Getting Glutened Recovery
January 21, 2014

Getting Glutened Recovery

As regular readers know, I eat a gluten-free diet for health reasons (click here and here for blog articles about this). Probably the most frustrating part of becoming gluten-free is having to read labels…constantly. Now, I am pretty good at knowing what foods, brands, and other items are gluten-free, but I still have to check because there are so many options out there. One brand that I go back to regularly is Udi’s because it provides many gluten-free food options from breads to bagels to tortillas and more. Furthermore, they have a gluten-free blog and send out newsletters with gluten-free information.

Recently, I received an email about one of Udi’s blogs that focused on what to do if or when we gluten-free followers get “glutened.” “Getting glutened” is a phrase used to refer to accidental gluten ingestion because no matter how careful we are, sometimes gluten slips into our diets. As I read through the blog, I decided that redOrbit readers needed to know about these suggestions. I figure that at least some of redOrbit’s readers also follow gluten-free diets for one reason or another.

So, what happens when I am glutened? Well, my gluten issues are not gut issues. I do not suffer in ways that those with Celiac’s Disease do. When I get glutened, I have achy joints, a headache (that often becomes a migraine), mood issues, and just generally feel blah and puny. Not to mention the fact that internally, my immune system attacks my thyroid. Gluten affects my entire system not just parts of it.

It is important to know the signs of being glutened. We have to listen to our bodies and respond. Not everyone has the same reactions, so each one of us must know ourselves enough to know when something has gone, well, wonky.

When I’m glutened, I know almost immediately within 24 hours. I feel it that quickly. This is why I was so thrilled to see Udi’s blog with suggestions on what to do when we get glutened:

To aid in digestion and calm your stomach:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp ACV, 1 tbsp honey mixed with a mug of hot water
  • Aloe Juice
  • Chamomile and peppermint teas
  • LOTS of sleep, LOTS of water
  • Ibuprofen/Advil for headaches
  • Fermented foods


  • Juices (kale, ginger smoothies)
  • Plain brown rice and vegetables. If your stomach can handle it, add in some plain grilled chicken.
  • Vitamins, digestive enzymes to help your gut heal
  • Tom Kha soup
  • Stay away from other trigger foods for awhile (dairy, coffee, oats, refined sugars, anything high in fat)

When I get glutened, I rely on exercise to get the blood flowing, lots of water, and sleep. I also eat more yogurt with live cultures in it, brown rice, and fruit and veggies. I avoid dairy and sugars as well as meats. I have just found that these habits work best for me.

I think that knowing what works for you as an individual is key. Do the research, see what others suggest, find out what doctors say, and then decide what works best for you. It might take a bit to figure it out, but once you do, getting glutened becomes an experience that you will be better prepared for. Sure, ideally you will never ingest gluten, but we live in a gluten-loving, gluten-rich world. It is bound to slip in occasionally thus it is necessary that we, the gluten-free, have ways to recover and cope if it happens.

Image Credit: Thinkstock

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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