I Glutened Myself: The Musical

Just kidding…about the musical part anyway. But I bet that got your attention, right? I know I’d go see that musical! šŸ˜‰

“Gluten, gluten, la la la”

But seriously though – IT happened. The one thing all Celiacs dread. I got glutened and it was my own damn fault. I made the classic rookie move of assuming I knew the ingredients in a dish and I was (very) mistaken.

Shame.

It all started out innocently enough. Dear Boyfriend (DB) and I had dined out the previous evening, where he ordered steak and I had a delightful gluten-free chicken dish. The following day, I was eyeing DB’s leftover steak in the fridge and figured he wouldn’t mind if I helped myself to his leftovers.

The steak APPEARED to be seasoned with just salt & pepper, but after a few bites, panic set in.

Is that a light marinade I’m tasting?

No, no, I’m just being paranoid.

BUT AM I?

I knew I wouldn’t be able to continue eating without knowing for sure, so I called up the restaurant and confirmed my fear – soy sauce. That’s right. Motherfucking soy sauce. I felt like Mr. Garrison from that South Park episode (Season 18, Gluten Free Ebola) where he gets quarantined at Papa John’s for eating soy sauce.

“For me it was the soy sauce…sneaky, sneaky soy sauce.”

How could I be so stupid, so callous? Where was my constant gluten vigilance? I mean seriously, I own a “I can’t keep calm, I’m a Celiac” t-shirt!

Can I ever wear this shirt again?

I told myself all the usual lies one tells oneself when faced with a mistake of this level: Maybe the restaurant was mistaken? Maybe they forgot to put soy sauce in the marinade that day? Maybe it was actually tamari, soy sauce’s significantly less sinister gluten-free cousin. Or maybe it was true soy sauce, but my body wouldn’t notice because I only took 3 bites? Maybe if I didn’t say it out loud, my body wouldn’t notice?

Please let it be tamari, please let it be tamari….

But my body noticed. Oh did it notice.

Don’t be this guy

Reality smacked me in the face within one hour of my mistake and the requisite crapstorm ensued (literally). In between trips to the bathroom, I found myself searching the internet for methods of damage control – or at least enough to avoid a disaster-pants situation at work the next morning.

This cat feels my pain

So here’s a compilation of wisdom I found from various trusted websites, as well as advice I crowd-sourced from my own gluten-free Facebook groups:

  • Water, water, water….flush that evil out! Keeping well hydrated will help your body heal and replenish any fluids lost during the inevitable intestinal fallout.
  • Two words: Bone Broth. I can’t even begin to tout the myriad of benefits from this gift of the gods. Just trust me when I say that bone broth is your friend.
  • Rest. If your body reacts at all like mine, you will be on couch duty for awhile, and that’s okay. Do yourself a favor and rest as much as you can.
  • Epsom salt baths. Besides the pleasant sense of relaxation from a warm bath, Epsom salts are great because: a) they can stimulate the lymphatic system & therefore support the immune system, b) they contain magnesium, which can help soothe muscle aches (like sore abdominals!), and c) they contain sulfate minerals which can aid in detoxification.
  • Activated charcoal. While I haven’t tried activated charcoal personally, it seems to be a very popular recommendation across the interwebs.

When able to return to a normal diet, make sure to increase your intake of microbiome-friendly fermented foods or at least take a high-quality probiotic to get your digestive system back in balance.

What are your go-to remedies for healing after an accidental gluten exposure? Share your wisdom in the comments below. Also, do let me know if you’re interested in underwriting that musical.

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