Gluten Withdrawal

Gluten Withdrawal

Gluten Withdrawal can produce symptoms that make you feel sicker than before you gave up gluten. Symptoms can be especially bad if you’re giving up dairy at the same time. Gluten and dairy (casein) both create chemicals that act like opiates in the body. Those with intestinal damage absorb more gluten and casein into the bloodstream through small tears in the intestine. Flu-like Symptoms associated with beginning a gluten free diet include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Brain Fog
  • Backache
  • Irritability
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Depression

So what can you do to feel better?

  1. Drink water. Hydration will help your body clear itself out. Dehydration can also cause diarrhea.
  2. Get extra rest. You’re essentially experiencing drug withdrawal from the foods you formally ate, go easy on yourself.
  3. Cut out gluten and casein more slowly. Celiacs will need to cut out gluten cold turkey, but if you’re working with a milder allergy, you may be able to cut back before cutting out these foods.
  4. Wait it out. After the first 3-4 days, you should see significant symptom improvement.
  5. Talk to your doctor again. You should be working with a doctor even on a gluten-free trial. They can help to make sure you are getting the proper nutrition when you shift to a gluten and/or casein free diet.
  6. Have vitamin levels checked (see above).
Knowing that you’re not alone in experiencing these feelings can help you to get through them. These tips are here to help you to work with your doctor to feel better. Each person is unique, and needs to be working with their physician and preferably a dietician when going gluten and/or casein free. Here’s to feeling better!