How to Read Your Results – EverlyWell Food Sensitivity Test: A Step-by-Step Guide
The purpose of this post is to show you how to read the results of EverlyWell's Food Sensitivity Test.
And more importantly, what to do about it.
If you want to see how to take the test and learn more about EverlyWell, read this article first:
>> How to Use the EverlyWell Food Sensitivity Test
About two weeks after shipping back my blood sample, I got this email from EverlyWell, notifying me that my results were ready to be viewed (see image below).
They also kept me up to date during the entire process, from the time they received my package to when the lab had finished the test.
To see your Food Sensitivity Test results, click on "View Your Results" and create an account on EverlyWell's website as prompted.
Once you're logged in, look for the link that says "Food Sensitivity Test" and click on it.
On the next screen, you'll be able to see which foods you are reactive to.
You'll also see a Reactivity Scale that explains what each class of reactivity means.
Each of the 96 foods tested are categorized into one of four classes:
* Class 0 (Low Reactivity) - This means your body has virtually no response to the food.
* Class 1 (Mild Reactivity) - You might notice some fatigue or stomach discomfort after eating this food. Your body has a mild immune response to eating this food.
* Class 2 (Moderate Reactivity) - This isn't a dramatic reaction, but your body does have trouble digesting and processing this food. After eating this food, you may notice fatigue, headaches, indigestion, or slight mood fluctuations.
* Class 3 (High Reactivity) - This means your body is having an extremely exaggerated response to this food. In addition to the potential symptoms I mentioned from Class 2 — you could have skin irritation, nausea, signs of inflammation like joint pain, and severe digestive discomfort. In extreme cases, you may become ill with flu-like symptoms.
Here's the tricky part to remember about Class 2 and 3:
responses to foods are often not immediate.
You could feel fine for 1 or 2 days after eating the food, then on day 3 get all of these symptoms.
This makes it tough to figure out which foods are causing a reaction. That's another great reason to use this test instead of relying ONLY on your food instincts.
I won't bore you with all 96 food results.
But I do want to talk about the foods I found to be most reactive, and what I learned from that.
No foods tested were in the Moderate or High Reactivity categories.
But several were in the Mild (Class 1) category.
These foods aren't likely to make me ill, but they very likely DO drag me down. Lowering my energy levels, causing mood fluctuations, and leading to those days when I just feel "off."
From time to time, I get indigestion or experience unexplained fluctuations in my energy levels.
These foods are likely a trigger for those fluctuations.
Now here's the interesting part about my results...
The images below show 22 foods that fall into the Mildly Reactive category.
19 out of the 22 are foods I eat almost everyday.
Many are my favorite foods.
Staples in my diet.
Not good news...
The only foods that I don't eat daily on this list are cow's milk, peanuts, wheat products, oats, tuna, and bran. I consume these (usually as an added ingredient) in some kind of junk food or splurge meal a few times per week.
I consume the other foods highlighted virtually every day in food or supplement form.
So should I immediately eliminate all of these foods from my diet and never turn back?
Nah, not willing to do that (especially with coffee..).
Here's what I did — and what you can do — to eliminate the "bad reaction" foods without unnecessary sacrifice.
How to Eliminate Food Sensitivites from Your Diet (A Smart Approach)
1. Eliminate all foods in Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 for one week.
Full disclosure: I did NOT eliminate coffee from my diet, but did eliminate all others.
2. Add foods back into your diet ONE at a time. Wait at least 4 days before introducing a new food.
Start with the most common food sensitivities: eggs, wheat, dairy, nuts and soy (any of these that are applicable from your test results)
Use a notebook or planner like the SaltWrap Daily Fitness Planner to track your food intake.
No need to eat them at every meal. Just eat the food at least once per day during the 4 day period you are testing it.
3. Jot down notes about how you felt and any reactions you had from eating each food group.
Here are some categories to monitor: overall energy, digestive health, mood, mental alertness, sleep patterns.
4. Focus on the big stuff.
Eggs, wheat, dairy, nuts and soy are much more likely to cause bad reactions than fruits and vegetables. For that reason, don't feel obligated to militantly test your tolerance to each piece of produce that you have a Class 1 reaction to.
5. Take the test!
No need to guess. Everlywell's Food Sensitivity Test will tell you exactly which foods are dragging you down. Get yours here.
Lessons Learned: How to Address Food Sensitivities
1) Listen to your body.
If a food seems to drain your energy, give you headaches, nasal congestion, stomach discomfort etc... your body probably doesn't react well to it.
2) Use a food journal.
You might not remember what you ate 3 days ago that COULD be related to how junky you feel. Use a food log to track what foods you eliminate and add. We happen to offer a great option - the SaltWrap Daily Fitness Planner. Check it out here.
3) Don't overreact.
Use my recommended process above for eliminating the most harmful foods, but don't stress yourself out or react too quickly. A little patience, and a little scientific method, can go a long way.
That being said --- most "junk" food contains dairy and wheat and other common food sensitivites. Try to avoid these, but don't worry if you splurge every now and then. As long as it's not consistently dragging down your energy and quality of life, feel free to splurge every now and then.
4) Take the test!
No need to guess. EverlyWell will show you exactly which foods (if any) are dragging you down and causing an unhealthy immune response. Get your test shipped to your doorstep today by clicking the link below.
Director of R&D, SaltWrap