I describe accidentally eating gluten as being ‘glutened’. My head knows I have been glutened before my stomach because my symptoms start with brain fog. I go from being in a really happy mood, to not wanting to talk to anyone and being easily irritated – then it hits my stomach and bowels! This is my pattern. Symptoms can vary from person to person, but this is typical for me. So I now know that when brain fog hits that it isn’t the ‘real me’, it’s that I have been glutened and I need to act on it.
First things first, I am not a doctor or a nutritionist, so my advice is only what works for me and I am telling you because it might work for you too!
My reflexologist once told me that a 20minute walk is a great healer. So any time I have been glutened, my husband will drag me out the front door to go for a 20minute walk – it always helps! It is the last thing you are going to want to do, but it really does help to settle your stomach.
Hit the sofa
I get SO tired after being glutened. Your body has just gone through a stressful experience and the biggest healer is rest. After my walk, I will rest up for the remainder of the day (a blanket and Netflix are good additions). This will obviously be difficult if you are working, but health comes first, so either try and go home or take it as easy as possible.
Water & lemon
Water can help so many health problems and although it won’t instantly help to cure your symptom, it will help to flush out the toxins. I like to drink lukewarm water, which I know is an acquired taste and can be difficult to do if you’re not used to it. So if you can drink it lukewarm, try drinking it hot or at least cold but with no ice. Adding lemon to water has been said to detoxify, improve digestion and reduce bloating, which are all things that will help if you have been glutened!
A great way to soothe your bowels is by drinking peppermint tea and it is much more effective than indigestion medication. It will help to ease pain, bloating and gas. I has also been proven to reduce the number of harmful bacteria in the gut.
We all know that charcoal is typically used in hospitals for people who have ingested in some kind of poison, but activated charcoal can also help after being glutened! The capsules can help to reduce bloating and gas before and after eating, which will make you feel much more comfortable!
Great for balancing your gut health, you can either take probiotics in supplement form or by eating fermented foods or drinking fermented drinks. I take probiotics in capsule form (by Ultraflora) and drink Kombucha.
Avoid certain foods
When the lining of your gut has been damaged it can not produce enough lactase, the protein that breaks down lactose, so I tend to avoid dairy for at least a few days afterwards. I also avoid foods that are typically ‘allerginic’ - grains, nuts and eggs. I lean toward healing and organic foods, such as sweet potatoes, bone broths (preferably homemade), avocados, fruits and veggies.
Reduce your meal size
For me, the effects of being glutened can last anything from a couple of days to one week – depending on the severity of the reaction. While my stomach is still inflamed, I find that reducing the amount I eat really helps. If I eat a massive meal, I will get cramps, bloated and sore. So eating little and often is the key to avoiding unnecessary pain.
The best thing to do is try and avoid being glutened where possible. A lot of times, it can be down to laziness. I hat to say it, but we are all guilty of neglecting reading a label from time to time and making the presumption that the food is gluten free. You need to check each time, even if you have had the product before because the ingredients might have changed. When eating out, make sure you tell the restaurant that you are ordering gluten free food because your are coeliac – that way, they will take cross contamination seriously! Always follow the rule of ‘if in doubt, don’t eat it’!
I would love to hear your experiences and if there is anything else that helps you when you have been glutened?