Klonopin is an anti-anxiety drug that is highly addictive. Withdrawal is often accompanied by unpleasant symptoms, including anxiety, tremors, depression and a plethora of other maladies. The longer you have been on the drug and the higher dose you have been taking, the more severe withdrawal symptoms are likely to be. It is important to withdraw slowly from this benzodiazepine, lest you suffer severe withdrawal symptoms. A healthy diet can help to support Klonopin withdrawal in a number of ways, and can help you to better cope with the withdrawal syndrome.
Maintaining Steady Blood Sugar Levels
Since withdrawing from Klonopin can exacerbate anxiety symptoms, you should remove items from your diet that can also contribute to anxiety. Foods that cause blood sugar levels to rapidly fluctuate, such as soda and foods prepared with refined grains, should be eliminated. Keeping blood sugar levels steady can help to prevent low blood sugar, which, like Klonopin withdrawal, can also cause tremors, feelings of weakness and anxiety. Eat meals comprising vegetables, whole grains and protein to prevent these unwelcome fluctuations.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids support neurological health. If you have insufficient omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, nerves cells can misfire. Klonopin withdrawal stresses the nervous system, so any dietary support you can add will likely help your body to recover faster. Withdrawing from benzodiazepines can cause depression, but low levels of omega-3 fatty acids may also play a part in depression. A 2004 study published in "Biological Psychiatry," found that people who had low levels of omega-3 fatty acids were more likely to be depressed than those who did not. You can help to fight this symptom by including wild-caught fatty fish such as salmon and herring in your diet. Fish oil supplements may be helpful, as well.
Eliminate Dietary Stressors
Caffeine can escalate the anxiety that can accompany Klonopin withdrawal as it is a stimulant that increases sympathetic nervous system activity. Eliminate coffee, or switch to a decaffeinated variety. The same applies to tea, which also can have high levels of caffeine. Avoid dark chocolate for the same reason. Consider cutting down on sodium, as excess salt can deplete your body's level of potassium, which is critical for healthy nervous system functioning. Eliminate refined foods with artificial coloring and preservatives as well, as these can have an adverse effect on the nervous system in some individuals. A 2004 study published in the "Archives of Disease in Childhood" demonstrated that the artificial ingredients can cause hyperactivity in children. The effects of these chemicals on the average person is largely unknown.
While cleaning up your diet can certainly help you to feel better than you might otherwise during Klonopin withdrawal, it may not have as large of an effect as you might wish. Dr. Heather Ashton, author of the highly regarded benzodiazepine withdrawal manual "The Ashton Manual," states that individuals need to become accustomed to living a normal lifestyle without medications such as Klonopin. She advises simply to drink enough fluids, engage in moderate exercise and eliminate caffeine if you are sensitive to its effects.
- "The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook"; Dr. Edmund Bourne; 2005
- "Biological Psychiatry"; Major Depression Is Associated With Lower Omega-3 Fatty Acid Levels in Patients With Recent Acute Coronary Syndromes; Nancy Frasure-Smith; May 1, 2004
- "Archives of Disease in Childhood"; The Effects of a Double Blind, Placebo Controlled, Artificial Food Colourings and Benzoate Preservative Challenge on Hyperactivity in a General Population Sample of Preschool Children; B. Batemen, et al.; 2004
- Benzodiazepines -- How They Work and How to Withdraw; Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms, Acute and Protracted; Heather Ashton; August 2002