I accidentally glutened myself last week. In over two decades with coeliac disease I've never mistakenly taken a bite of the wrong pizza - until now. I made the mistake of making Steve and I virtually identical pizzas, the only fatal flaw being that his contained gluten and mine did not. In my extremely tired state I mistakenly went to take a bite - only to realise as I bit down I had picked the wrong pizza!
Horrified I spat it straight out, but as anyone with coeliac disease will know, you have to be so careful - it can only take a crumb to cause a reaction. I hoped I'd get away with it but must have accidentally swallowed some because a few hours later I felt the stomach pains starting. Cue a couple of days of a painful, bloated stomach, a foggy head and extreme lethargy.
Gluten one, Sarah nil.
Top tips for tackling a 'glutening'
But there was, at least, one silver lining. I felt like I had been a bad coeliac, let myself down - but we all make mistakes and I knew deep down that these things happen. So in a bid to try and help anyone else feeling the same, I shared my experience on my Instagram story and asked for people's top tips to recover from a 'gluten attack'.
And I was overwhelmed by the responses I received - absolutely dozens of them! Many people said the same things but it was fantastic to see so many different suggestions. From the sensible to the ridiculous and humorous, everyone taking the time to share their tips made me feel so much better. So if you've been glutened, here are 34 things you can do to try and make it a little better...
Tea's the answer
It would seem many of you are relying on the benefits of various herbal teas to help relieve the symptoms! Here are some of the suggestions I had:
- Drink peppermint tea
- Try fennel tea
- Or what about a spot of ginger tea?
- Try some chamomile tea
- Or have a sip of green tea with lemon
Or various other fluids!
It seemed there were a lot of liquid-based suggestions. But they weren't all about herbal teas - here are some other suggestions people made:
- Drink a lot of water (this came up a LOT)
- Or drink two litres of water and have some mint chocolate (seems fair!)
- Have a glass of ginger beer
- Try drinking some Coca-Cola
- Mix some apple cider vinegar with hot water or apple juice and drink it
And food can help too
As well as plenty of drinks options to soothe your tummy, there were lots of suggestions of various different foods which might help if you've eaten gluten by accident:
- Eat lots of super healthy food instead of sugar treats
- Try eating jelly babies or jelly
- Eat easily digestible foods until you feel better
- Eat plain foods like rice and potato
- Have plain, liquid foods such as vanilla yoghurt or custard
- Try eating chicken bone broth
- Eat some Actimel (and hibernate)
- And if all else fails - eat nothing until you feel better
Some medicine suggestions
Now I have never tried any of these so cannot vouch for if they work or not, but here are some suggestions from people which came in:
- Try Buscopan with a peppermint tea
- Dose up on probiotics
- Try activated charcoal
- Peppermint oil tablets can appearently help
- Take painkillers
Get cosy and rest
A lot of the time, there is nothing you can really do to ease the symptoms of a glutening, and sadly you have to wait it out. Here are some tips to make it more bearable:
- Use a hot water bottle on your stomach
- Or lay on your stomach with a heat pad
- Take a nap
- Or get an early night and lots of sleep
- Have a nice hot bath too
- Just curl up in bed and wait it out
- If you have skin symptoms such as a rash, soothe it with some coconut oil
And when all else fails...
Sometimes there really is nothing to do but to try and cheer yourself up. And these suggestions really did make me smile. When nothing else works, you can:
- Cuddle the toilet
- Sit on the toilet and cry
- Sit on the toilet and read a good book (much more fun than crying!)
- Cry and watch a rom-com in bed, surrounded by pillows.
Got any more tips?
If you've got any other tips for surviving a glutening, I'd love to hear them! Please comment below and share them for everyone! Personally, I try and get lots of rest, drink lots of peppermint tea and water, and just stick to plain, simple foods. A hot water bottle and bath did help the stomach pains too! Everyone's symptoms with coeliac disease tend to be different, so I hope you can draw some comfort from this and that if anything, just reading these tips makes you realise you're not alone!
If you liked this post, why not also check out...
- My coeliac disease diagnosis story
- What is gluten free wheat starch?
- Ridiculous things people have said about being gluten free