7 Ways to Speed Up Recovery After Gluten Exposure

Dealing with gluten exposure, or being “glutened,” and suffering with the ensuing gluten reaction, is painful both physically and emotionally. Symptoms from gluten exposure take hold and can take weeks to months to subside completely. Many people report dealing with brain fog, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, depression or anxiety, exhaustion, headaches or migraines, inflammation, joint pain and massive irritability after exposure to gluten.

During this time of recovery from gluten exposure, it is all about you and taking the time to rest and recuperate. There is no need to rush the process to get back to your normal routine. Listen to your body, and don’t worry about the laundry or grocery shopping. Instead, focus all your energy on feeling better.

A new study found accidentally eating gluten in the last 30 days was a problem for 74% of the patients surveyed. If this happens to you, employ these top seven steps for a speedy recovery from gluten exposure.

Learn about the basic gluten-free diet here.

1. Flush out the gluten

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and herbal tea to flush the gluten out of your system.

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2. Fill up on fluids

  • You can’t possibly drink enough fluids while recovering from gluten exposure. Water is the best choice for flushing toxins out and keeping you hydrated for a quicker recovery.
  • Coconut water starts the hydration process and naturally replaces electrolytes.
  • Warm peppermint or ginger tea and bone broth soothe an upset stomach caused by gluten exposure.

3. Hit the bed

  • Sleep as much as possible. If you can’t sleep, lay down and rest your eyes.
  • The mind also needs time to recover from gluten exposure. Consider using a meditation app to help calm your thoughts and just relax.

4. Take a bath

  • Take a detoxifying Epsom salt bath to stimulate the lymphatic and immune system. All that magnesium should help the body (and you) relax.

5. Eat smart after gluten exposure

  • Focus on foods that are easy to digest. Start with clear liquids like broth and gelatin, then progress to full liquids. When your body is handling these foods, move on to gluten-free toast (no butter), rice, bananas or crackers. Scrambled eggs and mashed potatoes are a great choice for those who don’t eat grains.
  • Chewable ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory in the body with potent anti-nausea properties that can ease stomach cramping from gluten exposure.
  • Pineapple, papaya, passion fruit and pomegranate have enzymes that aid digestion.
  • Avoid dairy and sugar during recovery because the villi are in no shape to digest either.

6. Repair the gut

  • Take an increased dose of probiotics to restore the good bacteria gluten has washed away.
  • Take CBD in softgels or drops to reduce anxiety and inflammation caused by gluten exposure.
  • Since our bodies are unable to produce glutamine when our systems have been compromised, take L-glutamine, a powerhouse amino acid, to heal the gut lining and reduce inflammation.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever to treat headaches, inflammation and/or joint swelling.

7. Get moving

  • After the first couple of days, add light exercise to the recovery process and soak up those endorphins. Talk a walk outside or hop on a treadmill. A yoga class is another fantastic way to stretch the mind and body. Just don’t overdo it.
  • Consider scheduling a massage or visiting a chiropractor to move those toxins away from your muscles and flush them out with lots of water post-massage/adjustment.
  • Acupuncture treatments may relieve inflammation, especially in the abdominal area, and they can be quite relaxing.

Learn how to eat out safely while avoiding accidental gluten exposure from cross-contamination.


Disclaimer from author Jennifer Harris: I am not a medical professional, but I have used every one of these remedies to lessen pain during recovery. These are just suggestions, not medical advice, so consult your doctor to discuss what will work best for you. And while some of these steps stem from a more alternative approach to managing pain, they work for me and my body, but they may not work for you. 

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