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How long does it take you to recover after gluten exposure?

by (5232)
Updated about 17 hours ago
Created May 17, 2011 at 3:42 PM

I went out to my roommates Chinese restaurant last Thursday and had just a wee bit of gluten. A little bit of the chicken that was in a stew I ordered was fried. Five days later, I'm still feeling like junk. My energy is zapped and I'm just kind of chugging along. How long does recovery usually take you folks?

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865 · March 17, 2012 at 9:12 PM

+1 for your fight and for your last sentence.

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78422 · May 17, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Andrew - I used to be the same way but paleo has regulated and balanced my body in such a way that I'm more cognizant of the small stuff. Those little joint aches, bloating, gassy feelings were things I shrugged off in the past. Furthermore, we may not have the same tolerance for them anymore since our tolerance is much lower for crap now.

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5232 · May 17, 2011 at 5:36 PM

MSG doesn't bother me most the time and I'm usually pretty tolerant to crap oil as well.

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2399 · May 17, 2011 at 5:33 PM

Got any more info ? Any specific podcast or an article ? I could probably search through his site, but if you know, do share please.

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24271 · May 17, 2011 at 5:13 PM

+1 for "...I eat corn tortillas, rice or something that gives me the benefit of a "cheat", without all of the associated hassle." this was a tough lesson for me to learn but I think I've finally got it.

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5232 · May 17, 2011 at 5:05 PM

I don't know if I'm celiacs or not. I just know that the stuff absolutely sucks my life dry.

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78422 · May 17, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Yup - me too. But I think it is the combo in the pizza: gluten, cheese, icky oil, processed meat. Packs a whallop like all night drinking except without finding the drunk texts the next morning :)

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565 · May 17, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Yes, this came from Robb Wolf.

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2399 · May 17, 2011 at 4:27 PM

I keep hearing this but directly from the source. Via Robb Wolf or ?

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78422 · May 17, 2011 at 4:26 PM

If it was a Chinese restaurant, I would bet that it was bad oils or MSG that's got you down.

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14 Answers

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1639 · May 17, 2011 at 4:46 PM

I've heard Robb Wolf talk about your gut taking 14-15 days to repair itself after ingesting gluten.

I've noticed for myself that it takes anywhere from 48 hours to 5 days to recover. It depends on what I eat, how much, and the ratios of carbs/protein/fat.

I do notice that I get rid of the symptoms a lot faster if I take something along the lines of the NOW foods super enzyme (Robb Wolf's protocol --> not the label instructions). Not that I recommend ingesting gluten, the last couple times I had it haven't been fun. I also do a damage control of fish oil just to get rid of the inflammatory symptoms

Even with those add-ons though, I've noticed I have less and less of a tolerance for gluten. A hamburger bun isn't likely to bother me, but the second we talk about pizza, donuts, or any fried/oily food that is high gluten I am going to be miserable for a while.

I find it's a lot better if I just accept the fact that I'm gluten intolerant, that my body doesn't like it, and that I eat corn tortillas, rice or something that gives me the benefit of a "cheat", without all of the associated hassle.

I do find it interesting though, that I went from eating a carb heavy SAD diet to a protein/fat heavy diet and suddenly I have all of these gluten intolerance symptoms when I eat it. I wonder how bad my body was really messed up....

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24271 · May 17, 2011 at 5:13 PM

+1 for "...I eat corn tortillas, rice or something that gives me the benefit of a "cheat", without all of the associated hassle." this was a tough lesson for me to learn but I think I've finally got it.

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20 · March 17, 2012 at 2:40 PM

I have EATL (a bad, bad Lymphoma) and I've had the emergency bowel surgery and 8 rounds of Chemo. I lost 63 pounds but gained it all back (208 - 145 - 208) and had been back at the gym 5 days per week and doing great. I'm Celiac and eat paleo. I, by accident had a delicious steak a week ago at a great restaurant. It must have been spiced with whaet starch and MSG. Both seem deadly to my system. That's 7 days ago that I'm still in "the rut". I have levelled off at what I think is the lowest point of this rut but it'll likely take me another week or more to pull out. Cheating isn't worth it for anybody that will listen.

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865 · March 17, 2012 at 9:12 PM

+1 for your fight and for your last sentence.

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9812 · May 17, 2011 at 4:32 PM

I'm non-celiac gluten intolerant; when I get badly glutenized (if I break down and have a doughnut or a couple pieces of pizza) I'm usually bloated the next three afternoon/evenings (for some reason I'm usually ok in the morning).

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5232 · May 17, 2011 at 5:05 PM

I don't know if I'm celiacs or not. I just know that the stuff absolutely sucks my life dry.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78422 · May 17, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Yup - me too. But I think it is the combo in the pizza: gluten, cheese, icky oil, processed meat. Packs a whallop like all night drinking except without finding the drunk texts the next morning :)

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565 · May 17, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Gluten supposedly stays in your system for 14 days. Obviously it depends on your sensitivity as to how long, and how affected you'll be.

Fe87afa634afe26f4f6fd956abe0b46a
565 · May 17, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Yes, this came from Robb Wolf.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083
2399 · May 17, 2011 at 4:27 PM

I keep hearing this but directly from the source. Via Robb Wolf or ?

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083
2399 · May 17, 2011 at 5:33 PM

Got any more info ? Any specific podcast or an article ? I could probably search through his site, but if you know, do share please.

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78422 · May 17, 2011 at 4:09 PM

It usually takes me 48 hours. But it also depends on my fat and protein ratios as well as the amount of water I drink. I think some people are more sensitive than others. I did a cursory search on the celiac site and found that a lot of people can take months to recover from a gluten cheat. You may have also ingested crappy oils and a host of other things.

I'm finding that eating at restaurants is becoming increasingly difficult as I have no idea all the "little" things that comprise the overall meal. Since going paleo I have not had one dining experience that hasn't left me sick - no matter what I order.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78422 · May 17, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Andrew - I used to be the same way but paleo has regulated and balanced my body in such a way that I'm more cognizant of the small stuff. Those little joint aches, bloating, gassy feelings were things I shrugged off in the past. Furthermore, we may not have the same tolerance for them anymore since our tolerance is much lower for crap now.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78422 · May 17, 2011 at 4:26 PM

If it was a Chinese restaurant, I would bet that it was bad oils or MSG that's got you down.

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930
5232 · May 17, 2011 at 5:36 PM

MSG doesn't bother me most the time and I'm usually pretty tolerant to crap oil as well.

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0 · July 04, 2013 at 6:29 AM

Gluten usually stays in your system for 2 weeks. Of course, it also depends on your body.

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0 · July 03, 2013 at 11:03 PM

I am coeliac and my local cafe next to work changed the salad dressing which I ate for a week or so. Gradual build up of symptoms including fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, nausea etc. I have been in incredible pain in all my joints, especially my hands, wrist, shoulders & hips for a good week. There has been a slight improvement. This has been the longest period of pain after exposure to gluten..

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0 · April 04, 2013 at 3:28 PM

I have gluten ataxia, where the gluten attacks my nervous system alongside my GI tract. I haven't had gluten in over a year, and of course I get glutened three times in the past two weeks on accident while eating out. So much for gluten free menus!

The last time was the worst. I ate sushi with tempura in it unbeknownst to me ( even though I told the waitress I couldn't have tempura) and felt the reaction immediately. I get anxiety, dizziness, and feel very nauseated. I have a left eye droop and the skin around my left eye went numb ( a new symptom this time around). It obviously freaks me out so my anxiety level gets high sometimes.

That was four days ago, and I'm still suffering the gluten-y consequences. I have to eat super paleo and not a lot of greasy foods. I take DGL to protect my stomach, and when I don't I pay for it in trips to the bathroom.

I'll update you guys again when I feel better - I hope it goes away soon!

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0 · March 20, 2013 at 11:59 PM

I usually take about a week. The worse part of it is the first 3 days when my pants squeeze and my wrist throb. An I the only one who has joint issues from this as well?

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1098 · May 21, 2011 at 12:20 AM

I don't have an official celiac diagnosis, but I am most definitely gluten intolerant. If I eat gluten, I will feel it in my gut within the next two days, along with exhaustion, brain fog, irritability, sharp pains in my intestinal tract and joint pain. Since eating paleo, the last gluten cheat cost me almost two weeks to recover from.

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179 · May 18, 2011 at 11:13 AM

I am non-celiac gluten intolerant and it takes me an average of 6 days before all inflammation is gone. Gluten takes a toll on my digestive system, my joints, and oh, the migraines that follow a cheat. I feel like I have flu and chronic fatigue is overwhelming. Why I ever cheat when I feel like that is beyond me! My 'falls' are generally when I have not planned ahead or convince myself that a cheat is worth it.....It really isn't.

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5242 · May 18, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Gluten exposure affects my digestion. Depending on how bad the exposure was it will take 1 - 2 weeks of careful eating to get it back to normal.

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78422 · May 18, 2011 at 7:07 AM

The allergy-like symptoms usually go away within 24 hours if I eat clean and take extra probiotics. The digestive symptoms tend to stick around a little longer, as much as 3 days even with the probiotics. I haven't experienced really terrible symptoms if I get a bit if gluten, but I do not like the stiffness and soreness in my knees and such when I eat gluten, so I don't think I will knowingly do it anymore. Eating out would be something I would really miss though if I could never do it without getting sick.

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580 · May 18, 2011 at 6:46 AM

This is an interesting question. When I was starting paleo, I used to have scheduled cheats every two weeks (epic ones, believe me), I certainly didn't feel "normal" the next day. I skipped breakfast next day and ate lightly (low carb and also low fat) and I felt fine in 1 or 2 days (I also saw some weight drops with this method, but not after the last few cheats). I also think the weird feeling on the following day might have been to a some degree mental, as I wasn't IF:ing back then and skipping breakfast was REALLY not something I was used to, especially if I had to go to work.

I've had only one cheat since Christmas (company party, it was a sushi buffet and alcohol, probably low gluten though), and I have no big intention to back to intentional/scheduled cheating. I do not crave burgers or any seriously "junky" food. I'm in the mindstate of "when its truly worth it" :)I do have some sort of cravings for ice cream. I haven't had any since Christmas, and I have lost some weight, and I certainly know I COULD have some without doing any serious damage.

But all this "14 days" or even "several months"-talk kind of worries me, as I've also read about some people who have become more badly affected by cheats/non-paleo meals, after having eaten clean&paleo for a good period of time without cheating. I think I will be more careful, even with "worth it"-cheats, like choosing gluten free ice cream, if I feel like rewarding myself or something.

I know this fixation to ice cream might sound weird. I know. It's like the Ben&Jerry pints have been calling my name on the frozen items-section at the supermarket for a while now....

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