Disclaimer – I was given the Food Sensitivity Test by Everlywell in exchange for my honest review. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
Let me tell you a little story….
I grew up playing soccer, riding horses, eating what every other normal person ate, with no issues. I was healthy. When I was 19, I had a sports related knee injury, requiring surgery. A week post surgery, I found myself back in the hospital with a severe infection, requiring a PICC line in my arm for daily rounds of IV antibiotics. I recovered just fine, so I thought. In the months and years that followed, I had frequent unexplained stomach cramps, headaches, and just generally feeling “out of it”.
Why am I telling you all of this??
Through a series of visits with various doctors, allergists, and conversations with knowledgeable people… I was told the best course of action would be to try an elimination diet. I wasn’t having an “allergic reaction” but perhaps these symptoms were a result of a food sensitivity – brought on by the disruption of my gut health from the antibiotics (fascinating right?).
Maybe you can relate to this part of my story. Maybe you were born with an intolerance, or maybe a disruption in your gut health left your body unable to properly process certain foods.
At 20 something years old, the thought of an elimination diet sounded daunting. And guess what, it was. When you don’t know where to start, it makes the process 100x worse. I found out that my body couldn’t handle dairy and gluten. Hello, that’s ice cream, pizza and doughnuts. Not cool. BUT by removing these items from my diet, my symptoms improved.
Fast forward 10 years, and yes I just dated myself, I have a lot more knowledge, experience, and kids under my belt. I had begun reintroducing these foods to my diet, and the symptoms began creeping back into my life again. I’m no expert, but I knew I needed to eliminate my offenders again.
Your Health at Your Fingertips – Meet EverlyWell
While I had an idea based on my previous elimination diet findings, I was THRILLED to have found EverlyWell’s at-home Food Sensitivity Test to help guide my efforts this go-round. The test measures your body’s IgG response to 96 foods to help provide guidance on what foods may be the best to eliminate. My hope was that the results would help me know where to start, give me a plan of action and offer information to discuss with my doctor.
Let me tell you, the whole process from start to finish was as easy as 1-2-3.
Step 1 – Collect your sample
The test is delivered to you in the mail and takes more time to unpack than it does to actually take the test!
You can watch the video of me taking the test on my story highlights on Instagram (just click the highlight labeled EverlyWell)
Literally, 5 minutes.
Step 2 – Register and mail your kit
Register your kit online – this is a quick process. You create an account and provide an email address so they can send you the results.
Pack it up and stick it back in the mail with the provided return label. Your results will be emailed to you within 5 business days.
Step 3 – Read your results
I received my results in less than 5 days directly to my Inbox.
EverlyWell works with CLIA certified labs, and the results are reviewed by a board certified physician.
Now for the fun part…
According to the test results, my body did not mark highly reactive to any foods, but came up moderately reactive (sensitive) to dairy, gluten, almonds, baking yeast and brewer’s yeast.
- I was not overly surprised at my test results, just based on the fact that i’ve done elimination diets in the past.
- Because I have done elimination diets in the past, I have confidence that my results are accurate. The sensitivity to gluten, dairy, and almonds was something I had discovered years ago, just pretended they went away. All of this is encouraging to me, because I know that when previously removed from my diet, my symptoms improved!
- A point of interest for me, was that if your test results show you are reactive to both types of yeast, that may indicate a gut imbalance and they recommend taking a good probiotic. I had been taking a good probiotic, but with the chaos of traveling all summer, I had fallen off the bandwagon. This was my reminder to get back into that routine.
My final thoughts
The convenience of EverlyWell is amazing. I am a busy mom of two kids, with a husband who travels a lot and having just moved to a new state, finding “extra” time is pretty much not ever on the table.
The at home test by EverlyWell makes it easy to take your health into your own hands, from the comfort of your own home, all on your own time. It gives people the opportunity to start their journey towards feeling better and truly being in better health. It gives you a place to start by knowing what to remove during your elimination diet. By removing these items from your diet, you are giving your body the ability to function properly and give it the time it needs to heal.
An elimination diet can seem daunting, and trust me it is, because i’ve done it. Oh how I wish I had this resource back then!! I guess you have to be desperate enough, and in enough discomfort to want something to change.
While you may not have a full blown full allergy, I don’t, several food sensitivities can have a buildup effect. For instance, if I eat everything I am sensitive to, every single day, that makes for a miserable digestive system, which in turn can lead to headaches, bloatedness, fatigue, etc.
EverlyWell also offers a wide range of other at-home tests. Everything from a Vitamin D and Inflammation to Stress and Sleep to complete Men’s and Women’s health tests. All in all I feel like EverlyWell is an excellent resource for those looking to improve their health or take active steps on improving their overall wellbeing.
If you are interested in the Food Sensitivity Test, or any of the other useful tests offered, use JESSEN at checkout for 15% off your order.
Psst… Your voice matters
I never entered the medical field professionally, but my interest in health and wellness continues to be a big part of my life. While I am amazed and grateful for the advances of modern medicine, I am also a huge proponent of being your own health advocate. What does this mean? This means, educate yourself by doing your own research and don’t ever be afraid to ask questions. If your gut is telling you something, address it, talk with your healthcare provider AND if needed, change things up and find a healthcare provider that you trust!
I am sure healthcare providers are probably a little fed up with “Dr. Google” 😉 but on the flip side, they have patients who are vested in their own health and are hungry for information. I didn’t mention earlier in my story that several healthcare professionals offered medication to take care of my symptoms. That’s not exactly what I was looking for. Yes, I was looking for relief from my symptoms, but more so I was looking to find the root cause so that they WOULND’T happen to begin with. I pressed on, asking questions until I found a doctor who suggested the concept of the potential gut imbalance as a possible source of everything. From my perspective, a patient who enters the clinic knowing which questions to ask their doctor, will feel more informed and more confident in their discussion and their overall wellbeing. To me, that is more important than worrying about stepping on your doctors toes. But then again, I’m just a pesky patient who Googles too much 🙂
If you have read this in its entirety (I am sorry it’s so long) that means you are probably an individual invested in your own health. I LOVE that!
If you have done an elimination diet, or end up taking the Food Sensitivity Test and start an elimination diet, let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear your experiences.
Xo – J