..."and our blood test confirmed you are NOT the father!!!"
[Excuse my while I die laughing at my dorky self - bahaha]
Sorry, guys. Had to. I'm good now.
Now where were we? Oh yeah.
So the time has come my friends...to finally share the results of my Pinnertest Food Intolerance test. Yaaaay!
If you're confused as to what I'm talking about, let's me break it down for ya. I have struggled with gas/bloating/fatigue/low energy levels for YEARS now. I'm talking half my lifetime, at least. When I started changing my eating habits back in 2014, I cut out gluten and then dairy. Within two weeks, I noticed DRASTIC improvements in my energy levels, bloating, and other digestive issues. Since I've had my second baby, I've been seeing a return in some of those symptoms, but I've been unable to pinpoint what foods are actually causing the trouble now. Hence why I took the Pinnertest.
I took the test back in the beginning of December, but haven't posted the results sooner because I wanted to give myself time to eliminate the foods that were listed as intolerances for me and see what happens. I mean, what good is taking an intolerance test if you don't do something about the foods that are bugging your body. Amiright? And I wanted to give you guys the best review of the product/process possible so you can decide if it's something you should do, too.
First, let me explain what this test actually is used for:
- When we are intolerant to foods, our bodies basically don't produce the necessary enzymes needed to break down and digest these foods. This means they sit in our guts and start to ferment (gross). This leads to gas, bloating, abdominal pain, weight gain, and inflammation throughout the body. To read more about what actually happens when you're intolerant to foods here.
- Keep in mind that food intolerances are different than food allergies. Intolerances occur when your body lacks the enzymes to digest the food properly, leading to those unpleasant symptoms. This reaction is usually not immediate, but seen over a period of time. Allergies occur when your body recognizes foods as "foreign" and starts trying to fight against it. This reaction is immediate (such as swelling of the mouth, throat, hives, etc.) and can be life-threatening. **Pinnertest does NOT diagnose food allergies, so if you feel that you or a loved one has a true allergy, please see a physician!
Ok, now let's talk about the collection process:
- After ordering, you'll receive your test within 2 business days. (If you're impatient like me, that's a major plus - haha!) When you first open your product (in it's cute little box), you'll notice you have the collection kit (alcohol swab, lancet for pricking your finger, collection pad, and bandaid), consent, pre-paid return envelope, and instructions. That's IT. It's not filled with a bunch of complicated stuff. Lay everything out before you get started to make sure you have all of the necessary pieces.
- Next, you follow the super simple instructions they give you to collect your blood. All they need is a a few DROPS of blood, y'all, so don't let this part deter you from taking the test! I am a nurse, but I'm actually a baby when it comes to pricking my finger, and I swear this didn't hurt. Promise.
- Once you've collected your sample, you sign the consent (stating this is your blood and you give permission for the test to be performed), stick the collection pad in the envelope, and pop it into the mail. Easy peasy!
And lastly, let's talk about getting your results:
- Pinnertest will send you an email when they have received your blood sample and began testing. The testing usually takes between 7-10 business days (not including holidays). My testing was actually done around Christmas, so my results were delayed by, like, two days. No biggie.
- Your results will come in an email and are very easy to read. There are two columns--red (intolerant) and green (not intolerant). If the food is listed under the red column, your body has shown a negative reaction to it, and it's recommended that you avoid eating it. If it's listed under the green column, your body didn't show a reaction to it, and you should be free to continue eating it.
- There are little numbers next to the foods you're intolerant to (1-3). This indicates the reaction level noted by your body; 1 = low reaction, 2 = moderate, 3 = high. Obviously, if you have a moderate to high reaction to a food, it's a given to say you should avoid it. But even if you have a "1" reaction, Pinnertest suggests that you avoid eating it in order to allow the inflammation in your body to heal. Better safe than sorry! **By the way, Pinnertest includes all of this information with the test results, so you can refer back to them at any time if you're unsure what it means.
I'm sure you're like "okay, okay. But what did your results SAY?!"
Here ya go:
I am moderately intolerant (2+) to COW'S MILK (no offense, but DUH - I bloat up like a toad frog and can't poop for a week after I eat dairy!) and SOYBEANS (didn't expect that one!). That's it - that's all I'm technically "intolerant" of!
I know what those of you who have been following for a while are thinking: What?? No gluten intolerance?! Then why the gluten-free diet??
I actually did not show a true reaction to gluten/wheat products (or bell peppers/onions), which totally surprised me. When I contacted the company about this, they said that although some people don't show an intolerance on the test, that doesn't mean that their bodies don't just have a hard time digesting a certain food.
I also shared my results with one of the Gastroenterologists I work with, and he explained it like this: sometimes people cut certain foods out of their diet (such as gluten, in my case) thinking that's the issue and feel better doing so. However, it may not actually be that particular food that was causing the issue, but perhaps something else that was in WITH that food that was causing the reaction. Many gluten-containing products also contain some form of soy, which I have shown to be intolerant to. So, in theory (listen to me getting all technical-schmetical - haha), I could actually have noticed an improvement in my symptoms from the lack of SOY and not the lack of GLUTEN/WHEAT. Wow. Mind. Blown.
When I stop and think about it, that makes a lot of sense. I have been noticing more symptoms lately, even though I eat a gluten-free diet. When I went back and started looking at the foods I eat on a regular basis, MANY of them contained some form of soy products (lecithin, soybean oil, etc.). I never even thought about that being the issue! With that said, I will still likely stick to a gluten-free diet, but only because I just feel better when I do. But I won't feel the need to be a stickler about it and not have some good, wholesomely-made bread or pasta from time to time.
So, the next question is: what do you DO with this information? Like I said before, Pinnertest recommends that you eliminate those foods that you body had a reaction to. The BEST way to do this (in my opinion and through personal experience) is to just cut them out cold turkey. Don't try to "wean" yourself off a certain food, because if your body is truly intolerant to it, then ANY amount is going to cause a reaction/inflammation. Just be very mindful of what ingredients are in the foods you're eating, avoid those that you're intolerant to (to the best of your ability), and give it some time. Most people start to see some improvement of symptoms within a few weeks.
In my case, I have eliminated soybeans for the last 2.5 weeks (and I already avoid dairy products). It's taken me longer at the grocery store since I have to pay even closer attention to foods I usually buy, but it's worth it to get my body back to normal! Since doing this, I HAVE noticed a difference in bloating, digestive issues, and fatigue. I feel more energized and not as "foggy". Hollaaaaa!
Now comes the most IMPORTANT question: would I recommend you spend your money on this test??
YES. Hands down, 100%, yes. I feel that it is SO important to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. This includes nurturing it with wholesome/real foods, staying active, getting enough rest, and paying attention when it appears that something is causing your body distress. Not to mention, when you are in-tune with your body and know how good you feel on a regular basis, it's easier to pinpoint the times when sometimes is seriously wrong (such as autoimmune disorders, blood disorders, or cancers). So, yes, I believe this test is something everyone with digestive/fatigue issues should consider taking for themselves!
Now, because I LOVE YOU GUYS...I got you a discoooount coooode! Oot oot! If you go here and use the code FITNCLEANMAMA, you'll get $60 off your test. There's no expiration date and you can order multiple tests at once and receive the discount on every. single. test. #SCORE
As an gastrointestinal nurse, fitness professional, and FRIEND, I sincerely hope this test benefits you guys as much as it has me. Happy testing, you guys, and cheers to healthy guts! :)