Disclaimer: This customer received an Everlywell gift card for the time and effort they spent sharing their testimonial with us. Their quotes have not been altered except for grammar and medical accuracy.
Patty has dealt with stomach issues her whole life. Bloating, stomach pains and general discomfort are just a few symptoms she says she often experienced after eating certain meals. After seeing multiple specialists, trying different recommended diets, and still not feeling her best, she felt like there was a missing puzzle piece to uncovering what was causing her unwanted symptoms. So, she took the actions into her own hands and embarked on a journey to determine which foods may be connected to her unwanted symptoms with the Everlywell Food Sensitivity Test—and her results brought her the clarity she needed to start making changes to her diet.
Read below to learn how Patty used her test results and a two-part elimination diet to start feeling better as soon as a few days after eliminating food suspects from her diet.
What inspired you to take a Food Sensitivity Test? I dealt with a bunch of stomach issues my whole life and just wanted to have a more tangible piece that I could look at and get more individualized information on my personal health. I wanted to know what options were out there as far as testing goes.
I was really surprised with how thorough the website was and the wonderful feedback that I had seen [about Everlywell] on social media sites. So, I went ahead and I was like, ‘let's do this.’
What symptoms did you frequently experience after eating before you took the Food Sensitivity Test? I've had IBS since I was in high school, so we're talking about at least 15 years back, and I've noticed certain foods would aggravate it. I've seen a bunch of doctors, and they were like, "Hey, eat this, don't eat this, try the FODMAPS diet, try that diet...". So I was eating what I was told to eat or what should have been making me feel better, and I wasn't feeling better.
A perfect example for me is always dairy. I cut out dairy and was having almond milk [instead], and I still felt awful. I had really bad bloating. My stomach was just in pain. I felt so uncomfortable. This substitution, the almond milk, should have been like my happy place, and I should have been feeling better, but yet, I wasn't.
What was the process of collecting your own sample like for you? I loved how easy everything was. I love all the little details and how everything is done in such a simple and easy way to follow. And there are also videos along the way. So if you are freaking out about the finger prick, going online and seeing that process was also really helpful. It’s not as bad as you think it is—it's really just a little prick. I think it took me maybe five minutes to do the test, if that. It was so fast and totally worth it.
What did you learn from your Food Sensitivity Test results? When I got back my results, I was first really excited but also kind of nervous to see what would come out. And when I saw that the first thing on my list for my high [reactivities] was almonds, it was just that kind of aha-moment. Because I was noticing these [reactivities] with almond milk. And to see that almond was one of those things was definitely that little switch that went off.
I already didn't eat a lot of gluten, but sure, as a regular human I let myself slip every once in a while for a slice of pizza, and that's okay. But then, when I started to reflect on [the results], things like casein, cheese, gluten and wheat, I had [reactivities] to them. That one slice of pizza sounded like a great idea at the time, but in retrospect, those were the moments when I felt absolutely awful. And seeing it on paper was really eye-opening. It really makes you think twice about the choices that you're making when it comes to food.
What questions did you have when reviewing your results, and how did you get them answered? I think one of the most important things I did was make a list of all the questions that I had prior to attending the [Food Sensitivity Test] webinar. I made my list of questions, sat with it, and really started to think about how these things were going to affect my meals, how they were going to affect my life and just how I could go about making sure that I had all the knowledge I needed.
I was surprised by how many of the questions were actually answered before I even asked them. The webinar was really thorough. Some of the people on the call also had the same questions, which it was nice to see that I wasn't alone in that process. And then once that was completed, I also got another email from Everlywell saying, "Hey, if you have any questions, please let us know," which was nice because then I felt completely supported throughout the whole process.
What was your approach to the two-part elimination diet? One of the things that were said during the webinar that helped me a lot was, ‘if it's too overwhelming, don't do it all at once.’ And it totally makes sense. Because the last thing you want is for food, and understanding your body to be an overwhelming process.
So, I didn't do it all at once. I definitely started with the high [reactivities]—so anything that was in red was off the list automatically. So I did that for about a week, and then I incorporated the next color and then the next, so I did it like a three-part process. And then, from that point, I started to incorporate some of those foods back and see how that felt. It made it easier and more manageable.
What advice would you give someone thinking about taking a Food Sensitivity Test? I think the biggest thing is being willing to take the step, make the leap, and go for it. Be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself along the way. We don't come here with a manual. Nobody tells you what you should eat or how it's going to affect your body. So really get in tune with yourself, listen to your body, and see what comes out of that. Don't give up.
After 15 years of stomach troubles and testing out different diets, Patty has been able to eliminate tens of foods from her diet that were causing her uncomfortable symptoms. When asked how she feels these days, she said, “I actually feel really well. I am surprised with how well my stomach is doing because I'm so used to my stomach not being okay. It's really nice to know that I can almost function like a regular human being and not have to worry about my stomach always being bloated.”
In addition to keeping up with her newly found food sensitivity-friendly diet, Patty plans to continue to use at-home lab testing to stay on top of her health and wellness.
Recently took a Food Sensitivity Test and are having trouble planning your two-part elimination diet? Don’t worry; you’re not alone—removing certain foods from your diet, even temporarily, is not always as easy as it seems. In fact, during the elimination phase, you may find yourself cutting out some of your most frequently consumed foods, however, with a little experimentation, you can find easy substitution foods and even some new favorites!