Gas, bloating, fatigue, brain fog and headaches are all common side effects of having a gluten intolerance. Even if you do not have a diagnosed gluten allergy or celiac disease, the symptoms that arise from accidentally ingesting gluten for those who are gluten intolerant can be uncomfortable, debilitating, and painful. Some people have a sensitivity to gluten and may not even know it, as symptoms can disguise themselves as other ailments aside from GI issues. If you feel any of the symptoms above after eating wheat, barley, spelt or rye, chances are your body is not digesting gluten properly and reacting in various ways.
Even if we know that we have an allergy or intolerance to gluten, it can’t always be avoided. Cross-contamination can happen easily in restaurants that aren’t 100% gluten-free, or in products that are made in a facility also processing wheat. So the question is, what can we do once we are suffering from these symptoms?
Luckily, you have a few options! Although none of these are a magical potion, or have instant results, they will ease your symptoms and lessen the amount of time you are affected.
- Sleep. Your body will naturally detoxify during a sleep period when it is able to repair itself. It’s important to allow your body the extra sleep it needs to fight off inflammation and restore its healthy state.
- Stay hydrated. Once you’ve been “glutened,” be sure to drink a lot of water to flush out the toxins from your body. Coconut water will also help if you are suffering from vomiting or diarrhea by keeping your body hydrated and replenishing electrolytes.
- Ginger, peppermint and chamomile tea. Besides aiding in hydration, specific teas can be used to combat bloating, cramps, and nausea. Ginger is anti-inflammatory, and will aid in any bloating and discomfort. Chamomile also relieves bloating and gas, while peppermint is known to relieve nausea and soothe your stomach. We found some organic single-garden teas online at Teatulia. Some brands even make a specific “gas relief” tea or capsule that can be helpful.
- Drink Bone broth. After being exposed to gluten, your gut will need some healing, which bone broth is the perfect candidate for! Due to its natural gelatin and amino acids, bone broth helps to heal the lining of your stomach and digestive tract. Although this may not be an instant fix, it will help to heal your stomach in the long run.
- Eat light foods. Now that you’ve been exposed to gluten, it is not the time to try out new foods. Stick to what you know, and what makes you feel good! Incorporating liquids and real vegetables and proteins that are easy to digest into your diet will speed up your recovery.
- Don’t Stray From Your Probiotics. Probiotics are important on a daily basis, and this is especially important when you’ve been exposed to gluten. They promote healthy flora in your gut and maintain the healthy bacteria, which will work against your irritated digestive tract.
- Take Activated Charcoal. Charcoal is a binding agent, which can bind to toxins and prevent your body from absorbing them, which will help relieve gas and bloating. However, activated charcoal can cause constipation, so you’ll want to be sure that you’re staying well hydrated.
- Relax. Often when we know we’ve been glutened, the discomfort we feel becomes the focus of our entire day. Even if we’re working or otherwise occupied, it often lies in the background. This focus often turns into worrying, stressing out, or beating ourselves up for not being more careful or for allowing ourselves that indulgence that we’re paying for now. But this stress just makes things worse. Our guts absorb a lot of what is happening to us, physically and emotionally, and for many of us, they are where we hold our tension. The more tension, the worse our symptoms can get. So after you’ve been glutened, take a few moments a day to gently bring your attention to your abdominal area and notice if you’re tightening up there at all. If you are, breathe into it and relax all the muscles in that area. Actively send your warmth, acceptance, relaxation, and breath to that area – it will pass.
As hard as we try to avoid gluten, there’s always a chance of being exposed to it. That’s why it’s important to know how to handle your symptoms to ease your suffering and ease into wellness again. Follow the tips above the next time you feel any discomfort from gluten, and let us know what works best for you in the comments below!