How Long Does Gluten Stay In Your System? Info and Tips

  • Certain diseases and health issues are caused by gluten.
  • Gluten has a two-and-a-half-day transit time in people who are not affected by gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.
  • Gluten reacts differently and harms the intestine of celiacs and those with gluten sensitivity.
  • Tips for healing faster if you have consumed gluten

Only those suffering from gluten sensitivity or celiac disease know that gluten can create havoc on their systems. It can weaken your immune system, upset your digestion and disturb your good gut bacteria. So, if you have accidentally eaten gluten, are you concerned about how long gluten stays in your system?

The answer is that the usual transit time is up to 2 to 3 days for your system to get rid of gluten entirely if you are gluten tolerant. But, if you are gluten intolerant, it might take longer.

This article will educate you about gluten and its effect on celiacs and gluten-sensitive people. We will also learn how to flush out gluten from your body faster.

What is Gluten? What are the Conditions Linked to it?

How Long Does Gluten Stay In Your System

Gluten is a complex protein found in some grains. Some people are sensitive to gluten. Whenever they consume gluten, even in small quantities, they get upset or have skin rashes. Sometimes, the gluten allergy is quite severe, leading to graver health complications. 

Gluten causes certain health conditions in a few people whose bodies cannot digest this complex protein. These include:

  • Celiac Disease

This autoimmune disease occurs in those whose bodies cannot digest gluten. Gluten triggers an immune response leading to gut inflammation. The small intestine is hypersensitive to gluten and triggers this response even if a small amount of gluten is eaten.

  • Wheat Allergy

This condition is not as grave as celiac disease. Wheat allergy is an allergic response to foods containing wheat. It can occur when you eat wheat foods or even when you inhale wheat flour.

The body starts producing antibodies to fight off proteins found in wheat. It is an immunoglobulin E-mediated reaction to wheat causing allergic symptoms such as skin rash or itching.

  • Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (Gluten Intolerance)
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This is a condition in which the gut is triggered by gluten, and the gut is irritated. This is different from celiac disease because, in celiac disease, the body’s immune system attacks its own body’s tissues, while in gluten intolerance, gluten consumption causes bloating and stomach pain

This condition does not cause any long-term harm to the body, while in celiac disease, frequent consumption of gluten can damage the small intestine’s lining, leading to malabsorption.

How Long Does Gluten Stay In Your System? From Mouth to Toilet

If someone does not have gluten intolerance, celiac disease, or wheat allergy, then

gluten has a typical transit time of up to 4 hours in the stomach, up to 6 hours in the small intestine, and up to 59 hours in the colon. So this can be summed up to 2 and half days roughly

But, the gut transit time increases with those suffering from a wheat allergy, gluten intolerance, or celiac disease. There is no precise time for the body to get rid of gluten in case of gluten intolerance. The transit time increases due to damaged small bowel motility or malabsorption. 

What Happens when Someone with Gluten Intolerance Eats Gluten?

The small intestine plays a crucial role in the digestion process. It absorbs all the essential nutrients from food and distributes them to every organ in the body. Therefore, the digestive system can suffer a setback when the small intestine is impaired.

When someone with celiac disease or wheat allergy ingests gluten (a protein found in grains like barley, rye, wheat), the body produces antibodies to attack it. In this process, these antibodies damage the small intestine.

The small intestine has tiny little bumps, called villi, that line it. The antibodies attack the villi and damage them, making them incapable of absorbing nutrients or transporting them to the other cells and organs. 

How Long does it Take for a Gluten-Sensitive Person or Celiac to Get Rid of Gluten from their Systems?

How Long Does Gluten Stay In Your System

There is no fixed time for a celiac or gluten-intolerant person’s body to get rid of gluten. It often depends from person to person and on the amount of gluten ingested. 

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If you have just eaten a small amount due to cross-contamination at a restaurant, it is probably not much cause for concern. But, if you have mistakenly eaten wheat pizza, then it might take quite a long time for the body to digest gluten and get rid of it completely. 

Gluten, by nature, is a very tough protein to break. For people who are not sensitive to gluten, their bodies take longer to digest gluten, and too much gluten can cause inflammation. Gliadin, a part of gluten, is never broken down entirely by the digestive system.

Some people with celiac disease will immediately react to eating gluten, while some may show a delayed response, usually an hour late. 

Some may vomit or get diarrhea as their bodies remove the ingested gluten. On the other hand, some may develop stomach aches and chronic bloating that can last for a few hours to a few days. Some may even experience joint pain, migraines, or skin rashes. 

Some people might feel immediately better after vomiting, while some may take a few days to feel normal again. In some adults, the disturbed small intestine may take around three months to heal completely, while some may take up to 2 years.

The time taken depends on each body’s response to gluten and the time taken to remove it from the system and heal after that.

Tips to Heal Faster if You Have Been Glutened

The key to healing faster after gluten consumption is to keep things moving in your body and speed up digestion. This can be done by:

  1. Eating plenty of anti-inflammatory foods, including apple, spinach, broccoli, and mushrooms. These foods build up your body’s defenses against immune system attacks.
  2. Chewing your food properly. Chewing stimulates saliva production, and a digestive enzyme called amylase is produced that helps to break down food faster.
  3. Taking a digestive enzyme supplement such as those containing protease can help to break down gluten faster.
  4. Minding your gut health. You can discuss with your doctor about taking probiotics that can help heal your gut faster. 
  5. Eating plenty of fiber. This is essential to keep things moving quickly through the digestive tract.
  6. Eating less meat. Your body is already working to digest the complex protein gluten. Also, avoid eating meat as it is highly inflammatory and acidic.
  7. Exercising can help to move food faster through your digestive system.
  8. Drinking plenty of water to help with digestion and get rid of toxins. 
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These are some proven ways to get rid of gluten from your body faster.

FAQs

  • How do you Flush Gluten Out of your System?

You can flush gluten out of your system quickly by drinking more water, eating alkaline foods, eating fiber-rich foods, exercising, eating less meat, and taking some digestive enzymes.

  • How Long Do Dairy and Gluten Stay in Your System?

Dairy stays in your system for approximately two weeks, while gluten stays in your system for three weeks. So you can try eliminating both for some time from your diet to heal faster if you are allergic to gluten.

  • What is a Gluten Belly?

A gluten belly is also known as a ‘leaky gut.’ This condition arises when gluten has damaged the intestines. This condition may take quite a long to heal. 

Final Lines

Gluten stays in your system for three days to three weeks, sometimes even longer if you are gluten intolerant. Depending on your condition and the amount of gluten you have taken, the body will take time to altogether remove it from your system.

You can speed up the process of gluten removal from the body by eating fibrous foods, drinking more water, and taking some digestive enzymes. However, it is better to consult a doctor if your condition worsens.

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About the Author: Johnny

I am the senior editor and writer of Gluten Free Heroes, before that, I wrote for various well established online magazines about food and health. I love working out, traveling and eating healthy.