How to counteract too much gluten? (9 ways)

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “How to counteract too much gluten?”. We will elaborate on different ways to help you counteract too much gluten.  

How to counteract too much gluten?

Celiac disease is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the small intestine, produced by the ingestion of dietary gluten products in susceptible people. It is a multifactorial disease, including genetic and environmental factors and is defined as an autoimmune disorder originating by an aberrant adaptive immune response against gluten-containing grains in susceptible individuals (1).

If you have consumed too much gluten and are desperately searching for ways to counteract it, do not worry, here we have shared a long list of approaches to counteract too much gluten

  • Drink plenty of water and herbal teas
  • Rest up
  • Eat sparingly
  • Eat easily digestible foods.
  • Do light exercise to speed up recovery
  • Take a digestive enzyme supplement
  • Take a probiotic or L-Glutamine to improve the gut health
  • Take an Epsom salt bath

Different ways to counteract too much gluten 

Drink plenty of water and herbal teas

Water allows to wash out the excess gluten from the body. As gluten is identified as a toxin, the body will have to eliminate it through kidney activity. The kidneys function more efficiently in the presence of an abundant water supply. If the kidneys economize on water, producing a more concentrated urine, this is a greater cost in energy and more wear on their tissues. This is especially likely to occur when the kidneys are under stress, for example when the diet contains excessive amounts of salt or toxic substances, such as gluten (in the case of celiac patients) (2).

Options include:

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  • Coconut water helps to give hydration and replace electrolytes.
  • Herbal tea provides nourishment to the body. Well-known soothing teas are peppermint, chamomile, and ginger. 
  • Bone broth remineralizes the body and consists of gelatin which can soothe and coat the digestive tract. Just make sure to remove some of the fat from the top as fat is harder to digest, particularly when the digestive system is going through a lot because of gluten.

Rest up

Take plenty of sleep to allow the body to relax. While sleeping, blood flows straight to the muscles, recovering tissues and improving cell production. This promotes healing.

Eat easily digestible foods

Gluten in celiac patients causes intestinal inflammation. This can be remediated through an anti-inflammatory diet, which ensures a greater variety of protective food components, some of which may work synergistically to boost immunity. These foods provide plant chemicals (phytochemicals), antioxidants, and fiber that prevent cellular stresses, inhibit inflammatory signals caused by the immune system, promote healthy gut microbiota, and slow down digestion to prevent surges in blood glucose. They may also favorably affect the composition of fat cells to further reduce inflammation (3). 

Among the easily digestible foods, you can have:

  • One simple piece of gluten-free bread, instant mashed potatoes, toast and crackers 
  • Ginger- a powerful anti-nausea substance, helps to settle the stomach and soothe cramping)  
  • Pineapple- contains its own enzymes helping in the digestive process.
  • Turmeric- a known anti-inflammatory that helps to speed up healing. 
  • Omega 3 fatty acids- helps to soothe inflammation
  • Apple cider vinegar- helps in digestion, inflammation, and in fighting constipation as well as encourages the growth of healthy bacteria. Dilute a tbsp in a cup of water.
  • Marshmallow root- helps in repairing the gut’s lining and in reducing inflammation and gas.

Whatever option you choose depends upon whether too much gluten ingestion has led to diarrhea or constipation. Do not consume any dairy product throughout your recovery process since the villi are in no condition to digest it yet.

Eat sparingly

Fasting after too much gluten consumption has been found to help considerably as it allows the digestive system to be relaxed. 

Medicate

Digestive enzymes have the ability to boost up the digestive process and force the gluten out of the body faster. Enzyme supplement therapy with bacterial prolylendopeptidasis expressed by various microorganisms has been proposed to accelerate gluten digestion in the gastrointestinal tract. Prolyl-endopeptidase are proline-specific enzymes capable of cleaving gluten peptides (1).

For instance, GlutenEase is a digestive enzyme meant to be consumed after unintentional consumption of too much gluten. It helps to alleviate symptoms, speeds up the recovery process and normalizes the body’s inflammatory reaction to the gluten peptide.

Charcoal pills are another great option. They attach and push out gluten and cause a reduction in excess gas in the stomach. They are occasionally used to relieve diarrhea as the charcoal counteracts and absorbs CH4 or S2 intestinal gasses.

Zonulin inhibitor larazotide is another drug for celiac patients which works by blocking gluten entry across the intestinal epithelium, that is, it corrects intestinal barrier defects and avoids inflammation (1).

You can also take over-the-counter pain medications to get rid of headaches, inflammation or joint swelling.

Take probiotics to improve the gut health

Probiotics are live organisms, when ingested in adequate quantities provide a health benefit to the host. They produce inhibitory substances that target pathogens, block their adhesion sites, compete for nutrients, prebiotics, degrade toxin receptors, and regulate immunity. In vitro studies have demonstrated that select Lactobacilli strains when added to sourdough fermentation, lyse the proline/glutamine-rich gluten peptides, reduce the gluten concentration to <10 ppm (gluten-free), and decrease their immunotoxicity. Other studies confirm the positive effect of probiotic bacteria producing enzymes capable of completely degrading gluten and reducing its toxicity for celiac disease patients (4).

Supplementing with probiotics has been found to recover the balance of gut bacteria. Ideally, you will want to take probiotics everyday. Taking a good dose of probiotics after the symptoms have been relieved helps to encourage the growth of good gut bacteria to recover what gluten has flushed away.

Take L-glutamine to heal the gut lining 

Our bodies can not synthesize glutamine when we are nervous or when our systems are weakened. L-glutamine, a powerful amino acid, has the ability to recover the intestinal lining and decrease inflammation, which in turn can cure depression or anxiety induced by too much gluten.

Take an Epsom salt bath

Magnesium is a powerful nutrient. If you consume a diet that is almost free of grains, you will naturally have lower levels of this nutrient. Magnesium is most readily absorbed by the skin. It helps to relax the colon and muscles and assists you in excretion. Only make sure you do not overly warm the bathwater as this can stress the body.

Do light exercise to speed up recovery

After some days, do light exercise to speed up the recovery process. Exercise produces endorphins that help to overcome anxiety.

If ever you are dubious about the concentration of gluten in a product, drug, over-the-counter medication, lipsticks or any food product, it is better to avoid it.

Conclusion 

In this brief article, we have provided an answer to the question, “How to counteract too much gluten?”. We have elaborated on different ways to help you counteract too much gluten.  

References 

  1. Parzanese, Ilaria, et al. Celiac disease: From pathophysiology to treatment. World j gastrointest pathophysiol, 2017, 8, 27.
  2. Asri, Nastaran, et al. Gut healing natural resource’s role in management of celiac disease, a brief review. Res J Pharmacog, 2021, 8, 91-100.
  3. School of Public Health. University of Harvard. Diet Review: Anti-Inflammatory Diet. 2022.
  4. Chibbar, R.; Dieleman, L.A. The Gut Microbiota in Celiac Disease and probiotics. Nutrients, 2019, 11, 2375.
  5. Gröber, Uwe, et al. Myth or reality—transdermal magnesium?. Nutrients, 2017, 9, 813.

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.