What to do when you’ve been glutened….

gluten_is_the_enemy_rectangle_magnetThis post was originally a restaurant review of Indus on Sukhumvit Soi 26, however, the day after eating there, I experienced the worst stomach upset and brain fog that I’ve had in the last two years. I wasn’t hungry and barely ate anything, it felt like my head was full of cotton wool and I couldn’t remember a damn thing all day.

I passed these symptoms off as a bout of end-of-term-itis that often afflicts us teachers. I didn’t reckon my dinner out with a friend was the culprit; but after eating the leftovers the day after, that’s when I realised I’d be glutened. But how?

We ordered:

  • Paneer platter
  • Spicy goan prawn curry
  • Bombay potatoes
  • Tarkha dal
  • Baingan bhurta (roasted eggplant with spices)
  • Plain yoghurt and basmati rice

The only thing I can think of is that the paneer and possibly baingan bhurta was cooked in a tandoor oven, which is often used to bake the naan breads. Or I was a victim of cross-contamination somewhere else in the kitchen?

As a rule of thumb, I find that Indian cuisine is safe for celiacs as they don’t add flour or soy sauce to the dishes. I always avoid anything deep fried due to contamination and anything out of the tandoor oven.

After speaking to the waiter and restaurant manager, I felt confident that they understood my dietary needs. They even went back to speak to the chef to check. I’m not sure what happened, but I do know that I won’t ever go back to Indus because of this incident.

29466433_xl-500x446So, what can you do when you’ve been glutened?

There’s plenty of great advice out there, as I found from Daily Bites Blog, Udis  and Mind Body Green. Here’s some of my tips and remedies that are available in Thailand:

In the first few hours:

  • Take a charcoal tablet (package recommends 3-4 day) and take with plenty of water. These are available in most pharmacies and 7/11s. You could also take bentonite clay with some psyllium husks. Charcoal and bentonite will bind things together and prevent your intestines from absorbing them, then the psyllium husks will push everything through like a broom.
  • Get out of the sun and try to rest somewhere cool
  • Pick up some re-hydration sachets or electrolytes from your local 7/11
  • Drink coconut water
  • Herbal teas like chamomile and peppermint are great to help with stomach spasms
  • Hot water infused with lemon or ginger will help as well
  • REST!

At the end of the day:

  • Try to eat some anti-inflammation foods like salmon or other oily fish, avocado and veggies
  • Stick to simple fruits, without too much citrus, like papaya and watermelon
  • Look for soups made with coconut milk, like Thom Ka or noodle soups (beware soy sauce & stock cubes) but avoid spicy foods
  • If your stomach is really bad, follow the BRAT diet – Brown rice, gluten free toast, bananas and gluten free rice cakes or crackers
  • Avoid dairy
  • Be sure to take on enough liquids to replace what has been lost due to diarrhea or vomiting

The next day:

  • Try to add in some protein, like tuna or eggs
  • Continue to hydrate

How do you recover when you’ve been glutened?


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