So You Accidentally Ate Gluten..


…and now you feel like crap! If you’re feeling stupid for making a mistake, please don’t be hard on yourself. It’s not your fault, it’s not your fault at all. We all make mistakes and this gluten filled world in which we live doesn’t make it easy sometimes.

The lack of consistent gluten free labelling in some countries doesn’t make it easy either. The company who labelled their product as ‘glutenfree’ but then made it on equipment shared with wheat, it’s their fault, not yours. I’m talking to myself here too because I always get down on myself when I accidentally eat gluten. How could I have made such a silly mistake when I’ve been at this celiac thing for years now! Luckily this doesn’t happen too often but when it does it’s usually down to a product which has been contaminated in manufacturing/production. I know it’s not my fault and that I’ve been as cautious as I could be but it always gets me down.

I was diagnosed as celiac three years ago now and over the years the symptoms I experience after being glutened have gotten worse. My body is so used to feeling great and healthy without gluten that it pretty much freaks out with even the tinniest amount of cross contamination. These are the symptoms I experienced prior to being diagnosed as celiac. What I experience nowadays after accidentally eating gluten is different. Some symptoms are the same, others are different, but it just hit me and knocks me off my feet.

Last week I felt awful. For the whole week I felt completely out of it. Brain fog surrounded me, I felt so fatigued that I was sleeping for 11 hours a night, I was getting aches and twinges all over the place. I wasn’t myself at all. My bathroom visits weren’t the healthiest, my anxiety came back as did my palpitations. Being glutenated is a horrible experience. I’m sure you can relate.

It is my hope that this post will help both newly diagnosed celiacs and more experienced celiacs like myself who get caught out by evil gluten every now and again as well as those folks who think gluten free is a fad diet. This is why I don’t eat gluten. It makes me feel a little more than yucky!

I should probably add that what I THINK got me on this occasion was ice cream which was labelled as ‘gluten free’ but then when I checked their website said ‘Made on share equipment with wheat.’ Unfortunately because I’d also added a couple of other new things to my diet that weekend, a sunflower seed butter and a new toothpaste, I’m staying away from both of these for a week or so too until I can figure out for sure who dunnit! Oh the joys of celiac and trying to figure out what made you sick so that you don’t eat it again!

Check back in tomorrow for my take on How To Cope With Being Glutened and let me know if you’ve found anything that works, or at least helps ease the symptoms. 🙂

How do you feel when you accidentally eat evil gluten? Can you tell right away that you’ve been caught out? How long do symptoms normally last? I’d love to hear what accidentally eating gluten feels like for you. Share your experiences in the comments below..


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  • Marisa

    Mar 1st, 2014

    I’ve been gluten free for almost 2 years now, with only occasional accidental slip ups. I went to a Thai restaurant 2 and a half weeks ago with some friends, and I ate some rice noodles that were obviously not just rice. I got a wicked headache 30 minutes later and then my digestive system got really angry 6 hours post-gluten. I was so bloated I looked pregnant and I could hardly move from the pain. I’ve been extra careful since then, but my stomach and intestines are still not quite back to normal yet.

  • Pauline

    Dec 27th, 2014

    For Christy, It is almost as though I wrote your post! My symptoms are identical to yours, and the weakness is beyond description as times. I’d been thinking it is all in my mind, but doing all this research because I have also been diagnosed with Limited Scleroderma, I find that I am not alone, or crazy, or a hypochondriac. If it helps you at all to know I suffer the same symptoms as you, then I am glad I came across this thread to share my symptoms with you.

  • I have similar reactions when I eat gluten accidentally. I’ve been gf for about 6 years now and after seeing so many GPs who all but roll their eyes as soon as you mention the word gluten I am reluctant to book an appointment. But I feel I should get tested properly. Can I ask- Is the test really important if I’m already eating gf? How can I possibly go back to eating gluten for 8 weeks for accurate testing when it makes me feel so bad? Working would be a nightmare.

  • I have just accidentley eaten gluten. All your comments have made me feel like I’m not the only one who after the tiniest bit of gluten feels like they have no control over their body! What’s worse is I know I won’t feel right for weeks erghh im glad people know the struggle

  • Melissa

    Mar 8th, 2015

    When I am glutened, I get headaches, ataxia, muscle twitches, short-term memory loss, brain fog, muscle pain and weakness and sometimes stomach problems.

  • Melissa

    Mar 8th, 2015

    Because I don’t want to ever eat gluten again, I don’t have a diagnosis. I have been gluten free for four healthier years. I don’t think there is a way to get a reliable test without eating gluten. It’s not worth it.

  • Tina Fumo

    Aug 19th, 2015

    I was diagnosed with celiac disease 3 years ago. I get a reaction within 10 minutes to 2 hours depending on how much gluten I consume. I start feeling painful stomach cramps and then have diarrhea for several hours. I rarely vomit, unless I consume a large amount of gluten, but I always have strong feelings of nausea. The pain in extremely intense and usually results in me crying out in pain. a reaction I had recently was a small cross contamination which resulted in me having to use the bathroom for several hours about an hour after I ingested the contaminated food. This happened three weeks ago and I still get diarrhea every morning, some harder to digest foods(ei red meat, high protein) can trigger episodes for months after. My stomach is severely damaged by even small amounts. I can feel the fatigue and drowsiness immediately after an episode. It often leaves me incapacitated in my bed for several hours. My appetite is affected for weeks until my stomach repairs itself.

  • Hello, it’s now 3.49 am in the uk. I’m almost sure I have been contaminated by gluten tonight. I’m unsure how as I cook my own foods. I’m awake at this time as the symptoms keep me awake( chest pains, palpitations, shivering cold, stomach cramps, feeling sick, joint pain, skin irritation and bloated like the foods won’t digest. I’m not meaning to give my life story.I have been gluten free for just over a year and feel much better for it.i had my galbladder removed last year which has made me more sensitive to things.But nothing prepares you for each time it could almost feel like it’s your last day, as you get paranoid over the symptoms and when you start to feel better, you realise it happens most times.i have had tests for coeliac, which blood tests came back double negative. I’ve also had a biopsy which came back possible coeliac. I was very lucky and had a great gastrology doctor, who did genealogy blood tests which showed the high risk I was of cd. Then they confirmed me as coeliac. Reading all your posts has given much comfort, and got me through the worst of this episode. The doctors in general,I feel are very dismissive of coeliac disease, so please don’t give up, trying to prove your intuition is right about coeliacs. This is my first visit and won’t be my last. Thank you for a great find!!

  • Sorry one more thing, I know that Hershies milk chocolate kisses claim to be gluten free, but has anyone had a reaction from them, as that’s the only other thing other than home cooked food I have eaten and from that point I had the reaction??

  • I can tell within minutes and the first sign comes on like a wave of fever… i get really warm and then i feel drunk and my words and thoughts get slow and i am in brain fog that lasts for days. Then the stomach pain comes on that is so intense it feels like getting punched in the gut and it lasts for days. The horrible trips to the bathroom, the rash i develop, the muscle pain and stiffness, the iron deficiency, the need to sleep and be unable, the depression…. the horrors of being glutoned !

  • Hey,, I accidentally had a pancake that was not gluten free.. I started to feel unwell so I took a pack of bicoprep and disliked it in a glass of water to see what happens.
    Bicoprep was given to me before I had a colomoscopy done,, it clears your inside.
    Wish me luck.. I hate the headaches n brain fogs so I will try everything to stop it

  • Kimberly

    Jan 7th, 2016

    I was diagnosed a little over 2 years ago with Celiac Disease and have been gluten free ever since. There are times when I have gotten sick from eating out more likely from cross contamination. I usually get bloated, a bit nauseous and generally feel bad. In that last 2 years, I have been very careful to not eat anything that has gluten, barley, etc. Today I made a horrible mistake, thinking the crackers I bought from a company that makes gluten free products where actually gluten free. Well, I made the assumption and was really looking forward to eating them. After eating about 6 or 7 of them, I wondered why they tasted so different. Then realized they were NOT gluten free! I tried to do things that people have said helped them when this happens, digestive enzymes, broth, magnesium, etc. About 1 1/2 hours after eating the gluten filled crackers, I wanted to die! Bloating, chills, and nausea. About an hour of this misery went on before I actually vomited. This is a big deal for me because that is one thing that rarely happens to me. I have to say, I felt so much better, even though the process to get there was very unpleasant. This is a lesson and a reminder for me to never be in a hurry to buy or ingest anything before checking the product 2 or 3 or 4 or more times!