Read on for my review of Everlywell at-home food sensitivity test, along with why I chose it, my results, and how it changed my diet!
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For a few months now, I’ve been experiencing some unexpected digestive discomfort and bloating and I couldn’t figure out exactly why. With my IBS history, these things come and go depending on my stress level, but it felt more acute and longer lasting than usual. I immediately suspected some kind of a food sensitivity, so after doing some research, I decided to try out an at-home food sensitivity test called Everlywell.
I wanted to choose a comprehensive at-home food sensitivity test that’s accurate, affordable, and provides detailed and easy to understand results. Everlywell checked all those boxes for me and I loved how quick their turnaround time is once you send in your sample.
Their test measures your body’s IgG immune response to 96 foods that are commonly found in western diets. Most traditional allergy tests measure just the IgE response, which only tests for an immediate response your body has to a food or a substance (typical allergy responses such as hives, swelling, difficulty breathing), missing out on subtle sensitivities your body may respond to long term.
This is why measuring the IgG response is much more accurate and comprehensive, since it can capture the less obvious and much delayed and long term reactions your body may have such as:
- headaches and migraines
- digestive issues
- autoimmune diseases
- skin conditions
- joint pain
What is the process?
The process is actually surprisingly simple. Once you order your test, the kit is mailed to you and you can take the test right away. The instructions inside are easy to follow, but if there’s any confusion, they direct you to their site where they have detailed video tutorials on how to take the test.
First step is to register your kit online so you can receive updates about your shipping and test results. Then, to take the test, you clean your hand with an alcohol swab, prick your finger with the lancet in the kit, and squeeze out the blood on the blood collection card. It took about 5-7 drops to fill up the required amount. If you can’t handle the sight of blood, you may want someone to help with this process.
After the blood drops have dried completely, all you have to do is send it back in the prepaid and pre-labeled envelope that’s in the kit. Then you just wait for your results! I was honestly surprised at how easy the entire process is. Everything you need to do the test is in the kit, from alcohol pad, bandaids, gauze pad, biohazard bag, and more.
What were my results?
I received an email and a text alert that my test results were ready, about 1 week after the date I mailed out the completed kit. The results break down the 96 most commonly consumed foods in the western diet into 4 categories: Very High Reactivity, Moderate Reactivity, Mild Reactivity, and Low Reactivity. I didn’t have any foods that were in the Very High Reactivity group, probably because I actually do not consume many allergens in my everyday diet.
Keep in mind that if you don’t consume a specific food (gluten and dairy, for me), it won’t reveal in this test that you have a sensitivity to that food, because the antibodies that react to that food in your body won’t be present. This is why neither gluten nor dairy came up as highly reactive food for me.
If you want to make sure you are reacting to a certain type of food and you want it to show up on this test, make sure to consume that food within the week before you take the test. I already know that I feel crappy eating gluten and dairy, so I didn’t feel the need to test those foods and kept it out of my diet leading up to the test. So it’s really up to you if you want to test those foods out or not.
Now, the heartbreaking part:
I found out that the food I was most sensitive to in my current diet is eggs. If you’ve been following for a while, you know I’m obsessed with eggs and I eat it almost everyday. Honestly, this didn’t surprise me too much because if you consume one type of food on an everyday basis, it’s likely that you will become sensitive to that food. I just didn’t want it to be true.
This is especially true for anyone with a compromised immune system, and honestly, that’s most of us today living in this modern world surrounded by toxins in our food, cleaning products, and environment. So I highly recommend adding a variety of food into your diet and rotating them so you don’t consume one food every single day.
Now, for the mild reactivity foods:
As you can see, gluten and dairy are in this category even though I know I’m highly sensitive to them, because I haven’t consumed these foods (intentionally) in months. Had I eaten these foods in the recent weeks, they would have showed up in the Very High Reactivity group.
For the foods in this category, I think I’ll be reducing the amount that I consume instead of eliminating them altogether. For example, I eat quite of bit of almonds in milk and butter form, but I can start substituting with coconut milk and sunflower seed butter. I also eat ALOT of green beans (basically my favorite veggie), so I’ll probably reduce the amount that I eat them to once every 2 weeks or so. I will, however, do a complete elimination of eggs for several weeks to build up my tolerance to them.
It’s important to note that just because you are reactive to a certain type of food, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t eat it for the rest of your life. It may take a few weeks, months, or even years, but once your gut heals enough after not being exposed to an offending food for a long time, you may be able to reintroduce it back into your diet with success.
Things you should know before taking the Everlywell Food Sensitivities Test
- Just because you aren’t experiencing digestive issues, doesn’t mean you do not have food sensitivities. Symptoms can vary from: headaches, joint pain, fatigue, and skin problems. If you are experiencing any of these, it’s a great idea to take this test to find out how you can reduce those symptoms.
- This is a blood sample test. You need to be comfortable with pricking your own finger then squeezing out the blood. Have someone help you if you have hard time seeing or dealing with blood in any way.
- If you suspect that you have a sensitivity to a food, but you still want to be sure that you are, you have to eat that food several times within the week leading up to taking the test in order for it to show up. Your body needs to create the antibodies to that food, or the results won’t indicate that you are reactive to that food.
- If the results come back showing that you are reactive to a food, the best course of action is to eliminate that food from your diet for several weeks.
Take the test yourself!
I hope this breakdown of my experience helped you. I’m honestly so glad that I took the test, because I would have never given up eggs on my own without being 100% sure that I was intolerant to them (I just love them TOO much!). It’s been several days without eggs and I actually feel less bloated than I have been for the past several months.
I also loved knowing about “Mild Reactivity” food items because I can start reducing those in my diet. If I keep eating those foods frequently without knowing, there’s a chance that I’ll become highly reactive to those foods as well. The test is such a great way to take control over your health, and it’s so empowering when you start feeling better with the choices you make in your diet.
Ready to take the test yourself?
CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE EVERLYWELL FOOD SENSITIVITY TEST!
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