We asked people on our social media channels what their top tips for easing gluten symptoms and pain after accidental ingestion were. These are the top ten tips that were most popular.
At some point it is almost guaranteed that we'll get glutened by accident whether it's from pure ignorance, cross contamination or some other source. But what you can you do to ease the symptoms when you do accidentally have something you shouldn't? We asked our Facebook and Twitter followers what they find helps the most when they have been glutened and this is the top 10 suggestions.
Please note this is not medical advice, just tips from fellow Coeliacs and some handy knowledge from a few nutritional courses I have done over the years, if you are concerned about your symptoms you should always consult your GP. Tip #1 - Lots of water
The most popular suggestion from Coeliacs is make sure you drink plenty. Water has many purposes in the body and the best aid you can give your body is keeping it hydrated, it helps your organs function as they should and best of all it helps flush out toxins and waste. The more you drink the quicker the toxins can leave your body so make sure you get plenty down you!Tip #2 - Sleep and rest
We put our bodies through a lot at the best of times, gluten has all kinds of effects on Coeliacs bodies and while we sleep the body does a lot of repair work, according to National Institute of Health this may include flushing out toxins in the brain
. If brain fog is one of your main symptoms a good nap may be beneficial.Tip #3 - Peppermint oil or tea
Peppermint is particularly good for the digestive system but it depends on your symptoms. If indigestion, gas or bloating are your symptoms peppermint is a great in any form, even gum! Gum stimulates gastric juices which aid digestion and relieve bloating. Peppermint oil capsules aid the small bowel and can help relieve abdominal pain (I know they are the only thing that work with me, but obviously it won't be the case for everyone). Peppermint also aids digestion. Peppermint tea also has a similar effect to oil but is less potent. Even rubbing peppermint oil on the stomach rather than taking capsules can help ease stomach cramps!
However if you suffer from heartburn as a symptom peppermint can irritate it, so best to avoid in this instance.Tip #4 - Vitamins
Vitamin C could be an hit and miss option, too much can cause wind and an upset stomach, however it helps aid body function, repair of tissue and boost the immune system but if you already have an upset belly it could irritate rather than help, this will be different for everyone. Lemon is great for helping cleanse the gut and high in vitamin C, so some lemon in your water could help greatly to reduce symptoms.
Some Coeliacs have found taking multi vitamins can help ease some of the symptoms of a glutening.Tip #5 - Paracetamol
Probably one of the more obvious ones for people to try, it may not stop the sudden trips to the toilet but it may help the pain and other symptoms such as headaches and muscle aches which are also common with glutenings. Just remember to take only the recommended dose though and don't overdo it.Tip #6 - Buscopan
Or Butylscopolamine, usually used to treat IBS and abdominal pain, however some Coeliacs find it helps the upset stomach caused by gluten. Low dose Buscopan can be bought over the counter but GP's can also prescribe it. If I'm honest this has never worked for me but others find it does help, so it may be a bit hit and miss.Tip #7 - Hot Bath
Like water it is one of the easiest options to try, a hot bath can do wonders for all sorts, come on ladies we all know how good a hot bath feels at certain times of the month. Well the same principle applies with the hot bath here, the heat is super good for cramps and apparently can help aid digestion and relieve constipation (lots of info about that online!)
Along with a hot bath you may want to give Epsom Salts a whirl especially if aches and joint pains are part of your symptoms. Epsom salts are excellent at relieving aches and pains, though it's not 100% clear why, the theory is when it breaks down to magnesium and sulfate in the water then skin absorbs it and this helps relieve the pains as well as the water.Tip #8 - Hot water bottle
Like hot water the heat of a hot water bottle can help ease stomach cramps, again ladies should know how good they are for other stomach cramps! The heat is a soothing comfort to the stomach but it is believed that is can also aid blood flow to the abdomen which can aid digestion and decrease pain.Tip #9 - Charcoal
Use this one with caution! Activated Charcoal is very effective at clearing toxins and treating gas and diarrhoea. The charcoal itself can absorb toxins and bacteria helping relieve symptoms. It is also used a lot in drug overdoses to clear the toxins. It may remove the toxins but it can also induce vomiting...it has to get the toxins out somehow!Tip #10 - Ride It Out
All of the above can help relieve symptoms to some degree but the best treatment is to wait it out, in the end your body is getting rid of the toxins especially if you are glued to the toilet, best option...let it work its way out. However trying some of the above tips may make your discomfort a little easier to bear.