Women have unique hormonal cycles that impact everything from weight loss and weight gain to menstrual cycles, moods, and even bone and joint health. Women can’t get away from them. This means that addiction recovery may impact hormonal health. In fact, it’s not uncommon for women with a history of hormone-related issues to experience different withdrawal symptoms than men do. Hormones can also impact the effectiveness of different treatments at various stages of recovery and even affect how your body reacts to those treatments. If you’re a woman and you are starting to recover from addiction, here’s what you can expect during recovery:
Hormones Impact Women’s Moods
Hormones are chemicals that control many of the body’s functions, including mood. When you’re feeling down, it can be hard to tell if it’s your hormones or something else causing your moodiness. Because of this, it’s important for women to know how their hormones work and how they affect their emotions so they can get help when needed. Some women also experience hormonal changes due to external factors. This means that for women with addiction, it’s likely that their substance use is related to hormonal issues they may be experiencing. Expect things to change when you get into addiction recovery.
Hormones Can Impact the Effects of Different Treatments
Women who are going through the recovery process need to be aware of the fact that hormones can affect the effectiveness of different treatments. Some women will find that their hormone levels have an impact on how long it takes them to recover, while others may experience severe withdrawal symptoms as a result of hormonal changes. Estrogen, progesterone, and even leptin and insulin levels can all be shifted during the detoxification process. This can manifest as weight loss, weight gain, hair loss, and so much more. As the body regulates, these treatments may or may not have a positive impact. Often women seek out massage therapies to help their bodies as they recover from addiction and to improve hormone health.
Hormones Can Cause Different Withdrawal Symptoms
It’s important to note that the withdrawal symptoms you may experience will depend on the type of addiction. However, women can experience different withdrawal symptoms than men due to hormone changes during recovery. Age, nutrition, and how long the addiction has lasted will also play a role. Headaches, sun sensitivity, shakes, pain, and even emotional outbursts are very common when you are withdrawing from drugs or alcohol. A good detox center for women will have the knowledge and skills to handle these unique responses to withdrawal.
Eating Hormone-Friendly Foods Improves Recovery
Women should eat foods that restore any deficiencies in their bodies. Osteoporosis is common in women and even more common in female addicts. This means that restoring calcium levels to a healthy amount is critical to improving bone health. Women also need vitamin D and B vitamins to help balance hormones. It’s important to of course avoid alcohol if you are in recovery, but to also avoid caffeine and sugar as much as possible. These can cause hormonal imbalances that often lead to weight gain, which can then impact hormones even more.
Drinking Enough Water Improves Hormone Health
All of your cells need hydration to survive and thrive. Drinking enough water is essential for hormone health, as it helps with detoxification and weight loss. Water also improves skin health and digestion, which can have a positive impact on mood and energy levels. Dehydration can lead to poor moods which can exacerbate hormonal mood swings as well. Water can help you feel more energetic throughout the day and can help you feel full longer. When you’re in recovery from addiction, it’s especially important to stay hydrated. You’ll find that you can be more present in your daily life and this helps you stay clean and sober.
Your Medical Team May Recommend Supplements to Help
Supplements can be an important part of hormone health. Some women in recovery may find that supplements help them with hormone imbalance and mood swings. They can also help with sleep issues, energy levels, and more. You may also need quality supplements to overcome deficiencies you have due to poor eating habit while you were an active addict.
Hormones are an incredibly powerful force in the body, affecting everything from mood to metabolism. Addictions can be especially difficult for women to recover from, because they can cause hormonal imbalances that make recovery more challenging. Women who are being treated for addiction should find specialized care to ensure that their hormone levels stay healthy.