How To Recover From Being Glutened

“A crumb of gluten won’t hurt”, they said. If you’ve ever been glutened, you’ll know the sometimes-catastrophic effect that even a tiny amount of gluten can have on a coeliac's body.

Being glutened isn’t fun. Symptoms of being glutened include:

  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Brain fog 
  • Diarrhoea
  • Excessive wind
  • Stomach pain
  • Bloating

What is happening is that your immune system is attacking your intestines because you’ve ingested gluten. Even a crumb of gluten is enough to trigger a reaction in people with coeliac disease.

Maybe you’re experiencing symptoms despite being careful, which suggests that you’ve eaten something that was cross contaminated with gluten. Or perhaps you’ve accidentally accepted a gluten-containing snack from a well-intentioned but unaware friend.  Sometimes people even “cheat” on their gluten free diet, thinking that the consequences won’t be so bad.

Either way, if you’re reading this there’s a chance that you’re not feeling very good at the moment! Here’s how to ease your symptoms after being glutened.

  • Hydrate
    If you’re experiencing diarrhoea, you’ll be losing fluids and electrolytes. Avoiding dehydration will stop you from feeling worse than you already are, so try to keep drinking water or an electrolyte drink.

  • Try stomach remedies
    Mint is a familiar friend to those of us with tummy troubles. The soothing properties of a warm mug of mint tea might help ease some of the digestive distress you’re experiencing. Ginger tea can also help if you’re feeling nauseous and vomiting, while fennel tea is a popular choice for aiding digestion.
    Peppermint capsules are also a popular option for trying to sooth an upset stomach.

  • Hot water bottle
    Stomach pains and bloat might be reduced if you cuddle up to a hot water bottle.

  • Keep meals simple
    If you’re experiencing symptoms after being glutened, chances are that your intestines will be inflamed. Eat simple, light meals to avoid irritating your stomach further such as soups, gluten free toast and smoothies. Nourish your insides with probiotic and prebiotic foods and supplements to help your intestines recover.

  • Rest
    Ultimately, you have to ride out the “glutening” with rest. It’s important to take it easy while you’re experiencing symptoms and not to push yourself too much in the days following the gluten exposure.

  • Forgive yourself
    It’s easy to obsess over what could have caused the “glutening” and become anxious in the future. While it’s wise to take proper precautions, such as checking food labels for “may contain” warnings and being strict with avoiding cross contamination, developing a fear of food can take the joy out of life. Try not to beat yourself up as ultimately, most people with coeliac disease are likely to be glutened at some point.

Tips to avoid being glutened again

  • Speak up
    Try to educate friends, family and people you’re in regular contact with about coeliac disease to help them understand the safety measures they need to take around you. Don’t be afraid to say no to food made by someone else if they can’t guarantee that it is not cross contaminated with gluten!

  • Eat at Coeliac UK accredited restaurants
    Eating at a restaurant that understands coeliac disease and the risks of cross contamination may ease your anxiety and help you enjoy your meal.
    View the list

  • Crack down on cross contamination
    If you think you were glutened from cross contamination, try to be extra careful in the future. Step up your safety measures at home and consider ways of providing your own food in the workplace to ensure it’s safe for coeliacs.
    Read some of our tips for avoiding cross contamination.

  • Check labels thoroughly
    It’s easy to assume that a product is safe for coeliacs, but ingredients can change.
    To check that a food is gluten free, scan the ingredients for any allergens which will be highlighted within the ingredients list (usually in bold), making it easy for you to see at a glance whether something is suitable. You might also notice a ‘may contain’ statement on pack, which means there is a risk the product could be contaminated with gluten. If the packaging mentions gluten, wheat, Khorasan wheat (kamut), spelt, oats and rye, then it isn’t suitable for people with coeliac disease.


Juvela – a brand you can trust

Juvela loaves and rolls are made with care from our own dedicated gluten free bakery in Wales. Experts in gluten free food, we’ve been making a range of everyday essentials for people with coeliac disease for over 25 years – and we’ve never had an issue with cross contamination.

You can enjoy your meals with peace of mind when they're made with Juvela products!

Click here to view our award-winning range of gluten free products available on prescription across the UK.