How Long Does A Gluten Reaction Last?

Celiac disease is currently expected to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide. Many live with the condition unknowingly and only discover that the prolonged years of digestional discomfort have been caused by a gluten intolerance during their senior years.

Gluten is seemingly unavoidable and for those who receive this diagnosis, life becomes a precarious balance overnight.

It is unfortunately inevitable that those with a gluten intolerance will be exposed to gluten at some stage without their knowledge and this article outlines how long a gluten reaction may last depending on the individual’s response to it.

Symptoms of gluten intolerance may emerge within minutes of exposure. These symptoms include: diarrhoea, bloating, fatigue, and indigestion.

How Long Does A Gluten Reaction Last

More extreme symptoms of prolonged gluten exposure include: nerve damage, unintentional weight loss, and disorders that affect coordination and balance (ataxia).

This article is written with the presumption that you have been exposed to gluten unintentionally after cutting it out from your diet and the reaction discussed is therefore a short-term one.

For most people who suffer with gluten intolerance, symptoms will persist for around one-to-two days prior to clearing up. Your recovery time will depend on the following factors:

How Much Rest You Are Getting

Gluten exposure can lead to a bleak combination of fatigue and insomnia. Which ailment affects you can depend on a variety of external factors including work schedule, sugar intake and how active you have been able to be during the day.

However, in spite of this, the solution is to get as much rest as possible.

If you are fortunate enough to be able to work from home, try to schedule in 20 minute naps and even if you are unable to sleep, lying flat and resting with your eyes closed may still help.

Try to meditate and practice deep breathing techniques to clear your mind of any gluten-induced anxious thoughts.

Your Ability To Avoid Stressful Tasks

This may or may not be easy for most sufferers who also have a hectic work schedule.

However, stress is known to provoke and inflame the digestive system without the additional disadvantages of a gluten intolerance.

You are likely to experience brain fog when exposed to gluten and this can make completing difficult tasks incredibly stress inducing.

If you can’t avoid strenuous tasks, try to ensure that you are able to exercise caution when completing any task that may be hazardous to yourself or others. 

Your Ability To Avoid Lactose

This suggestion may seem confusing considering that it is gluten exposure that we are discussing.

However, if you’ve experienced severe exposure, you may also experience a temporary bout of lactose intolerance.

This is because your body uses the tips of your intestines, the intestinal villi, to break down food and gluten exposure can damage these and make products containing lactose virtually impossible to digest.

Your Consumption Of Wholesome Foods

For those who suffer with extreme symptoms of gluten intolerance, eating may be the least of your concerns when in excruciating pain.

However, the best way to increase your chances of a speedy recovery is to eat wholesome foods that you know will provide you with the sustenance required to maintain your blood sugar and energy levels.

Bananas, rice or some vegetable soup will ensure that you are still receiving the necessary sustenance without further agitating your intestines.

Your Avoidance Of Further Risks

A bottle of beer (or several bottles) may seem irresistible after a long and arduous day’s work. However, you should resist all further temptations to engage with products that contain gluten.

There are numerous gluten-free alternatives available ranging from gluten-free beer to gluten-free bread and it is imperative that you allow yourself the time to purchase these products instead of rushing through a shopping trip without a thought for the consequences of further agitation.

Above all, it is important to remember that the sooner you allow yourself to get into the habit of eating a gluten-free diet, the sooner you will feel better and the less likely you are to feel the exhaustive symptoms of gluten intolerance on a repetitive basis. 

Your Ability To Stay As Active As Possible

If your symptoms haven’t cleared up after two days, add some light exercise into your day to soak up some much needed endorphins and to encourage your body to recover.

You should also consider visiting a chiropractor or scheduling a full body massage in order to move the excess toxins and strains away from your muscles.

Make sure to accompany any exercise with copious amounts of water in order to flush through the released-toxins. 

The Reparation Of The Gut With Probiotics

Taking an increased dose of probiotics restores the good bacteria contained inside the gut.

Gluten intolerance decreases the body’s ability to produce glutamine after exposure and so L-glutamine (a powerful amino acid) helps to quickly heal the stomach lining and reduce painful inflammation. 

Your Intake Of Fluids

As previously mentioned, water is always the ‘magic cure’. It is thoroughly underestimated but has a significant impact on repairing the stomach lining.

Coconut water, in particular, is notably beneficial with regards to enhancing the hydration process as it naturally replaces electrolytes within your entire body.

Ginger tea also helps to soothe the stomach and reduce the inflammation of the gut. However, if you are not a fan of ginger, peppermint tea is also a worthy alternative.

Your Ability To Relax

Taking a bath or bathing in a warm jacuzzi is also beneficial in the restoration of the gut’s natural processes. Try taking a salt bath to stimulate the immune system into recovering faster.

The magnesium contained within the salt will also ensure that your body is propelled into a state of deep relaxation, relieving the gluten-induced anxiety.

To conclude, a reaction to gluten can last for several days and once exposed, it is important to incorporate these factors into your recovery routine.

As much as gluten intolerance can feel overwhelmingly debilitating, knowing that there are simple tasks that you can take that will reduce the length of time that your reaction lasts, should offer some hope in your recovery process.

Above all, do not push yourself beyond your limits and stay attuned to your body’s recovery needs. 

Ray Brooke
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