Having a condition that can be controlled with a special diet is a blessing, but it can also be a curse.
If only gluten were neon pink, it would be obvious if we were consuming something with even a trace of gluten in it. But it’s unfortunately not that clear, so we have to be very careful about what we eat and where we eat it. Even when we try to take all the precautions, we can sometimes suffer major consequences if gluten has somehow found its way into our food. The following are steps that we take in our home when we have consumed gluten (or “get glutened,” as many of us like to say) that we find helpful.
1. Drink plenty of water.
A good rule of thumb is to drink eight glasses of water a day, but when you’ve been glutened, you need extra hydration. Try to drink at least half your weight in ounces of water to make sure your body is getting the replenishment it needs.
2. Drink herbal teas and/or bone broth.
We have implemented this for the last six months, and it has made all the difference in the world. I feel like it helps recharge your system faster than anything else I have tried. Even when we aren’t necessarily glutened, we find it’s a good way to help heal gut issues.
3. Try essential oils (with the guidance of a healthcare provider).
I wasn’t a “believer” in essential oils, but one night I watched my daughter toss and turn for hours on my bedroom floor in her sleep because she was glutened hours before. It broke my heart and I was desperate, so I decided to try a topical digestive essential oil blend that was deep in the back of a junk drawer. I pulled it out and applied a few drops to her stomach, and within a few minutes she stopped rolling around and laid peacefully throughout the rest of the night. Peppermint or ginger tea can be helpful (just ensure they’re gluten free!).
4. Pay attention to foods.
The BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, [gluten-free] toast) is not just for the stomach flu. It can be helpful when you are trying to calm an upset stomach after being glutened. Eating anti-inflammatory foods is also a good choice for helping to counteract the inflammation occurring in your body, and eliminating dairy for a time may also help to calm your gut. (There are plenty of dairy-free alternatives for traditionally milky foods out there now that make this doable!)
5. Get enough sleep.
Rest, rest and more rest! It is often hard to function or focus when you have been glutened. Your body is trying to heal from the damage the gluten caused, so it is important that you do your part and allow it to rest as much as possible.
And a bonus tip: Hope.
Hope for a brighter day tomorrow! This may sound near-impossible in the midst of feeling like you were in a train wreck, but know that tomorrow is another day. Whatever got you down today, don’t let it get you down again — you got this!