6 Tips on How to Recover after Gluten Exposure
It’s been several months now, but I remember the sinking feeling so vividly. Standing with my boyfriend (now husband) chatting, laughing, enjoying an evening with his family, I reached down for my drink and got a swig of one that didn’t taste like mine. I look down any stomach sank as I saw a root beer. A drink? It couldn’t have been a sprinkles cupcake? At least I could’ve gone out with a bang. With one sip I accidentally, completely ruined the rest of my week and had to then recover from my gluten exposure.
I’ve been gluten free for about 5 years after I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease and went GF a year later at 18, and then was officially diagnosed as gluten intolerant at 20. I’ve had days, weeks, even months in that time frame where I was too lax, but I learned fast after working to heal my gut when I was 20 that gluten has serious effects on my body. I feel fatigued, I get migraines, and my thyroid symptoms get worse.
So, when I have gluten now, it’s an accidental exposure and it’s not fun. I have several food intolerance and follow AIP, so the same rules apply to nightshades, some fodmaps, and more. It’s a terrible feeling, but after having it happen far too many times, I’ve come up with a few methods to help heal.
- Get rest and sleep. This has become one of my favorite ways to get over feeling sick. Just shut the lights off, and let it pass. Not only are you not awake and actively feeling the ill effects for a few hours, but you’re giving your body time to recover. I usually just turn in early, and get up late. I still feel groggy when I wake up, but there’s still more that can be done…
- Hydrate! Getting lots of water is a no brainer, but it’s easy to not want to have anything to eat or drink when you feel so sick. Be sure to get lots of water to help flush out your system.
- Probitoics and prebiotics. Having a good probitoic that you take every day is a great practice for good gut health, but prebiotics are just as important. These help feed the healthy gut bacteria and support the probitoics. Great examples of prebiotic fiber rich foods are jicama (so yummy cut into stick and sprinkled with lime), asparagus, banana, etc. Make sure that you’re getting both to help rebuild your gut bacteria after getting glutened.
- Don’t focus on it. There are of course physical effects to getting glutened when you’re gluten intolerant, but the mind is a powerful thing. The more that we focus on it, the worse it’s probably going to feel. Try not to magnify the fact that you feel bad. Get your mind off of it, and don’t give the gluten the power!
- Take away what you can mentally from the experience. You’ll learn something from the experience. Maybe it’ll inspire you to bring more snacks where you go, or deter you from ordering a certain dish at a restaurant. Whatever it is, you’ll come out having had learned how to not go through the experience again.
- Drink good quality, home made Bone Broth. A hot topic these days, and for good reason. The collagen in good quality bone broth is great for healing damage done to the gut. I always have some on hand in the freezer in case I need to grab some in a pinch. If you don’t want a heavy soup, it tastes great to just drink as well. I’m actually going to be sending out my own bone broth recipe and tips for souring high quality ingredients to me email list this week. Sign up to get the recipe and other weekly exclusive recipes.
So, it’s been about five months since I’ve had gluten, but I’m sure it may happen again. Healing takes time, but in just a couple of days, I can get back to normal after take the necessary steps to heal. I hope this helps you heal as well!
What are you favorite ways to recover from eating gluten or getting sick?