If you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, you know all too well the pain that happens when you accidentally ingest gluten — otherwise called “getting glutened.”
The symptoms of unwelcome gluten in the system are different for each person. For some, it means cramps that leave you crying on the floor. For others, it manifests as debilitating head and joint aches. The common denominator when you’ve been glutened — you know, because your body treats the protein as a toxin, increasing inflammation and damage through the intestine.
If you’re dealing with the pain of gluten in your system, here are some tips on what to do next.
1. Check your labels and find the source
The first step is to make sure you’re not adding more gluten into your system. Read all the labels, paying special attention to new foods and brands you’ve added to your diet. Go back to being overly cautious and only eat foods you’ve carefully prepared at home to ensure what you’re eating hasn’t been cross-contaminated.
2. Increase your water intake
You’ll also want to make sure you’re drinking more water. Doing so will help ward off dangerous dehydration if you’re experiencing diarrhea or vomiting. Adding coconut water to your diet can help balance out your electrolytes warding off low energy and dizziness.
3. Rely on omega-3s to decrease inflammation
Inflammation is your body’s natural response when it’s been injured and that’s exactly what gluten does in the body of someone with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Decreasing inflammation will help ease the symptoms you’re feeling — and the pain. Omega-3s are one of your best resources for dialing down the inflammation in your system. Eat foods like salmon, flax oil and chia seeds to give your body the chance to fight off the inflammation.
4. Rest should be a given
It’s not always easy to slow down when sick, but when your body is fighting off what it perceives as a toxin, rest is never more important. Be gentle with yourself, cut yourself some slack and go to bed earlier so you can heal.
5. Stock up on bone broth to heal your gut
Think about it: 70 percent of your immune system is based in your gut and when it takes a huge hit from being glutened, you need to do what you can to heal it — and fast.
Broth, like chicken, fish or beef, are high in the anti-inflammatory amino acids glycine and proline, which will heal your intestines and make sure you’re getting a good dose of electrolytes. They’re easy to make at home or you can purchase a brand that’s low in sodium and certified gluten-free.
6. Avoid dairy
Dairy is not easy to digest and it can cause an even more digestive upset when you’re battling the gluten in your system. Avoid dairy and any other foods that your body doesn’t seem to like and slowly introduce it again when you start to feel better.