A Winning Combination: Healing From Gluten Exposure

I got glutened recently.  It was really terrible.  I had made a chicken soup and while I was busy chopping veggies to add to it, I asked my husband to throw in some seasonings.  One of the things he used was some garlic powder.  It was a generic brand that has been sitting in our cupboard forever.  It hadn’t actually been used in probably close to a year.

Later that evening, shortly after eating the soup, my stomach started to get upset.  I had this deep, burning sensation and within a half hour, I was painfully bloated.  (I should really take a picture of that some time.  It is crazy.)  I still didn’t put two and two together though.  Then I had a big blow-up fight with my husband.  I hate this, but one of my gluten exposure symptoms is major emotional turmoil.  Sometimes it is explosive anger . . . like a situation that any couple might argue over, but my reaction will abruptly take a turn toward rage.  Sometimes it is overwhelming sadness . . . like I will start bawling my eyes out at the drop of a hat.  Sometimes it is unmanageable anxiety . . . like I am worried my mind is going and I am in need of psychological care.

Even after the fight, I didn’t put it together.  I went to bed with a headache and my stomach still in pain.  The next day I had my normal breakfast and noticed my intestines felt a bit “raw.”  I was also constipated.  I do not normally experience diarrhea, although it is considered one of the typical Celiac symptoms. I am so careful these days and vigilantly keep my home so g-free, that I still didn’t get it.  I went to work with a headache and returned home for a late afternoon lunch.  My husband was working from home that day.

I heated up some leftover soup and sat down to eat.  Within minutes the raw feeling in my intestine flared into a burning, excruciating system wide wound.  My tummy puffed up.  My husband was talking to me about some financial decisions we needed to make and I started yelling furiously at him.  I ran upstairs and began crying hysterically.  That is when we realized what had happened.

I spent the rest of the night with a headache that felt like I was being stabbed in my skull.  I was doubled over with intestinal pain and desperately fighting overpowering anxiety.  I woke up sweating with a racing heart every few hours and finally got out of bed at sunrise to find my eyelids puffed up like marshmallows and the skin on my shoulders and upper arms broken out.

Like I said . . . it was terrible.  I willed myself through brain fog at work and returned home in the early afternoon.  I had decided to try a regimen on myself that I hoped would help me heal from the gluten exposure quickly.  I fried up some grass-fed beef liver and ate it with a big mug of bone broth.  Next I went out and laid in the sun for over an hour, exposing as much skin as I could in my suburban neighborhood park.  (Honestly, if I had thought it wouldn’t scandalize everyone and lead to my arrest for indecent exposure, I probably would have laid there nude.  LOL!)  For dinner that evening I had more liver and then I took a detox bath full of epsom salt, in the hope that the magnesium would help ease anxiety so I could sleep deeply.  Finally, I got in bed early with another mug of broth as a night cap.

Guess what guys?!  It worked!  It worked like crazy!  I woke up feeling just fine the next morning.  All the bloating was gone and the constipation was resolved.  My skin had calmed and the raw pain in my intestine had subsided.  My thinking wasn’t fuzzy and the headache had disappeared.  I kept up the regimen throughout that weekend for good measure.  Not only did my emotional stability return to normal, it actually improved.  I felt happier and more calm than I had BEFORE the gluten exposure.

Glutening sometimes happens, despite our very best efforts (needless to say, I will never trust garlic powder again), but I feel now like I have a really good plan of action.  Instead of just having to wait for it to pass, I can use the power of superfoods, the sun, detoxing, and sleep to swiftly recover.

When you have an autoimmune flare, gluten related or not, do you have a secret formula for healing quickly?  Do you feel a little less afraid of a flare, knowing you have this tool in your AI toolbox?  Tell me about it.

About Angie Alt

Angie Alt is part of the blogging duo behind Autoimmune Wellness. She helps others take charge of their health the same way she took charge of her own after suffering with Celiac and other autoimmune diseases; one creative, nutritious meal at a time. Her special focus is on mixing “data with soul” by looking at the honest heart of the autoimmune journey (which sometimes includes curse words). She’s also a world traveler who has been medically evacuated from two foreign countries. Strategizing worst-case scenarios is now something of a hobby. She is a Certified Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and author of The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook: Eating for All Phases of the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol. You can also find her on Instagram.

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