How To Cope With Being Glutened

Tea and sunshine helps a little...

As celiacs we are all (hopefully!) on a strict gluten free diet but even when we are as careful as we can be sometimes we make mistakes.

Not all celiacs feel the same way when they are accidentally glutened. Some feel like they’re dying, others basically just like crap and some, nothing at all. Whether loud or silent, accidentally eating gluten isn’t good. As a follow on from yesterday’s So You Accidentally Ate Gluten Post I thought it would be interesting to see how you deal with one of the most horrible parts of being celiac, being glutened (or glutenated as I prefer to call it).

We all do different things to make ourselves feel better. Yesterday I asked my Twitter and Facebook followers ‘What makes you feel better after you accidentally eat gluten?’ Some of these things I do already and others I will try IF (I’m perhaps being a little over confident here) I ever accidentally get contaminated by evil gluten again in the future. Hopefully it will give you some ideas to try too. I’m yet to find a magical cure which takes away the symptoms I suffer after accidentally eating gluten but I have some things that I do which ease the aches and pains.ร‚ย This is what you said.

  • Rest, rest and more rest.
  • Go to bed and sleep it off
  • Drink plenty of fluids!
  • Relax with a hot water bottle
  • Rehydrate with coconut water
  • Aloe Vera juice
  • Peppermint tea
  • Eat lots of fruit and veggies
  • Anti spasm and anti nausea meds
  • Ginger tablets
  • Stick to food I’m 100% sure is safe
  • Lemonade/7up to reduce stomach pains
  • Redbull to get some of that lost energy back.
  • Coke to give energy and also help to burp out some bloatedness

These are my methods of reducing/coping with post glutenation aches and pains…

I do my best to relax. I try not to push myself to do more than I have to. When I feel as terrible as I do after being accidentally exposed to gluten I don’t need any additional stress. As someone who LOVES running I find it really difficult to take more than a day or two away from at least a short run I try to tell myself I’ll be better off and I’ll heal faster if I just relax. Once I’ve convinced myself I’ll sit on the couch and watch a few episodes of House with a cup of tea. I’m also very lucky to have a wonderful, kind husband who will cook my gluten free dinner for me when I feel like this.

I get extra sleep. When I accidentally eat gluten I suffer from extreme fatigue and tiredness so sometimes the best thing to do really is to just go to bed and sleep it off. I’ve been known to be out cold for 12 hours after being glutened butร‚ย I often feel a lot better after an extra long sleep like this.

I drink lots of water. Getting extra fluids after eating gluten can only be a good thing. Water helps rid my body of toxins and keeps me as refreshed and alert as I can be in my foggy state.

I only eat food I’m 100% sure about. It’s not that I risk things normally but there are often more risks than there should be when it comes to eating gluten free. I’m 100% sure that fresh fruit and veg, potatoes, etc are gluten free so these are what I”ll eat when I’m getting over being accidentally glutenated. I’ll also continue to eat the products I’m used to eating which I know are produced in a completely gluten free facility.

I drink tea. When I have achy muscles and a sore stomach a lovely warm cup of tea is my drink of choice. Drinking something warm, especially if it’s herbal like Chamomile or ginger, can help settle my stomach and eases muscle pains. Breakfast tea with ginger or honey is also good.

I’m all about coconut water. I’m a huge fan of coconut water these days. It’s great post race for getting all those vitamins and minerals back in and it’s great post accidental gluten consumption for many of the same reasons.

I drink ginger beer. Back to the idea that ginger can help settle aches and pains, sometimes I’ll have a ginger beer or ale…as you can see A LOT of fluids are on my post glutenation menu.

I eat fruit and veg. I tend to feel better when I eat healthy, fresh foods in general so it makes sense that fruit and veg are some of the things I eat a lot of when I find myself accidentally glutenated. I also like that I can get addition water and stay hydrated from fruits.

I take a hot bath or shower. This helps me to relax and again also helps reduce those nasty muscle aches and tummy pains.

I go out for a walk. I’ m a big believer that going for a walk can be a great help in clearing your head and personally getting some fresh air helps me to heal faster. It also gets me out and about and thinking about something else rather than feeling sorry for myself.

I remember that the fog will clear. When I accidentally eat gluten I feel awful. When I feel this way sometimes it’s hard to see past the fog but one of the best ways to get through the nasty symptoms is to remember that in a few days or so the symptoms will fade and I’ll feel like myself again.

What do you do to feel better after you’ve been glutened? Have you found something which helps? Many celiacs are looking for answers or at least new strategies to try! Please share your ideas in the comments below..



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  • Owen(GlutenFreeSeattle)

    May 10th, 2012

    Love the post – thanks again for checking out mine. Now, I insist you must try DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated licorice) – for days your are glutened or days your tummy is just mildly upset. ๐Ÿ™‚

    The taste takes a while to get used to, but they really do ease your stomach.

    Probiotics are also pretty important for someone with Gluten Issues – especially for those with Celiac – since gluten damages the health of your digestive system – introducing healthy bacteria back in can work wonders.

    Great post! Keep it up.

  • I also take extra probiotics – specifically the Garden of Life RAW Probiotics. I’ve used lots of brands and theirs really helps break up the gluten and digest it.

  • I also swear by ginger beer, a nap, and a walk! It seems to really calm my body down. Great post! Thanks!

  • These are great tips – rest and rehydration are always my first priority after getting glutened. I find, though, that I cannot digest raw veggies, nuts, or dairy – I usually spend a couple days living off gf toast and chicken soup ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Awesome advice. I keep hearing so much about coconut water…I have got to get my hands on some. And when I saw you drink beer, I got so excited. Then I saw it was “ginger” beer.

  • Love all these ideas! I’ve never found anything that worked well for me other than time – so I’m happy to have some ideas, especially in advance of an upcoming adventure in Europe. Will be getting my hands on some of these just in case!

  • I’ll need to look into probiotics..a number of people have been telling me good things. Are these something you take on a regular basis just to make you feel better in general?

    Thanks, Adina! Hopefully the much better than the US gluten free labelling in Europe will keep you safe and you won’t need any of these things. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Dude, yes! Coconut water is the new ‘trendy’ way to stay hydrated..but in a good way! It actually works and makes you feel good! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • These all sound like things I do to get myself well right away. My boyfriend’s brother usually brings over a quart of fresh coconut water for me when it happens. I love fresh coconut water. Mmm

  • Debbie Ives

    Oct 4th, 2012

    thanks so much for your website, I am an Aussie who has been GF for about 2 years now and am still working it all out. The symptoms you discuss when glutenated are very interesting as I have had these for years but put them down to something else so thanks I will now monitor them too. I am currently in New York and have just travelled around the east coast into Canada and have found it very difficult. Supermarkets do not carry much at all, bakery goods are rare and take away is just fruit and salad. I have found the restaurants in NYC much more informed than other parts .
    for those of you. Travelling into Australia .. Enjoy our supermarkets have a good variety of products, our coffee shops tend to have a few options like slices, cupcakes and muffins and places like muffin break have a variety of gf options usually 1 sweet and 1 savory, gf bread is easy to come by and country life have just released a really nice packaged bread. Our health food shops also have a good range of products that are frozen to keep them fresh. when travelling in Australia you will have a fridge, a toaster and a kettle that will make it easier to buy in a supermarket. Thanks for your ideas on restaurants here in NYC I tried Blooms and went to the west village and had a pizza at Keste, very nice. I was told risotteria was excellent as well with gf pasta options.

  • witsend

    Oct 30th, 2012

    Enzymedica – Glutenease has helped my two daughters, various gf friends and me “survive” gluten poisoning. I always keep it handy when we travel.

  • SnowGlobe

    Jan 12th, 2013

    Thanks. Very helpful advice. I’m very sick from something I ate or drank last night. Not sure what. Through my current fog, pounding headache, stomach pains, and nausea, I was looking for some advice from others on how to cope. Thanks for the post.

  • i always travel with charcoal pills, for soaking up the toxins… just in case! (great website. thanks.)

  • Julie Garmon

    Apr 10th, 2013

    Thanks! I so needed this today. Just did the dumbest thing. I’ve had celiac for 5 years, so I know better. I made myself a sandwich with what I assumed was GF bread. Thought the company who made the bread only made GF bread. :/ good tips–never been this sick after accidentally eating wheat.

  • Caroline Longford

    May 14th, 2013

    I agree about the probiotics. I know someone who makes her own in glass jars to boot so that helps. Sure unsweetened coconut water helps. Teas that soothe. In so far as damage control, which is what I am seeking now after traveling and getting an Indian food dish which is traditionally gluten free but not here. I also got this speech, no no wheat flour, only semolina to help it stick. Sigh.
    Anyway for further damage control I am going to also try some fermented foods. Easy stuff like Miso soup, never too keen on kimchi. I can get Burmese fermented tea leaf salad, super yum, but I guess sauerkraut would be easier from a western perspective.
    Miso is easy to find, and eat. Very restorative for when you’re feeling afraid to eat a thing. Day 3 now. Utter pain and misery. I better lose weight from this I tell you!

  • Caroline Longford

    May 14th, 2013

    That was really bad advice and I found out the hard way! Fermented foods are great for digestion but not after gluten attack. Not even miso soup what a nightmare!
    Sticking with water, coconut water, teas and yogurt. Trying carrot juice tomorrow morning. That’s suppose to be good.

  • I have found that antihistamines, panadol and some gas medicine help decrease my symptoms. I think tea and peppermint tea are not so great because they are heartburn/gas/bloating triggers. Instead use the Fodmap diet while recovering
    I find that my symptoms last around 2-3 weeks.

  • Good site I’m glad to hear some tips. I have been gluten free for about two years now. I have had many trips to urgent care before going gluten free. For me it starts with very slight stomach upset, and then pain in the neck, usually on the left side and headache. After this I feel constipated and soon after start vomiting, and have really bad migraines. It’s absolutely debilitating. I always thought that the reason i got better so fast in urgent care because they give nausea meds in the I.V. But one day I was having bad constipation and happened to be having a migraine at the same time… So I used an enema to relieve the constipation. Within five minutes the headache was gone and all other symptoms. So now when I get glutened I use the enema.
    My theory on why this works is that when my body senses the gluten it wants to induce vomiting rather than going through my system, and this process pulls water from the digestive track, and probably colon too. The enema replenishes fluids much like an IV, and it gets the digestive track flowing again thus avoiding vomiting and migraines for days on end.

  • Anastasia

    Sep 24th, 2013

    I’ve never been tested, but I’ve been doing the elimination diet and yesterday I ate some to test it back into my diet. If I wasn’t convinced before, I am now. I feel hungover and exhausted and just in general like crap. Thanks for the advice on how to get over it.

  • broadbeach

    Feb 2nd, 2014

    I love ginger beer but it contains gluten as far as I know? (ginger ale is fine). Thanks for the other tips – I was glutenated 4 days ago and just can’t shake my fever/migraine/nausea

  • Thanks for all the advice. I’m in years at this moment because I just realized my mom confused a regular cannelloni box with my gf one and prepared lunch for me. I get a sore taste in my month when I’ve been glutened and I have such a bad time when this happens that I feel frustrated at the same time I feel awful cause my mom is very upset she made such mistake. I’ll try the probiotics and bland diet and infusions and try to relax. Thanks for being there

  • Ryan Tozer

    Jan 27th, 2015

    Hey! It’s releiving to find out im not the only one cursed with Autoimmune reactions to Gluten.

    For those of you who get the severe brain fog, it’s because you’r body is attacking your brain, it’s trying to get the poison (Gluten) out but it’s not fast enough, it then restricts blood flow to the brain, causing inflammation in the brain.
    (NOT GOOD) … So if your anything like me and you NEED your full brain to funcion to carry on with your work… Tea, water, rest is all good but to bloody slow.

    My method is a bit extreme, but if it helps at least one person ill be over the moon (As I am now writting, An hour ago, I was making exciting progress on my App prototype and out of no where I got glutened! My brain got hijacked and I feelt like someone wraped a plastic back around my brain and squeezed tight…. Im 20 years old and this has been going on all my life! And only this passed 6 months ive realised, through the 4 hour body diet (first first diet ive ever pursued over a month) and for 6 days a week you cut out all gluten, sugar, dairy and white carbs, THEN your allowed a cheat day once a week, Every week I noticed for the first 5 days before cheat day with no gluten, I felt like someone Ive never known before, literally a diffrent human being, my work sky rocketed and my relationships and well being went up 10 fold! BUT then every time i got healtier the cheat day got worse and worse and I realised there was something severly wrong, i started tracking my diet to find out what was causing my brain to close down, then I did an elimination diet and re introduced foods, surprise surprise, It was Gluten.

    Not only am I allergict to Gluten in food but, Gluten in Stamps, sticky tape, envelopes etc…

    Now on to my extreme method that i applied literally before typing this.

    Once the glutened moment comes, You know the… “AH! Have I been glutened, looking around… the dullness comes on and your anxiety ramps up, you feel numb inside your skill, Then, FUCK SAKE!!! ive been glutened again, I only eat mixed vegetables in my room next to where I was rubbing out pencil outlines… crazy right!

    So then I went out side and had enough, went behind the garage so no one could see me and I literally put my fingers down my throat and forced myself to go sick and get rid of it…

    AND NOW!… I feel completely back to normal, Blood flow is back to my brain, i feel a unsurmountable amount of relaxation and now im sitting at my desk ready to carry on with my prototype.

    I hope this helps someone out there. I know its extreme but… It works and your literally kicking out thr bully.

    Thats it, Thats My no.1 method from now on.