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Pinnertest sent me one of their food intolerances tests for free to try out and review, and I just got my test results! In this post, I'm going to
- talk about my experience and if I recommend a test like this,
- discuss food allergies vs. food intolerances,
- and *drumroll* reveal the results!
Elimination diets (a la Whole30) have been key part of my personal journey to pinpoint specific food sensitives, but until now I've never been tested for intolerances.
Needless to say, I was definitely intrigued to compare the results to my own self-discoveries!
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My Pinnertest food intolerance test Experience
I think one of the biggest appeals about this food intolerance test is the convenience.
The Pinnertest kit is mailed to you, you can do it from the comfort of your own home, you mail the kit back with a prepaid envelope, and your results are emailed to you in 7-10 business days.
Super simple, super easy.
The test kit comes with everything you need to test yourself: a pamphlet with instructions, a liability waiver you must sign, a sanitizing towelette, two lancets (it should just take one, but an extra doesn't hurt "just in case"), a bandage, and a little pad to collect the sample.
The whole process is virtually pain-free. First, you sanitize the finger of your choice with the towelette. To collect the blood sample you simply prick your finger with the lancet (it took two tries for me, because the first lancet I tried didn't work properly), and apply a few blood drops to the pad intended to collect the sample.
For those of you squeamish about needles and blood - this process didn't hurt at all. It was totally painless.
Once done, I bandaged up my finger, sealed up the kit, and popped the test sample into the prepaid envelope to be mailed out the next day.
If you're more of a visual person, you can check out a video tutorial here.
How does it work?
"Pinnertest...employs advanced microarray biotechnology that thoroughly measures IgG antibody levels against the proteins of 200 foods. This progressive technique, the most accurate of its kind, can tell the difference between temporary and permanent food intolerances to identify the exact foods that your system is sensitive towards – all with just a few drops of blood dispensed by a basic finger prick."
For as simple and convenient the process is, it doesn't come without questions.
Is an at-home test just as accurate as one conducted by a medical or lab professional? What is the risk of contaminating and compromising the blood sample when pricking your own finger? Is a cotton pad encased in a card stock envelope a secure and effective enough method to to deliver a blood sample for testing? With the food intolerance test itself, what is the risk of error?
These are all questions I don't necessarily have the answers to, but I think are important to consider when weighing the impact of the results of this kind of testing.
Food Allergies Vs. Food Intolerances
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.
The Pinnertest evaluates only food intolerances - to determine food allergies, I recommend working with a licensed professional to help you determine what foods you may be allergic to.
However, for many people, there is a lot of value in pinpointing food intolerances because (although the symptoms of an intolerance are less than severe than an allergy) these intolerances can cause a lot of discomfort that can significantly impact your value of life.
Food allergy symptoms typically show up almost immediately. Food intolerance symptoms are more slow-building, and the negative symptoms are usually rooted in inflammation.
Some of the common symptoms of a food intolerance include:
- brain fog
- mood swings
- unexplained weight gain
With food sensitivities, the delay between the consumption of a problem food and the first signs of negative symptoms often results in a misdiagnosis.
My Pinnertest Food intolerance Test Results
And now, for the moment you've all been waiting for...my Pinnertest food intolerance test results!
Food intolerances are graded on a 3-degree scale. If there is a food intolerance detected, it will receive a rating to determine how much of a reaction there is (1 = low reaction, 2= moderate reaction, 3 =high reaction).
Drumroll, please... 🥁
Out of the long list of foods, my test results came back with three food intolerances:
- Corn (+3 degree = high reaction)
- Soybean (+2 degree = moderate reaction)
- Cow's Milk (+2 degree = moderate reaction)
It's very interesting to me to see how my test results were very similar to what I have determined myself by implementing elimination diets and reintroducing foods!
I've known I've been sensitive to cow dairy since I was a child (it never sat well with me). I identified my sensitivity to soy when reintroducing legumes after my first Whole30 challenge (my gut wasn't very happy, I got a really bad migraine, and all of my joints where achy). When it comes to the grain department, I have never pinpointed corn specifically as a point of concern. I don't integrate very many grains in my diet (they tend to make me feel sluggish and I've noticed how they effect my focus), but I will definitely pay attention more to corn specifically moving forward.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
At the end of the day, I think this is the most important takeaway. As a Certified Integrative Health Coach, would I recommend this test to you or my clients? I think my answer would be different, case-by-case.
If you suspect food sensitivities or intolerances, I see a lot of value in doing an elimination diet and reintroducing foods to see how your body reacts. I think this process is a powerful way for you to tune in to what your body is trying to tell you. It can be a very integrative approach - I find that clients how do elimination diets not only find what foods they need to remove from their diet, but also discover physical, spiritual, and emotional baggage that they need to remove and start exploring more positive, fulfilling alternatives instead.
If you are fairly certain you have a strong food intolerance, need answers ASAP, and have the budget for it, conducting a food intolerance test can be an effective way of determining those answers efficiently and implementing changes.
What are your thoughts about food intolerance testing? Have you been tested for allergies, sensitivities, or intolerances before? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!
MEET HAPPY HEALTHY JOE
I am a Certified Integrative Health Coach and essential oil educator based out of Los Angeles and Salt Lake City! As a Health Coach, I combine nutrition, positive psychology, and science-backed self-care for all-natural mood support.
When not coaching clients, I work as a content creator and branding strategist. I love to collaborate and am available for sponsored posts. Please shoot me an email (email@example.com) with an idea or just to say hi!