Learn about Everlywell’s Food Sensitivity Test Kit. This review will walk you through why I decided to take the test, my experience with the testing procedure, as well as the results.
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Everlywell is a company that provides at-home testing for a variety of different issues, including 2 kits for food sensitivities. I have long suspected that I have sensitivity to some foods and decided that it was time to finally take a test.
I was diagnosed with PCOS about 9 years ago and have insulin resistance related to that. I’m supposed to limit carbohydrates, especially sugar. I also suspect that I have a thyroid condition, but have not been tested for that in many, many years.
The symptoms that I have that make me feel that I have food sensitivities are:
- Bloating: when I am not eliminating and foods, I will wake up feeling good and by the end of the day, I feel like I am twice my size and very uncomfortable.
- Stomach Growling: this has become a joke between my husband and I. As soon as I lay down for bed, it starts and it’s non-stop until I fall asleep. Obviously at some point it does stop, but I have no idea how long it actually go on for.
- Decrease in Symptoms When Eliminating Some Foods: whenever I follow a strict low-carb diet and eliminate or greatly reduce foods with higher carbohydrates, my symptoms decrease drastically.
- Age: I keep reading that as we age, our sensitivity to foods can increase.
The foods that I suspect I might be sensitive to are:
- Gluten: whenever I eliminate or greatly reduce foods that have gluten in them, I see a very rapid decrease in bloating and muscle soreness.
- Dairy: I have heard that dairy can cause a lot of inflammation. I tend to have a generalized muscle soreness that I suspect is all related to inflammation because it is reduced when I eliminate gluten and dairy. I also notice that I lose weight easier when I’m avoiding dairy. This is super hard for me though as I love cheese and use heavy cream quite often.
- Apples: I get an upset stomach when I eat some apples raw.
- Cauliflower: After avoiding gluten and dairy for a week or so, I had an upset stomach after eating cauliflower. I’m really hoping it was something else because I absolutely love cauliflower and eat it all the time. I have not noticed these symptoms before.
Everlywell Food Sensitivity Testing Kits
Everlywell has 2 different food sensitivity kits. The first one checks for sensitivity to 96 different foods and the second one checks for 204 different foods.
To see a comparison between the two and the foods tested for, you can visit the sales page for the regular kit. Click the link next to the star icon in the description that says “Test a larger variety of foods.” A pop up with appear with a side-by-side comparison.
I chose the regular kit for a couple of reasons.
- The foods that I suspected that I might be sensitive to are all included in the regular test.
- The majority of the additional foods listed in the comprehensive test are not foods that I have suspected any issues with.
- Many of the foods listed I don’t eat or don’t eat regularly enough to be overly concerned even if I am sensitive.
If I still have issues even after making changes based on my current results, it may be worthwhile to go back and re-test with the more comprehensive test, but I do not plan to at this time.
Price and Purchasing
I purchased my Everlywell Food Sensitivity Test from Amazon. The price was the same as it was on the Everlywell website even with their current discount and the shipping was free.
I chose this option because Amazon shipping is far more reliable and faster in my area than any other form of shipping that Everlywell might use.
I contemplated purchasing this test for a couple of months before I actually bought it. Anytime I went to their website, they had some sort of discount. All of their tests were 35% off when I purchased.
The regular price for the Everlywell Food Sensitivity Test is $159.00. With the discount, I paid $111.30. Again, this is the test that checks for sensitivity to 96 different foods. The regular price for the comprehensive test that checks 204 foods is $259.00.
Taking the test was easy, for the most part.
Everything is packaged and labeled very well.
First, you register your kit and unique test number online. It takes just a couple of minutes and you only need to give your first and last name, address, date of birth and sex assigned at birth. Then, fill in the information on the test card.
After that, you can watch the video on how to prepare to take the test. Basically it goes over some things that you can do to increase blood flow.
Because I sometimes had issues getting enough blood for simple gestational diabetes tests when I was pregnant, I did all of the things the video recommended. I drank fluids, washed my hands in hot water, jumped around, and then shook my hands at my sides.
I used the ring finger on my left hand and pierced the skin off to the side like the video showed.
Using the lancet was super easy, but it was also very painful. I’m not sure if I hit something, but the entire side of the tip of my finger bruised almost immediately and I bled everywhere.
I had no issues getting blood into the circles on the card (and then some) with just one prick.
After obtaining the sample, you let the card dry then package it as directed, place it in the provided envelope and attach the provided postage label.
Simply place your package in the mail and you’re all set.
I mailed my test back on June 1, 2021, due to having no mail service because of the holiday weekend. I received a message from Everlywell on Friday, June 4, 2021 that they were working on my test and to expect results within 5-7 business days.
On Sunday, June 6, 2021, I received another message that my results were ready.
Food sensitivity can fall into 3 different categories: normal, mild, moderate or high. Everlywell also gives you the reaction score for every food tested, even if it falls within the normal range.
Normal reactivity scores range from 0-17, mild is 18-58, moderate is 59-116 and high is 117 and up.
Everlywell provides some information on what the food is, other names it may go by, and where it might be found.
80 of the 96 foods tested came back normal for me, with a couple being close to mild.
Cantaloupe (15), carrot (17), salmon (14), tuna (17) and yogurt (16) were the highest scores. The only food to score a 0 for me was cocoa.
14 came back in the mild range. Those are:
- Asparagus (29)
- Bell Pepper (34)
- Chicken (32)
- Cow’s Milk (52)
- Egg Yolk (20)
- Eggplant (23)
- Garlic (27)
- Pineapple (19)
- Rye (23)
- Soybean (22)
- Turkey (29)
- Wheat (25)
- White Potato (24)
- Winter Squash (19)
These results were pretty surprising. Most are on the low to mid range for a mild reaction. I suspected that I would have some reaction to dairy, but was surprised that cheeses are on my normal list but milk is creeping up on moderate.
I don’t drink dairy milk but do use it in recipes and it’s also an ingredient in many other foods. The first food I would eliminate from this list to see how I feel would be milk.
Of these foods, I don’t eat eggplant and likely only eat rye if it’s an ingredient in something else. I limit white potato already due to the high carb count and don’t eat asparagus or pineapple often.
The most upsetting foods on this list are chicken, turkey, garlic, wheat, and winter squash as I eat all of these food regularly. It’s unlikely that I would eliminate any of these entirely at this point.
It is also really interesting to note that I am not sensitive to gluten. It was on my normal list with a score of only 6. There is a note that says that if you are sensitive to wheat, but not gluten, that there is another protein in wheat that is causing the reaction.
Another protein in wheat is albumin, also found in eggs. Below, you will see that egg white has my highest reaction. It’s also found in milk, chicken, and turkey which I also have mild reactions to, among other foods that I didn’t react much to like beef and pork.
2 foods came back in the moderate range. Those are:
- Egg White (96)
- Kelp (67)
Again, this is really surprising. I had no idea I was reacting to eggs and egg whites is my highest scoring food and egg yolks also fall into my mild list.
I definitely go through periods where I eat a lot of eggs and suspect that if I eliminated or greatly reduced my intake of eggs that I might see some changes with how I feel. My youngest son is allergic to eggs, so I am already really familiar with how to avoid them.
The kelp is also surprising, but I don’t think I consume enough that it would have made a noticeable difference in my day to day life.
It can be found in some places that you might not expect though, like salad dressing, pudding, cake, some dairy products, frozen food, and supplements. Sushi, some seaweed, and other Asian dishes also contain kelp.
I can’t find a clear answer as to whether or not I should avoid carrageenan, as well. It’s a derivative of red seaweed that is added to many different foods as a thickener.
It’s also very interesting that I have come across a couple articles stating to avoid kelp if you have thyroid issues. I have suspected that I have a thyroid issue for quite some time now, so that’s even more reason to avoid kelp until I find out for sure. The next Everlywell test that I plan to do is the thyroid test.
I had no scores in the high reactivity category.
Personally, I feel that taking a food sensitivity test, like this one from Everlywell, is a good idea if you get any kind of GI symptoms that you think could possibly be coming from your diet.
It’s not uncommon to develop more food sensitivity issues as we age and doing a temporary elimination diets to try to pinpoint the source of discomfort is much easier with a good starting point like this test gives you.
I never would have suspected eggs could be contributing to my issues. I was able to determine that wheat was causing my problems because I eliminate it when watching my carbohydrate intake and see almost immediate results – especially a huge decrease in bloating and overall discomfort. However, I thought for sure it was because of the gluten and now I know that’s not the case.
I can now eliminate eggs and see if I get even better results, followed by milk products.
It is important to note that not all sensitivities cause symptoms, even foods you may be highly sensitive to. On the opposite end of that spectrum, a food that you may be only mildly sensitive to can cause symptoms. This is why an elimination diet is recommended for foods that may be causing your issues.
You can read more here about how to do an elimination diet.
Where To Buy
I would absolutely recommend Everlywell’s Food Sensitivity Test – just be careful with the lancets!
You can purchase tests on the Everlywell website. They are also sold through Everlywell on Amazon for the same price, even when on sale. I purchased mine through Amazon the shipping was free, came the next day, and is always more reliable than any other mail service provider in my area.