Tag Archives: what to do if you get glutened

Getting Glutened: The Reality

13 Jul

People with Celiac Disease do not need to eat a regular donut or slice of pizza to feel sick for weeks. A lot of people don’t understand this.

FACT: An amount smaller than a bread crumb can make many Celiacs feel sick for weeks.

The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center posted a picture on their Facebook page recently, which I will share as a reminder.

how much is 50 mg of gluten

(Source)
Some people with Celiac react to as little as 10mg of gluten (1/5th of that crumb!); a “safe” limit for other Celiacs is 100mg/day (2 tiny crumbs).

Needless to say, it’s VERY easy to get glutened if you eat at a restaurant that isn’t 100% gluten-free. Some people have the mistaken belief that restaurants with gluten-free menus are always safer than restaurants without. This isn’t true and it gives you a false sense of security. If there is gluten in a restaurant, it is possible to get cross-contaminated regardless of whether or not a gluten-free menu exists. Gluten-free menus are GENERALLY just marketing tools, not necessarily a sign of knowledgeable staff or an inherent ability to avoid cross-contamination.

A while back, Gluten Dude made this awesome infographic of Celiac Disease symptoms.

Celiac Disease Symptoms

Celiac Disease Symptoms – Courtesy of Gluten Dude

When we accidentally ingest gluten through cross-contamination, many of these symptoms can and do come back! As you can see, they’re not just GI-related symptoms like many people believe.

I’ve been living in hotels for 41 DAYS now. I have been eating out a lot. Last week, I ate at a restaurant, which had a gluten-free menu. They asked if I had Celiac Disease. They told me what they do to prevent cross-contamination. But, within an hour, I was sick. That was on the 4th of July and I’m still sick almost 10 days later. I personally am still able to function (but every Celiac is different), but my stomach has been in immense pain, I’ve been irritable and I’ve been exhausted to the point of taking naps (which I haven’t done since going gluten-free). Even my emergency kit for getting glutened hasn’t helped much.

I’m sure the fact that I’ve been eating out so frequently certain doesn’t help resolve my symptoms any quicker.  Luckily, we should be closing on our house on Monday, so hopefully by then, I’ll be feeling better and will be able to start cooking at home again.

How long do your symptoms last when you get glutened?  How sensitive are you to cross-contamination?

My “I Got Glutened” Emergency Kit

27 Feb

Infused Water for Upset Stomach

Glutened, glutenated, glutenized.  Whatever you call it, all Celiacs seem to have a term for accidental gluten ingestion.  And we all also have some variation of an “emergency kit” for those unfortunate occasions when it happens. My symptoms vary when I get glutened so depending on where I am and what my symptoms are, here are the things I use and do when my stomach is feeling awful.

  • Lots of water.  Hydrating yourself is important but warm water is easier for me to stomach, especially when it’s already sensitive.  Lately, I’ve been infusing my water with fresh ginger, mint and lemon using this water infusion pitcher.
  • Ginger tea.  I buy plain ginger, not mixed with black or green tea beccause sometimes caffeine bothers my stomach even more.  Ginger is known for its stomach-soothing properties and since it’s just ginger, this counts toward my water intake as well.  You can also cut up fresh ginger root and make a beverage this way.
  • Peppermint tea.  Like with ginger, I make sure to buy just plain peppermint, no other ingredients.
  • Pepto Bismol.  I’m most likely to use this when I’m on vacation or otherwise not in the comfort of my home. It’s not my solution of choice, but it’s better than being stuck in my room for an entire vacation.  It works pretty quickly and is effective at treating the symptoms.
  • Yoga poses. This great article covers some yoga poses for healthy digestion. The one I use most frequently is the main picture at the top, and the last pose described.
  • Hot water bottle.   I’ve been using these hot water bottles for over 7 years now. I prefer these to heating pads and don’t even get me started on all the uses I have for these hot water bottles!  They last FOREVER (or at least 7 years!) and the fleece liner is machine-washable.  When I’ve been glutened, I heat up water, fill this up, and put it on my stomach.
  • Peppermint gum. I use Orbit, but as long as your gum is gluten free, it shouldn’t matter what brand you use. I find this especially effective for nausea, especially if it’s immediately following a meal.

What do you do when you accidentally ingest gluten?

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