Despite our best efforts, every now and then we’re going to get glutened. It happens to the best of us and it’s literally the worst. Even health coaches make mistakes sometimes. I’ll share my recent glutened story.
A few months ago, we did a quick weekend trip to San Diego. The timing for our way home ended up being that there were no places we could stop and eat. We decided to order Chipotle through the app. There is no place to leave comments, and I was too hungry to put in any extra effort, that I didn’t add that I needed it to be gluten-free. As you can see, it didn’t end well. Luckily I had my protocol ready and only suffered for about 2 days (compared to several days, if not weeks, if I didn’t have this protocol).
The Glutened Protocol
This protocol is one that every doctor I’ve worked with has given their patients. In my experience, this is the standard approach to helping alleviate symptoms and heal the body more quickly.
#1 Activated Charcoal or Bentonite Clay
Activated charcoal and bentonite clay are binding agents. They bind to, well, pretty much anything, which means that if you take them within 30-60 minutes of consuming gluten, it can bind with the proteins and prevent them from getting absorbed. They can also help reduce gas and bloating. We all know how painful it is to be distended! Take one capsule (or 1 teaspoon) with a full glass of water. Then be sure to drink much more water than normal for the rest of the day and the next three to prevent constipation. (Yes they really do bind things up!) If you have any concerns, talk with your Naturopathic Doctor about the right dose for you.
#2 Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes help breakdown macronutrients and enhance absorption of them. When it comes to getting glutened, these babies help breakdown the gluten thus alleviating the damage and symptoms gluten will cause. It is recommended you take one with every meal for at least one week. Personally, when I’ve been glutened I will take one with every meal for one week then once a day for another week or two. Many practitioners will recommend you take one every time before dining out just to be cautious. Unless it’s a gluten-free restaurant, there’s no guarantee that there won’t be cross-contamination.
#3 Drink up
Water, not alcohol 😉 Fluids help flush your system and keep you hydrated since gluten can often cause vomiting and diarrhea. Even if you don’t have GI issues (which is about 70% of celiac and gluten-sensitive individuals) it still helps flush things out and help reduce whatever symptoms you have. If your stomach cannot tolerate water, give coconut water a try. In my area we have carbonated coconut water and that is my godsend.
Glutamine is well known for helping to repair the intestinal lining from the damage gluten (heck any food) causes. The common recommendation is 3-5 grams per day for 3 days after exposure.
Your body is in pain and needs to repair itself. Give yourself time to sleep and take it easy. I know it’s hard to cancel plans but it’s essential you take care of yourself (and also not be worried about embarrassing bowel issues when out and about).
Once you realize you have been glutened, doing these 5 steps will help you feel better much more quickly. If you are still feeling awful after 3 days, you may want to follow up with your physician.