Scientifically speaking, there’s nothing you can do when you realize you’ve been glutened. The wheat protein is in your system and it will have to work its way out. Despite this fact, many people swear to home remedies* that curb the symptoms and get them back to normal faster than riding it out. Whether your reaction is in the form of headaches, stomach aches, nausea, or cramping, you’re sure to find something that your body tolerates to help. Let’s take a look at some natural options and supplements, gentle foods and drinks, over the counter aids, and self-care that can all help you get back on your feet.
Natural and Supplemental Suggestions
Peppermint oil or pills are available at most health food stores and work great for nausea and stomach pain. If you opt for the oil, rub it onto the abdominal area. Placing a warm pad on top has been known to speed up the process.
Active charcoal got mixed reviews from celiac sufferers. Most agreed that no one wants to puke during a gluten reaction, and this is one of the active charcoal’s main uses. However, smaller doses work to soothe the stomach without the violent upchuck.
Liquid-form bentonite clay acts as a coating to cover the intestines and detox any gluten clogging them up.
Spirulina is the blue-green algae and comes in powder or tablet. Many people insist it makes a difference, choosing to mix powder in water and gulp it as a tonic. Similarly, powdered slippery elm, mixed with water and sweetened slightly, works as a slimy but effective way to coat intestines and ease pain.
Foods & Drinks
Broth or GF Miso soup work in gluten situations just as it does for someone who’s sick. It eases the stomach and flushes out the malicious agent.
Has your doctor ever suggested the BRAT diet when you had the flu or a stomach bug? B is for banana, R is for rice, A is for apple, and T is for toast. These four foods are gentle on the stomach and its digestive process, and won’t cause any additional damage to your gut.
Mash potatoes are another great soft food for your stomach, and can also encourage sleep.
Gatorade was recommended several times. The electrolytes and water hydrate and boost your immune system to fight the problem.
Chewing candied ginger or sipping ginger ale are great for easing pain and soothing the stomach lining.
Teas in various types were highly recommended to flush out the gluten and sooth the nausea, including ginger, detox, eater’s digest, and peppermint.
Lots of plain yogurt is a great way to reset and clean out the gut and fight the gluten reaction.
As far as juices go, two got top vote. Both apple and aloe vera juice ease the stomach. Likewise, some people found that fresh fruit such as apple, grapes, or melons helped. Perhaps they work to boost immune system with vitamin C content or aid hydration?
Water, water, water. No one can argue that the very best way to hydrate and flush your system is one nature provided. Water does so much for our bodies daily: boosting immune system, coping mechanism, mood, alleviates gas and bloating. So of course it will do the same for someone dealing with a gluten accident.
Though it’s on the expensive side, L-glutamine is an amino acid that speeds up the healing of the intestines after a bout with gluten. Shari Lieberman reviewed regular L-glutamine supplementation in her book “The Gluten Connection: How Gluten Sensitivity May Be Sabotaging Your Health–And What You Can Do to Take Control Now .” She recommended 500 mg L-glutamine daily broken up into 3 doses. If it works to protect, it must be a great option for fast-acting repair as well. Check out this one from Amazon.
Glutenease is another product on the market shelves touted for regular use. However, reviews seem to suggest that taking one after a cross contamination situation may help as well. Continue regular use to aid in healing once the offending gluten is gone. Here are some reviews to reference.
Pepto-bismal coats and calms the digestive organs and aids in reducing swelling.
Probiotic vitamins, if you can keep them down, offer great relief to your digestive tract and the symptoms brought on by gluten intolerance and celiac.
Digestive Enzymes – take your enzymes as soon as you realize you’ve digested gluten! It will at least break down the components to get it through your system quicker.
Gas-X – See below. Be careful! Some version of gas-x have gluten in them, so check those labels!
Combinations for Relief
Each of the below suggestions are regiments used when a bodily response to gluten happens.
Team up Imodium and Gas-X. The Imodium retards peristalsis and treats the diarrhea and the gas-x breaks apart the gas bubbles like dish soap does to grease. Be careful though. Some version of gas-x have gluten in them, so check those labels!
Swallow a gas-x, pop an ibuprofen, and chew a few tums for the pain, bloating, bubbles, and nausea.
Gulp a mix of yakult and Metamucil to battle gluten issues. The combination of pro-biotics and fiber-filled laxative scrape out the bad and bulk up good bacteria to restore order and health to your gut.
Combine warm water with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a heaping tablespoon of organic coconut oil in a big glass and chug. Though its not pleasant, the warm water makes swallowing a little easier. The vinegar cleanses while the coconut oil greases, moisturizes, and heals damage from the gluten.
Just as salt water cleans bacteria and eases sore muscles, this suggestion will clean intestines and ease cramps. Swallow 3 teaspoons of sea salt and immediately drank 3 glasses of water, and rest until you feel better.
You can do any of the below suggestions either solo or in a combination to make yourself feel much better and let any remedies you’ve utilized do their job.
Lots of rest is vital for getting well. Gluten reactions are no exception.
A hot pad on the belly calms cramps and aids in stimulating healing. This can also be done with peppermint oil externally applied.
Soft music helps you focus on something else, can ease anxiety of the reaction, and creates an environment of calm and healing.
As you feel improvement, an Epsom salt bath and deep tissue massage can really comfort the muscle aches and inflammation.
Something to keep in mind is that caffeine is a no-no as you deal with this, as it dulls the immune systems effectiveness and furthers the internal inflammation. It’s worth it to wait until all symptoms are done and you feel back to your old self before indulging in drinks of this nature.
*As always, please consult a physician if you are concerned about reactions your body has to gluten or any other allergen. These suggestions are merely collected from forums and friends who have a gluten free lifestyle and have “been there, done that” a time or two.
Have you used any of these remedies or do you have one of your own that you’d like to share? Please share this article wtih friends or family who also suffer from gluten intolerance or Celiac. You could save the day!