Getting exposed to gluten 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, 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.
It is important to point out that 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, for my body, but there is no guarantee they will work for you.
Flush out the Gluten
- Amy Meyers, MD recommends taking digestive enzymes to breakdown gluten and push it out quicker. They are designed to alleviate symptoms and normalize the body’s inflammatory response to gluten.
- I learned from Katy Haldiman, MS, RN, NTC, also known as Paleo Nurse, that charcoal pills may help by binding with gluten to prevent it from being absorbed by the body. Paleo Nurse also advises that, “this supplement can bind with medications, so consult with your licensed health care professional prior to taking if you are under treatment for any disease or condition. Make sure you hydrate well to prevent constipation after taking activated charcoal.”
Fill up on Fluids
- You can’t possibly drink enough fluids. 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.
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. Consider using a meditation app to help calm your thoughts and just relax.
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.
- 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 gluten-free 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
- Pineapple, papaya, passion fruit and pomegranate have enzymes that aide digestion
- Avoid dairy and sugar during recovery because the villi are in no shape to digest either
Repair the Gut
- Amy Meyers recommends taking an increased dose of probiotics for a week after exposure to restore the good bacteria.
- 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 pain and swelling
- 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.
‘When in doubt, leave it out’ is a great slogan to remember when putting anything in your mouth, or on your lips and teeth.
It is your body, so take care of it because no one else will do it for you.
Learn how to eat out safely while avoiding accidental gluten exposure from cross-contamination.