When Gluten attacks


After having a couple of episodes where somehow Gluten has inadvertently gotten into my system, and I’ve had worsening reactions, I thought it best to share what I do to try to reduce the symptoms while getting back into my usual Gluten free routine.

  1. Drink lots of water – I know it seems daft, but I feel loads better when I drink a lot of plain, refreshing water as soon as I feel a reaction. No fruit juices, no cordial just plain water. Anything in it and it makes everything a whole lot worse.
  2. Cold towel – I suffer primarily with stomach cramping. So in order to be more comfortable I’ve found a cold damp towel or cloth applied to my stomach soothes the cramping and means I don’t spend a whole day trapped in a toilet!
  3. Eat bland foods – once I’m around two hours post-reaction and I’m no longer cramping I eat small portions of boiled rice, dry gluten free toast or steamed broccoli/spinach. I know this seems daft, but the rice or toast is a good tester to see if I can keep anything down and the broccoli at least has some nutiritional value to help keep me going.
  4. Rest – this is the most important thing. Most reactions now give me insomnia (I’m writing this at midnight during a contamination while on holiday – hello future me, how are you today?), which is really frustrating and makes for a super grumpy and irritable human. So by forcing myself to lie down, and trying deep breathing etc to get to sleep will eventually help.
  5. Better out than in – if your body is rejecting something just go with it. Don’t make yourself uncomfortable and nauseous by fighting the reaction.

If you have to take time off from work, do it. If you need an extra few hours to compose yourself, do it. Just know your illness. Currently for me within a good 12-24 hours I feel back to my usual self, although it can take some people up to 3 weeks to feel back to their usual selves. And we all know it can take up to 6 weeks for Gluten to leave our system fully.

An autoimmune reaction is awful and sadly it’s something that can hit even when you’ve been super careful to avoid it. But by knowing your body and learning your symptoms you’ll be able to spot a reaction sooner and make the suitable adjustments to allow you to heal and recover.

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