical” that many people are lacking after an extended period of taking opioids. In addition to containing serotonin, dark chocolate also prompts the brain to produce more, because of the sugar and carbohydrates in the candy. This serotonin production may help slightly ease opioid withdrawal symptoms and boost overall mood.
Lastly, in addition to Serotonin and PEA, Dark Chocolate contains both Anandamide and Magnesium. Anandamide is an Endocannabinoid found in the brain, and in Dark Chocolate, that helps produce a euphoria-like feeling after consuming the sweet treat. As for the Magnesium in Dark Chocolate, it is known as the “anti-stress compound” as it helps calm the nervous system and release chemicals like serotonin in the brain.
Food Should Not Be Your Only Medicine
While eating Dark Chocolate daily during opioid withdrawal may help your symptoms be less, food should not be the only thing you have on hand during opioid withdrawal. If you are planning on stopping opioid use after any period of more than a few weeks, it is important to talk to your doctor and have a plan in place for withdrawal symptoms. For those who have become opioid-dependent, the withdrawal symptoms will be intense, and it is probably safer to use a medication like Suboxone or Subutex to help wean your body off opioids slowly and safely. Many overdose deaths occur because the individual has relapsed due to opioid withdrawal symptoms and uses a higher level of opioids than their bodies are now accustomed to handling, so it is important to manage opioid withdrawal safely and with a medical professional. Healing from opioids is a difficult process and it is important to use all available tools, including nutritious foods like Dark Chocolate, to help make that process easier. So, enjoy your dark chocolate … a food that may ease opioid withdrawal symptoms, yummy!
If Fentanyl or other opioid addiction has impacted your life, do not hesitate to reach out to Fritz Clinic of Alabama. For over 35 years Fritz Clinic has been committed to healing members of our community from the scourge of opioids. Call or contact us today to begin your wellness journey.