I think one of the most awful experiences about being gluten free is when you (accidentally) consume something with gluten. It could be the worst feeling in the entire world.
Obviously if gluten made you sick at one point if you eat it you will get sick again. That is just common sense. But because your body is used to feeling so good, it is honestly 100% worse.
Everyone’s symptoms are different. I know I’ve been glutened about 1/2 hour after I consume something. At first I get really really tired…brain fog and all. I CANNOT even keep my eyes open, my eyelids are so heavy! Then I get the stomach pain I had before I went g-free. It’s the worst. And it takes about a week for my system to get back to normal.
This is why cheating is NOT ideal on a gluten free diet. I’ve never cheated, the only time I’ve consumed gluten since being G-free is accidentally. I can tell you it’s probably the worst thing ever. Enough to drive me to solely eat salad at our family dinner tonight and skip out on the meat (not even taking a chance with the marinade). It’s not worth it, honestly!
So what’s the best way to recover from being glutened? Like I said, I’m still learning. Honestly, you really just have to wait it out. But here are some things I do to ease the pain of the wait:
1. Sleep A LOT!
Getting a ton of sleep after being glutened helps. You’re already exhausted, so why not? I like to lay around and watch TV and be super lazy. I really do feel like giving your body the time to recover helps. But if you still find yourself very uneasy….
2. Go for a walk
My GF bestie Heather taught me this secret, and I’m a firm believer. Exercise helps get your body going, which will speed up the process of getting the gluten out of your system. I realize going for a walk/run or doing anything of any sort is the LAST thing you want to do when you feel this bad, but I promise it does help.
3. Take more fish oil
Since I’ve been GF, I take fish oil daily to help with the inflammation of my stomach. It’s honestly helped so much. When I accidentally eat gluten, obviously my intestines are a little swollen and uncomfortable. If the pain is bad enough, I’ll take an extra fish oil. (My pharmacist told me it’s okay to do this since fish oil is pretty much harmless and hard to overdose on.) The extra fish oil will help your stomach calm down a little bit.
4. Eat small, clean 100% GF meals for the next couple of days.
After you get glutened, make sure the rest of your meals for the week are 100% GF. This is not the time to enjoy a meal from a restaurant unsure about the ingredients. I know guessing and hoping that something is GF sometimes works, but this is not the time to find out. And while you might think that you already feel bad from eating gluten, so it’s the perfect time to cheat…you would be very very wrong! In fact, eating any traces of gluten AT ALL during this time will make your pain worse and make it take longer to go away. Also, eat a lot of healthy foods like fruits & veggies… and don’t overeat. You don’t want to put any extra stress on your stomach.
5. Be patient
I used to get glutened and whine to my boyfriend for days and days afterward because I didn’t understand why I hadn’t felt better yet. For me, it takes about a week with clean eating. Be patient with your body, and don’t get frustrated if you don’t feel better right away.
Most importantly….if you aren’t sure if something has gluten in it, ASK or GOOGLE IT!!!!! You can find almost any answer on google, and restaurants should be able to tell you what ingredients go in each dish. I was afraid to ask at first, but better to know now than find out the hard way later!!!!