If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, you need to absolutely stay away from gluten – that nasty protein found in wheat, barley and rye that makes pizza dough oh-so-yummy and stretchy. This much is obvious. But what happens when you accidentally eat a gluten-infused bomb without your knowledge?
I recently ran into this emergency when one of my clients was given a gluten meal by mistake. She gets a very bad reaction to gluten-rich foods, so we needed emergency measures, and fast. External symptoms of gluten poisoning may include lethargy, diarrhoea, bloating, constipation, headaches, rashes, weakness, joint pain, swelling, vomiting, and fatigue.
Whatever the visible symptoms, the climate inside the gut will be the same in all cases – gluten will be the toxin that destroys everything it touches. I’ve seen people take several painful weeks to recover from a mistake like this. It’s a dangerous oversight that those who are not familiar with the condition might consider a simple blunder.
This immune reaction to gluten severely damages the small intestine, leading to great gastric distress and nutritional deficiencies. If left untreated, it may lead to infertility, osteoporosis, and intestinal cancer. The key issues here are two – removing gluten as fast as possible from the gut and doing everything you can to help the gut recover as fast as possible. So let’s start fixing:
Taking gluten out of the system
The first thing we need to do is to get that damn gluten out fast. This is done by breaking it down with digestive enzymes, which will speed up breakdown and absorption of macronutrients. Make sure the enzyme brand you choose has something called dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP-IV), which helps specifically break down gluten.
You’ll then have to tie it up with binding agents. Activated charcoal and bentonite clay are two specific ones that bind toxins and help reduce bloating and gas. Make sure to drink lots of water when taking these, or the mail will stop getting posted, if you know what I mean.
You must then flush it through with water. If you’re vomiting and/or have diarrhoea, you’ll need to replace all that lost fluid by drinking up. A good volume to go for would be 3 to 4 litres per day. Adding magnesium, potassium and zinc electrolytes helps too.
Dealing with Inflammation
It’s essential to get gut inflammation down as fast as possible. An inflamed gut is not happy, and neither is its owner. Here are three ways to do just that:
Up The Fatty Acids – Mackerel, salmon, cod liver oil, walnuts, and chia seeds are all high in omega 3 fatty acids. Get those omega 3s in. You need to hit the 4g a day mark to help ease the inflammation caused by accidental gluten ingestion.
Get Ginger – Ginger tea helps ease stomach cramps and reduce nausea, thanks to the gingerol it contains.
Throw in The Turmeric – This is another member of the ginger family. It contains curcumin which is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Drop it into your ginger tea for added oomph.
Healing The System
Did you know about 70% of your immune system is in your gut? Therefore, having a healthy gut is pretty crucial to your overall well-being. Getting glutened definitely needs maximum attention. The damage it causes goes way beyond the cosmetic. Here’s how to get and maintain an optimal internal system:
Pass The Probiotics – Take highly concentrated probiotics daily (50-100 billion units per day). Double that dose for more effect if you’ve been glutened.
Slathering Up The Slippery Elm – The mucus in the gut serves as a natural barrier to protect the lining and promote healing. The mucilage in slippery elm stimulates the nerves in the GI tract to produce more mucus.
Glutton Up On The L-Glutamine – This amino acid helps repair the gut and regrow the lining. At least 5g a day for a week are necessary to stimulate adequate repair after gluten exposure.
Lick Up That Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) – Licorice is a herb that’s been used for thousands of years to heal ulcers and soothe indigestion, as well as maintain the lining of the GI tract. DGL is the version that comes with most of the glycyrrhizin in the licorice removed as it may cause issues. This is what you should look for when you buy this supplement. Go for 500mg three times a day, preferably before meals.
Rustle Up That Marshmallow Root – This is another substance that contains mucilage, so it will help heal ulcers and treat both diarrhoea and constipation.
Bone Up On The Bone Broth – Yes, grandma’s recipe of bone broth contains large amounts of glycine and proline, two amino acids that reduce inflammation. The gelatin in the broth will also protect the lining of the gut.
These steps could be a lifesaver. You owe it to your gut to keep it safe and to fix it as fast as possible when things go wrong.