Gave up drinking and reconnected with life and love
by Sue Kira, Naturopath & Clinical Nutritionist
Client name and identifying information changed
John had been an occasional drinker since his late teens. After he got married, he and his wife drank one to three drinks each night to relax and wind down from work stress. A couple of years later, John’s wife left him, and to cope with the stress and lonely nights, he used alcohol to console himself, drinking six to eight drinks nightly.
John didn’t give it much thought until he had an insurance medical check-up and the doctor discovered that John had ‘alcoholic fatty liver’. The word ‘alcoholic’ gave John horror feelings as he never really thought of himself as an alcoholic, but his liver said otherwise. Apart from the liver problems, his cholesterol was elevated, blood pressure borderline high and he looked like he was heading for diabetes. John’s doctor told him to stop drinking immediately if he wanted to save his liver.
This was a real wake up for John, who up until then was just existing from one day to the next. John asked if medication could be delayed while he ‘sorted his life out’ and the doctor agreed to give him three months. John’s ex-wife suggested he make an appointment with me, which was the start of a whole new chapter for him.
We spoke about his diet which was bad. He ate very few vegetables and his diet mainly consisted of pasta and ‘off the shelf’ sauces that were loaded with sugar and salt. So he needed to get stuck into more ‘real foods’ such as proteins, fruit and vegetables.
He was very keen and motivated to start an eating plan that would support him. We decided it would be best to detoxify immediately by eliminating all crappy foods, drinks and additives, and instead, have a wholesome diet of the supportive foods mentioned above.
I advised John that whenever he had a craving for alcohol, to first have a drink of water, then a banana, particularly if it was away from meal times. That really helped him and initially he ate kilos of bananas in the first couple of weeks, but as he got sick of eating bananas, he found he had no more cravings for alcohol anymore.
As the cravings disappeared, his energy levels improved, particularly with his new diet. John was motivated to go to the gym and exercise, which he hadn’t done for years due to stress and fatigue. He enjoyed the exercise, and apart from the physical benefits, he found that it helped him to deal with life’s stresses.
After a couple of months, I checked his blood pressure and blood sugar levels and they were both normal. After the third month John went back to his doctor for more tests and his cholesterol was normal and his liver had improved.
When John came back to see me six months later, he shared the good news that he had found a new love in his life and he was really happy that she was a non- drinker. When I asked what he would have done if she did drink, he said that it wouldn’t have mattered because he was ‘over it’ and didn’t feel the need to drink anymore (but it still helped that she was a non-drinker). John’s blood pictures all looked good and he was happy and healthy once again.