No matter how hard we try, we all find ourselves accidentally glutened every now and again. The symptoms are different for each of us, as are what we do to make ourselves feel better as fast as possible.
My question here is, when you are accidentally contaminated by gluten how long does it normally take you to get over it? To feel better? To feel like yourself again? How long does it take to feel better after eating gluten?
Personally I think it depends on a few factors – I think that how much gluten I accidentally consumed plays a big part as does how I was feeling at the time I was glutened. Another factor is whether or not I have the time to relax and allow myself to heal afterwards.
If for example I ate half a tub of ice cream before realising that it contained natural flavours sourced from wheat I would probably feel a lot worse and for a lot longer than if I had a couple of crackers which were made on shared equipment with gluten containing products.
Similarly whether I’m in good health or whether I’m feeling extra tired or worn out already when the gluten gets me is another factor. I tend to bounce back much slower if I’m already not feeling too great.
If I accidentally eat gluten at home where I have time to relax, sleep and eat and drink the things which help me to feel better I will definitely feel myself again quicker than I would if I were caught out when travelling or working and couldn’t find the time to relax.
It of course isn’t an exact science but on average I would say that it probably takes me around from 3 to 5 days to feel better. In saying this, I’ve never accidentally eaten a lot of gluten. The only times I’ve been glutened in the past three years have been from accidentally eating something with ‘natural flavours’ sourced from wheat. ‘gluten free’ products made on shared equipment with wheat or through cross contamination when eating out. I have never accidentally eaten wheat pasta or bitten into a gluten filled brownie. I’ve heard from some celiac friends who in the past have accidentally taken a bite of a whole wheat muffin or chocolate cake before finding out that they were incorrectly labelled as gluten free. I can only imagine the extreme symptoms that would come from eating that much gluten! I’m sure if this were to happen it would be much longer before I healed and started to feel like myself again.
UPDATE (March 2015) I’m currently experiencing the worst exhaustion of my life (more intense than exhaustion from pregnancy!) and I’ve had it for 10 days so far. Since it feels worse than gluten to me, I’m getting all the blood tests under the sun. However, if nothing turns up and it turns out that I really did just get accidentally glutened, the way my body deals with accidental gluten has changed greatly from when I first wrote this post! And it’s an even less pleasant experience than before. I’ll let you know what happens..
What are your experiences of this? How long does it normally take you to feel like yourself again after being glutened?