I'm a newbie here, just reading through threads. I have to commend you for posting and supporting your spouse! You rock! Not everyone is understanding and a lot of people like to poke fun at celiacs/gluten sensitives. It's very nice that you are trying to learn what to do to help her.
First, my best friend becomes a 2 liter of ginger ale. I specifically must have a 2 liter because during the time I am glutened, I cannot be counted upon to pour anything properly or see straight - but I can find that giant green bottle! I also drink ginger tea on day 2+ after being glutened, but day 1 it's only ginger ale. I am usually dying of thirst from the V&D. I think it's important to find the drink that works best for her to prevent dehydration (water and tea won't stay down for me - but certainly "better" options).
Being glutened IS and truly feels like being poisoned, so don't be surprised if she is really upset, distraught, or withdraws. I don't have true emotional reactions to the gluten but I feel moderately confused for the first 12-18h (brain fog REALLY setting in) and during/after this I gradually withdraw/doze and eventually sleep.
My worst symptom is the fever/chills that follow the V&D. I mention this because at this point I desperately need HELP. I cannot function on my own - one time I "got stuck" in the bathtub and had to call my husband home to help me out. I know it is not a "remedy", but having a supportive spouse is very, very important...not just emotionally but sometimes the effects of gluten are so bad I really need assistance from another person in doing basic things. For the record I am 33y female, with one child 9y, physically fit - the "me" when I am glutened is so not me!!! You sound like a loving, supportive spouse, and this is the BEST thing you have to offer when the G-monster hits.
Like others have mentioned, I also return to "safe" foods first after being glutened. I think these foods are different for everyone, but the most basic foods she eats regularly without any kind of seasoning. For me it is bananas, melons, yogurt, brown rice...I have trouble with soups and hot foods at this stage. Toward the end of day 2 is the first time I can keep food down and I stick with these foods until I get REALLY hungry, which I usually do around 80-96h (3.5-4d) after being glutened...this is the sign I have turned the corner. At this point I usually want and am willing to cook a decent meal. After this meal I tend to feel like I am on Cloud 9 - an odd sense of euphoria that I can only attribute to my body thanking me for good food. The meal is still usually mild - typically chicken or baked potatoes, a roasted veggie. So get her basic foods to help her bridge back into eating again.
I also take the supplement Spirulina - it is an algae that contains all the essential amino acids. It also helps clear the digestive system of nasty stuff! I take it every day, not just when I am glutened. But I DO take it when glutened, if I forget my other supplements - OK - but I keep with the Spirulina for the nutrients and cleansing help. Anecdotally, I think it helps with bloating. It's available pretty much anywhere supplements are sold, but with any supplement, research before buying - tons have gluten in the capsule
Ok sorry for the book report! I tend to ramble! Just take away to "treat her like a pregnant woman, anything she wants or will take, make it so."
A few random tips I can't omit..
- When I have a headache coming on (anytime), I eat yogurt. It seems to work.
- I have taken Benadryl shortly after being glutened...it helped me sleep and avoid the some of the headache/fever/chills phase.
- Supplements can be your friend. I don't advocate taking tons of supplements, but I take some basics to support the healing process.
- Heat for the neck/back pain...hot baths, epsom salts...hot as she can tolerate and stay in for at least 45 mins...old tradition for detoxing and very relaxing. You can offer heating pads, or a heated neck wrap, even a hot towel (soaked in super hot water, this also works for leg cramps).
- Avoid grains (all grains) if bloating is bothersome.
Hope some of this helps! Love the forum here!