So, I Got Glutened

I was eating salad from the buffet at a resort in Mexico.  I lifted a forkful to my mouth and a piece of spaghetti fell from it onto the table. (It was not a pasta salad.) What I should have done is dropped the fork with the food, at the least gotten a new fork, better, just skipped the salad altogether since I couldn't trust it not to be contaminated. Probably, however, it wouldn't have made any difference. Unwisely, I hoped for the best and finished my salad.

Here's where my article will get quite graphic and shouldn't be read by those who haven't experienced gluten poisoning if such a one would be grossed out. That night I got diarrhea. I had gut pain severe enough to interfere with sleep. This lasted several days. Sleeping at night with a HOT WATER BOTTLE ON my STOMACH helped me get some sleep.

Over the next week I had the following symptoms:

  • Gas that would not expell or expelled barely enough, rumbling around and hurting
  • Distended stomach
  • A constant sensation of constipation & 'need to go'; A sensation of blockage
  • Not daring to pass gas except when seated on the toilet because of accidents
  • Going to the toilet multiple times a day which yielded either diarrhea or, later, pencil-thin poop
  • Never experiencing a normal bowel movement
  • I'm starting to get clogged pores with rough, dry patches on either side of my chin, below the corners of my mouth
  • My hemorrhoids (left over from childbirth) popped out
  • Most of my nails have broken off below the quick
  • As everyone with this disease knows, there is nothing you can do for a gluten exposure.  But, I reasoned, there has to be something that can help.

What helped the most was 

  • Daily drinking a cup of
  • Fennel Tea
  • Nettle Tea
  • Chamomile Tea
  • Hot water bottle on the gut at night.

Take the above with a teaspoon (or less) honey. Nettle and Fennel blend well, tastewise. Don't ruin the Chamomile taste by mixing it. That small an amount of honey is perfectly good for you and makes the tea much more pleasant. In a situation like this I recommend tea over capsules because it's much more easily digested & is soothing. You can drink more than a cup of each, if needed. I experienced the most noticeable results from the Fennel. It made me pass the gas, which was a great relief. The Nettle helps make the inflammation die down which reduces pain and discomfort, and symptoms. Chamomile is good before bed as it is very soothing to the gut and all around self. These teas made a difference so there isn't "Nothing you can do". Keep eating, albeit as healthy as possible, and taking your supplements because you need what little nutrition your poor, damaged gut can extract.

The distended gut hurts my vanity because i'm so skinny that it's the only thing really sticking out on me. If you hold your stomach in as low as possible, just below your hipbones, that's easier & more comfortable and doesn't make you feel strangled. Now, about the hemorrhoids: This works great: In the shower, very gently, push them back inside your butt with your finger. It's that simple and really works! You may have to repeat but only during this crisis time, then later, on occasion. If you're reallygentle this can even be done without cutting off your nail first.

It's been a week and I had my first normal bowel movement this morning. Yay!                                                                            
We celiacs and gluten-sensitives can be quite vague when describing the horror we experience. I've been with my boyfriend 2 1/2 years yet this was the first time I told him exactly what it's like. He exploded, "That's RIDICULOUS! You should never eat in a restaurant again!" (This is a man who would be willing to cook on a hotplate during vacation.) I said, "I agree, but never eating in a restaurant again would be ridiculous, as well.

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