What To Do When You’ve Been “Glutened”

what to do when you've been glutened

Getting glutened is something I think all people with Celiac/gluten sensitivity try to avoid. As if we don’t have it hard enough modifying our life to accommodate being gluten free, but then we need to figure out how to recover after getting poisoned by gluten.

As I always say, I’m not a doctor or medical professional. I’m just a girl trying to navigate my life the best of my ability with Celiac Disease. All of these recommendations I’m about to give you are strictly from personal experience and trial and error.

My top 10 tips to recovering from getting glutened:

1. Rest– This is probably the most important thing that you need to do. Besides feeling like a train hit you and being very tired, your body needs rest in order to heal itself. Don’t feel guilty about how much sleep you get. Take naps and listen to your body!

2. Drink Lots of Fluids– It’s important to stay hydrated and flush the toxins out of your system. My go-to fluid is bone broth. Bone broth helps heal the gut and is filled with minerals. You can make big batches and freeze it so you always have it on hand. You can also drink lots of water, juice, tea, etc.

3. Tea– Tea can relax you and helps slow down the nervous system. Mint as well as ginger tea is known to help sooth digestion. I like to get fresh mint leaves and boil them in water, or placing a sliver of fresh ginger into hot water. If you cannot do this, tea bags work too.

4. Eat Bland– The BRAT diet is a great one to follow. BRAT stands for: bananas, rice, applesauce and gluten free toast. Stay away from over seasoned or spicy food. Sweet potato is also good because it’s easy to digest, but high in vitamins.

5. Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods-Ingesting gluten sets off an inflammatory response in the small intestine, so foods that reduce inflammation are helpful. Pineapple, papaya, pomegranate and ginger are all recommended.

6. Avoid Dairy– We digest lactose in the tips of our intestinal villi, therefore gluten ingestion can damage the villi and cause temporary symptoms of lactose intolerance. Avoid dairy products until you are recovered.

7. Epsom Salt Baths– Not only do Epsom salts promote detoxing, but they also help you relax and lessen neurological symptoms. Add 1-2 cups of Epsom salt to a warm bath and just relax.

8. Heating Pad on Stomach– Gluten poisoning often causes stomach bloating and discomfort. To help ease any pain/discomfort place a heating pad on stomach.

9. Vinegar Hair Rinse– This will help with hair loss and dull, lifeless hair. Use it 3 times per week.

10. Stay Positive– Getting glutened can often affect your mood. Just remember to stay positive and remind yourself (my favorite quote) “This too shall pass”.

Getting glutened is never fun, but I think it helps remind us how serious this disease is and how strict we need to be. It never fails me, just when I feel confident (maybe cocky) about my gluten free diet I seem to get sick!

For some people feeling sick after getting glutened can last a few days and for others a few weeks. Just remember not to get down on yourself, don’t make big decisions (brain fog may kick in!), and warn your loved ones that your mood is the “gluten”…not you! 🙂

To hear my symptoms when glutened, you can read my open letter to Celiac. Hopefully this reminds you that you are not alone in this struggle!

41 comments

  1. Marina says:

    My daughter Grace got glutened AGAIN this past weekend when she visited with her dad. She is only 10 and still not standing up for herself. Tonight she has the typical picture: headache, fatigue, bloating, stinky gas and tummy ache. It started 4-5 hours ago… Not worth it to take her to ER and have it documented… What do you think about Tylenol for the headache? I didn’t give it cause it raises her blood sugar. But I felt so sorry for her… She said she didn’t want Tylenol cause it meant she needed insulin for it… Would you recommend Tylenol for the pain or should we just let the intestines to heal and rest?

    • msmodify says:

      Sorry she got sick again! Honestly you should talk to her doctor about that. Since she has diabetes, what I do may not be good for her. Let me know what the doctor recommends!

    • Granny says:

      I rub a drop of peppermint EO on my temples for headaches. ⚠️ Note: Peppermint can cause respiratory depression in babies & small children. I would probably dilute it in a carrier oil for her age, and monitor her afterwards, just to be safe. It’s always wise to check with your doctor.

  2. Barbara says:

    My nutritionist recommends activated charcoal. It binds up gluten. It will also bind up other medication, so use caution, and check with your health care director. It really helps me

  3. Trish says:

    Glad to hear other people use activated charcoal. I have found it reduces the amount of time it takes to recover by about two-thirds – from 10 days to 2 or 3 days.

    Great advice about going non-dairy for the duration, hadn’t thought of that.

    Also thanks for the advice about non-inflammatory foods. Haven’t seen a comprehensive list like that before.

    The other thing I do for glutening is increase the number of doses of slippery elm per day from one (always, every day) to 3 or 4 when gluten strikes.

    Very first thing every single day I take slippery elm powder in warm water 10 mins, at least, before breakfast. This creates a soothing lining in the gut that helps move along any insults it may receive and prevents any existing inflammation from getting worse.(People who are not even CD find this beneficial for vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, heartburn, mouth ulcers, persistent cough etc, in fact any problem between your mouth and your anus to be precise)

    Slippery elm can also be taken in capsule form but then it is only good for conditions beginning at the stomach, still very useful.

    I applaud the BRAT diet suggestion. If apple sauce is not to hand and diarrhoea is a problem, grated apple that has been allowed to go brown is the only source of pectin, a binder par excellence, you will ever need. If constipation is the problem do not allow it to go brown – lemon juice will prevent this – it helps provide some of the bulk needed to get things moving. Combined with the slippery elm a very useful addition.

    At times when dairy is okay, we find yoghurt to be a great ally. Thanks for this informative post.

  4. Sissy says:

    This is all new to me, gluten and the problems associated with it. I’ve been tested for everything for the last 10+ years and only get the response of inclusive or within normal limits. I am so sick of it that I began my own trial & error to try to get some relief, that I believe it’s gluten related. I am learning & information found like is here, is a blessing. Right now I am suffering, don’t know the culprit this time, but I am suffering & learning as I go. Thanks for the tips.

    • msmodify says:

      Wow 10+ years?! I can imagine that’s very frustrating! Have you done genetic testing for celiac disease? I recommend doing this.

      • msmodify says:

        Migraines can be a symptom of celiac! I do get migraines occasionally. Mine are mainly hormonal and I also noticed changing my diet has helped a lot!

    • Jayme says:

      When I discovered my problem was gluten everything changed, from not being able to do anything without gut back and arm pain and a constant fog and preoccupation with my problem to being able to live life normally, I still get a bit of discomfort but nothing like before. I have been gluten free for just 6 months. I don’t find it difficult as there are always options and actually a lot more options once you know what’s been causing the trouble. Life is so much more comfortable!

  5. Mrs.Ditlow says:

    My mom, two siblings and I all have celiacs, we’ve found it helpful to take benadryl, gas x and Aleve the moment we realize we’ve been glutened. It doesn’t stop the symptoms but it eases them considerably. I also highly recommend arnica and turmeric as anti-inflammatory and pain remedies.

  6. Tamaran Bardwell says:

    Since finding I’m celiac I have hardly any hair left, I’ve been good and stayed away from it besides sneaking a Oreo cookie which was not worth my upset stomach, someone needs to create a MEME about when a toddler hands you a cookie you must eat it unless you are dealthy allergic to gluten lol but to the point what do y’all take biotin isn’t working to help your hair

    • msmodify says:

      I lost SO much hair when I was first diagnosed with celiac. Now almost 6 years later, although my hair is not as thick as it used to be pre-celiac, it has come back so much. Honestly, it just takes time. Every time I accidentally get glutened it falls out… so it’s really a vicious cycle for me. Definitely another reason to not get glutenized! I also have found that prenatal vitamins help a lot (more than biotin). Since I’m not a medical professional, please consult with your doctor before changing/starting vitamins!

    • Andrea says:

      Gluten free Oreos by Glutino is way better than the original! Even my 10 year old agrees. No need to cheat. You can have your cake and eat it too. 😉

    • Granny says:

      I used to have issues with my hair, but now I cut it once a year and donate 12-14 inches to Locks of Love. I use Julian Bakery’s Paleo Protein powders, so that I get 60-80g of protein per day, including regular food. A search of Pinterest will show you multiple essential oils, which help with hair growth. I use peppermint EO in my bathwater, as it helps with other problems too, but you could also add it to your shampoo or conditioner. ⚠️Note: Use cautiously around babies, as it can cause respiratory depression.
      3/4 of the household has Celiac, so our house is completely gluten free. My son-in-law (the non-Celiac) says that he’s never eaten so well! 😂 This makes it so that there’s no cross contamination and the 4yo can eat or share, without concern.

  7. Andra Orly says:

    Thanks for sharing! Here in Goa (India) people do not know much or anything at all about the seriousness of gluten.. It is really hard as even products here are not labelled correctly…Felt comforting reading your post, thanks.

    • msmodify says:

      That must be very frustrating for you! Even here in the US, where most things are labeled, many people don’t understand the severity either!

      • Melissa says:

        I recently got glutened on vacation… That was a week ago and I’m still having some symptoms. I get GERD attacks along with the bloating, fatigue, moodiness and adominal discomfort… one thing that helped a little was taking digestive enzymes within an hour of getting glutened. it helped minimize the cramping and adominal discomfort even if it didn’t eliminate symptoms. Thanks for the reminders.

  8. Crisi says:

    Thank you for all this info. I’ve been trying to be gluten & lactose free for 5 moths now. I am feeling SO GOOD. Have been sick since 1981.
    Doctors only know the word IBS.

    But oh my goodness….no more eating out or even eating at family & friends. I always have a bad reaction and suffer for days.

    I never knew this was the reason for hair loss?
    I am learning so much every day.
    Thank you to ALL for sharing !!

  9. Julie says:

    I have had gut issues my whole life. Been tested for allergies twice and did immunotherapy for 3 years. Each time showing more and more food allergies. Finally, when my GP asked me if I wanted her to send me to an allergist again, I thought, I have had enough of this…30 years of extreme allergic reactions and being told they are not allergic reactions! I went to a naturopath and began my journey 4 and half months ago. We are trying to repair my Leaky Gut, no Gluten, no dairy, no grains, no wheat! Tried to pro biotics and they cause me to get light headed and pass out. The same with some other supplements. I am now seeing a naturopathic allergist and he does immunotherapy for food allergies along with environmental allergies. After one shot I have noticed improvement. It is a whole new world living with all these restrictions but have made it a hobby to find new grocery products, best prices and learning to cook a whole new way.

  10. Jessica CD says:

    I was diagnosed with celiac 8 years ago and I take benedryl as soon as I’ve realized I’ve eaten something with gluten and even though it knocks me out it helps with the stomach pain as well as probiotics. I never knew it could cause hair loss so that would explain so much. Thank you for this article. I wish people knew just how serious it really is

    • msmodify says:

      I’ve never tried Benadryl after getting glutened, but probiotics definitely help me! Thanks for sharing your tip! Hair loss is one of my very unfortunate symptoms I get from gluten! Glad you found this helpful!

  11. Dena says:

    I have recently learned that not only gluten intolerance, but also dairy, soy, shrimp and a long list of other foods. To be honest I’m overwhelmed, don’t know how to get unglutned and all the rest. Any suggestions? I’m trying not to eat anything on my list which is very limiting

    • msmodify says:

      Hi Dena,

      I’m sorry to hear this and know how frustrating that is! In addition to gluten, I also found out recently that I can’t have dairy, shrimp or walnuts and I personally don’t feel great with many grains… so I truly know what you’re going through. What helped me transition to this new diet is doing a round of Whole30. If you’re not familiar with Whole30, I recommend you look it up and consider doing it for 30 days. During this time it forced me to give up things and get creative with cooking and figure out modifications for meals. At first it was challenging, but after the 30 days I no longer missed certain things (dairy, certain grains, etc) and it really helped kick start things long term! Feel free to email me if you need additional support!

    • Nakeya Idaan says:

      Plan ahead! Take food and snacks with you. Im also allergic to yeast so the activated ingredients in stores and bakeries make my throat close. I carry am epipen, mask, water, meds, change of clothes etc with me. Its very life altering. Try to avoid eating out or at others homes until your more aware of what things may have in them and if the place will follow good measures. To keep you safe. Check everything. EVERYTHING . Dont give in to people because u feel guilty or what not. Its your health, your body

  12. Neisha says:

    I rub peppermint oil in my belly button at my first symptom which for me is stomach cramping. It takes away the cramping immediately!

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