EverlyWell Food Sensitivity Test Sponsored Review

**This post is sponsored by EverlyWell and Fit Approach. I received a complimentary test for food sensitivities, and additional compensation to write this informational post. This does not affect my following thoughts on the product.**

The testing world for food issues is endless and confusing. Before getting tested for celiac, I was tested for numerous food issues. Here’s a brief overview of what happened to me during my hunt for what I call “#omgwhatthehelliswrongwithme2009.”

  1. IgE test – these are the tests that can be done via BLOOD or SKIN PRICK (and oral food testing – read this “diagnosis and testing” article from FARE for more details). I was tested for all foods, especially the top 8 allergens (milk, eggs, wheat, soy, fish/shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts) via serology (blood). I was negative. When I was tested for IgE testing via skin prick test for environmental allergens, I was highly sensitive to several grasses and trees – but thankfully, not cats. It seems, again – thankfully, that I do not have any IgE reactions that I need to be careful of. However, I do have celiac disease – which is not a food allergy or a food sensitivity – it’s an autoimmune disease where food happens to be the trigger. So, I guess my luck only lasted so long.
  2. IgG tests – These are known as food sensitivity tests. These are NOT to be used as “food allergy” diets, or dear lord, I would have nothing left to eat. These are often used as a guide for food elimination. Too often do I hear people say that they have 40 food “allergies” and in reality, they actually have food sensitivities. So take an IgG test, check out what comes up the highest, remove from your diet, and introduce them back in, one at a time, and see if you feel any difference within a few days, and then add another food back in until you have successfully (or like me unsuccessfully) reintroduced it back into your diet. I was told bananas was super high for me. I took it out for 6 weeks (although this is a bit longer than most people do), and reintroduced it and nothing happened. I now happily eat bananas. Eggs and dairy are always high for me. Now, whenever I try to reintroduce those foods without an enzyme, I experience digestive distress, so I keep avoiding it. See how that works? Now please promise me that when you take an IgG test, you won’t tell people you have a food allergy if you don’t have a true food allergy, it really grinds my gears.

Here’s the difference, according to Mayo Clinic.

“A true food allergy causes an immune system reaction that affects numerous organs in the body. It can cause a range of symptoms. In some cases, an allergic reaction to a food can be severe or life-threatening. In contrast, food intolerance symptoms are generally less serious and often limited to digestive problems.

If you have a food intolerance, you may be able to eat small amounts of the offending food without trouble. You may also be able to prevent a reaction. For example, if you have lactose intolerance, you may be able to drink lactose-free milk or take lactase enzyme pills (Lactaid) to aid digestion.”
And here’s a snippet from AAAAI, the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology.
“A food allergic reaction involves the immune system. Your immune system controls how your body defends itself. For instance, if you have an allergy to cow’s milk, your immune system identifies cow’s milk as an invader or allergen. Your immune system overreacts by producing antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies travel to cells that release chemicals, causing an allergic reaction. Each type of IgE has a specific “radar” for each type of allergen. Unlike an intolerance to food, a food allergy can cause a serious or even life-threatening reaction by eating a microscopic amount, touching or inhaling the food. Symptoms of allergic reactions to foods are generally seen on the skin (hives, itchiness, swelling of the skin). Gastrointestinal symptoms may include vomiting and diarrhea. Respiratory symptoms may accompany skin and gastrointestinal symptoms, but don’t usually occur alone.”

So over the years, before and after I was diagnosed with celiac, I’ve done several food sensitivity tests. Each has been through different companies and have provided different results, including The Immuno 1 Bloodprint (which tested 154 foods) and US BioTek. There’s also the Alcat test, which you might be familiar with. For that, I had to go to the doctor and get several vials of blood drawn. It took a few weeks to get my test results back. Every time I took a food sensitivity test, it yielded different results.

When I was informed about this opportunity to review a sensitivity test that I haven’t done before, I wanted to jump on the chance. What makes EverlyWell unique is the method that they use to obtain your serology sample. EverlyWell is an at-home test kit. All I had to do was prick my finger (more on this later, proved a bit more difficult than expected), place the blood in a few little circles in the test kit (again, harder than I thought), and ship it back to the lab. Within 3-5 days of them receiving the sample, I would get my results – all online. I love that it gives people the option to test at home, without a doctor, on your own, and with quicker results that are easier to obtain. With a $199 price tag, I also think it’s cheaper than other tests I’ve taken (although Immuno 1 Bloodprint yielded more results from more foods – 154). Also, all of their laboratory partners are certified by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) and many have additional accreditations.

EverlyWell Food Sensitivity Testing

So here’s where it all went wrong. I’m chronically dehydrated. I blame most of that on gastroparesis. Because of this, whenever I get my blood drawn, I really have to hydrate for three days head of time, even with added electrolytes.  However, because I thought it was only a few drops of blood, perhaps I didn’t need to hydrate. I was wrong. I pricked my finger and waited for it to bleed. Nope. Then I followed the instructions on how to get blood out if I was having problems. I used my other finger as a tourniquet. Nope. I then used the second lancet for another finger. I barely filled the three mandatory circles and as you can see, it was not a pretty picture. My advice? Hydrate up before you do any blood test – even on that just requires three little circles. I mean, they only give you two lancets!

EverlyWell Food Sensitivity Testing
After that, I just had to place the sample into a pre-paid envelope and drop it off at a UPS location. I was impressed at how quickly my results came in, and how easy it was to view them as soon as I logged into the website. This is what you’ll see when you log in. You’ll notice right away at how this person has a really high reactivity to cabbage and mustard, but a low reactivity to something like soybean and squash. I was half expecting to see those really dark circles in my test when I logged on as well.

EverlyWell Test Example from FitApproach LLC

However, my EverlyWell food sensitivity test results weren’t really that interesting. I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing, really! It’s bad for the purpose of this post – as I wanted something really sexy to show you that I was sensitive to, however – it didn’t end up that way.

EverlyWell test results - Celiac and the Beast

There were no dark circles anywhere, and the only one that is a class two, moderate activity, is kelp. I’ve never had that show up on any tests before. Also, I’m not really sure if I’ve ever had kelp.

My class one offenders, the mild offenders, those that should be placed on the bottom of the list for food elimination testing were:

  • Cottage cheese
  • Cow’s milk
  • Blueberry
  • Cantalope
  • Coconut
  • Pineapple
  • Malt
  • Wheat
  • Lobster
  • Sole
  • Cinnamon
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Mushroom
  • Sweet Potato
  • White Potato
  • Soybeans
  • Almond
  • Bay leaf
  • Cashew
  • Mustard
  • Peanut
  • Safflower
  • Sesame
  • Sunflower
  • Black Walnut

What’s not showing up? Beef and dairy, which makes me sick. Bananas and soy, which always showed up before but don’t make me sick, and eggs – barf. Oh, and just plain-old-gluten (although malt and wheat are on here, but as a very low sensitivity). Now, I have been told by previous practitioners that if you remove something from your diet that it won’t show up as high in your next sensitivity test – so it would make sense that beef and the all-encompassing gluten, along with dairy, wouldn’t show up. But wouldn’t it be nice to see if I was still sensitive to them even if I wasn’t eating them? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this if you’ve been told otherwise about these tests – leave it in the comments!

So bottom line, what do I think? I think EverlyWell is a starting place if you’re looking at food sensitivity testing, especially if you do not have insurance, don’t have a doctor who can/will perform food sensitivity testing, or hate getting blood drawn or going to the doctor. It’s much easier to do this at home and find a UPS place to ship the test back than going to the doctor to get an Alcat test done, or any of the other options.

I also like that EverlyWell doesn’t just do food sensitivity testing. There’s thyroid testing, heavy metals testing, and inflammatory marker testing (which I always have to get done pretty consistently now that my triglycerides are out of control and swinging from high to low). I’d love to try these other tests and see what they show on the results.

EverlyWell Food Sensitivity Testing

I’m excited that I got to try another food sensitivity testing approach. Weigh your options and see if EverlyWell is right for you, or another food testing process (or just a food elimination diet) is a better choice. I like that there’s an at-home option that is so easy, even I can do it!

**This post is sponsored by EverlyWell and Fit Approach. I received a complimentary test for food sensitivities, and additional compensation to write this informational post. This does not affect my following thoughts on the product.**

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Comments: 2

  1. Julie October 20, 2016 at 12:55 am Reply

    I just did this test. Like you, I have gastroparesis. I had not considered that might be a factor in getting blood. I am diabetic and always prick my fingers but the amount of blood needed for this test was insane! No way were those two lancing devices enough for me. I had to use my own lancing device dozens of times and a ponytail holder as well to help squeeze the blood out. My fingers are still sort and bruised.

    I got my test results earlier. I got some 1’s. Oddly those included wheat, gluten and yeasts. I do not think any of these are a problem for me. My daughter used to have intolerances to wheat and gluten. Not celiac but as far as diet was concerned, it might as well have been. We took great lengths such as replacing the toaster and insisting that if my husband was going to eat a sandwich or pizza containing wheat that he do it outside the house or if he had to have them here, only in the living room. We all ate gluten free at home and I also did when we went out to eat. Mostly if my husband had gluten, it was in a restaurant. Going gluten free did not help me! But giving up eggs and dairy did.

    I was told though to get retested every three years as food intolerances can change. Mine certainly did. I just seemed to keep getting more and more of them while my daughter’s eventually totally went away.

    So… I couldn’t believe my eyes when the highest number I saw on this test was a 1 and according to them, 1’s and 0’s should be no problem. Tuna is a 1 for me. Tuna gives me horrible stomach pains now. It didn’t used to. Turkey does the same. Turkey showed as a 0.

    So all in all, I feel like I wasted my time and money on this test. It did show eggs as a 1 and dairy as 0. I just ate cheese, Then I ate more cheese. So far, no tummy trouble but… Past experience has taught me that when a test shows no dairy problems, I can’t keep on eating it or the problem will come back. It’s all so frustrating,.

  2. Felicia December 22, 2016 at 6:28 pm Reply

    I just got my results back today. Frankly, I was somewhat surprised. But after reading your experience, some of it makes sense. I have severe food allergies; anaphylactic to many things. I found it interesting that there was only one Class 2 reaction and it was to clams, something that I never eat. There were 12 Class 1 reactions. Out of those, seven cause me problems, including anaphylaxis. What is so interesting is that in the upper end of Class 0, there are 23 items that either cause anaphylaxis or oral allergy syndrome. After reading your post, I remembered that my doctor also told me that blood work will not show any response if it tests for foods that I have eliminated from my diet. Interestingly enough, those 23 things still showed up but with very low reactivity. On another note, I was like Julie, having to use 12 lancets of my own and ended up with bruised fingers. It would benefit others to know to have warm hands before starting this test.

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