My Helix Food Sensitivity+ Test Results
I’ve had a TON of interest and questions about my Food Sensitivity testing since I posted about receiving my review kit from Helix. If you’d like to read more about my experience using the kit to test my saliva + blood for 96 food allergens, you can head here. Otherwise, I’ll catch you up. Basically, a company called Helix sent me their DNA test and DNA-powered EverlyWell Food Sensitivity+ kit. Together, they’re designed test for elevated levels of immune antibodies in my blood, plus measure my genetic predisposition to metabolize and absorb foods and vitamins. The Food Sensitivity+ needs just a few drops of blood (plus some saliva for the DNA part of the test) and it can test for reactivity to 96 foods (like gluten, wheat and dairy) as well as genetic influences on lactose intolerance, caffeine, vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, and magnesium. That’s AMAZING! And way more info than I get from my doctor in a single visit, too.
And guess what?! I just got my results back! I’m so excited to share them with you guys, and frankly was just so excited to have some clarity on why I am having these constant tummy troubles. I knew there had to be something in my diet contributing to some of aches and pains, but I couldn’t pinpoint what. You guys are not going to believe what came back as allergens for me! Some serious surprises and things I was eating literally EVERYDAY. This test is a quick (results came back within about two weeks), safe, and effective way to figure out what your food sensitivities are without dealing with lines or overpaying for healthcare. Helix’s proprietary technology, called Exome+, reads every letter of all 22,000 protein-coding genes in your body, which produces 100 times more data than most consumer genetics companies. Then, once you’ve taken and sent back your DNA sample, they’ll store and protect your genetic data so you can access and share it with any partner of your choosing without ever having to provide another DNA sample. And if you’re interested in finding out more about your DNA, Helix offers other tests to help you dive further into that information, too. They offer cool tests for ancestry, family planning, hereditary cancer screening - all kinds of different things if you’re interested in exploring further.
So what were my biggest allergens? Soy and most types of dairy came up as my highest reacting allergens; no surprise there! I already do my best to avoid them because of how badly I do react, so this just reinforces for me that I need to be omitting them from my diet. The real exciting (and disappointing) part comes next; I had a low allergen response to the following foods, in order of reactivity: sweet potato, cashew, clam, crab, green beans, pineapple, sesame, wheat, chia seed, malt, sunflower, kelp + gluten. Yeah, I’m just going to let the take a moment to sink in. I had to. That is a LOT of foods that I very regularly eat showing up on my intolerance test. Ugh.
For me , that means a lot of foods that I was eating nearly everyday - cashews, gluten, pineapple and chia seeds, specifically - we’re screwing with my body. And it made a lot of sense! For someone who eats a pretty healthy, balanced, nearly sugar-free, plant-based diet - I shouldn’t be having so many issues. Or so I thought! But compound that same diet with a host of inflammatory foods and you’ve got recipe for an upset stomach + a bunch of skin issues - which is exactly where I’m at.
Along with Food Sensitivity+ testing, the DNA portion of the test also tested for genetic variants for things like B6 + B12 levels, lactose intolerance, magnesium levels and caffeine metabolism. Everything there came up normal for me except my genetic pre-disposition for low B12 levels. I was taking a B supplement but was having bad niacin reactions from it and stopped. Not that I know I’m probably low anyway, I’ll be grabbing a niacin-free bottle to start supplementing with again.
Just knowing what my body reacts to is going to help me so much. I can alter my diet to reflect the removal of said allergens, and can be on high alert when I am having a stomach ache or reactive effect for what I may have ingested that affected me. I have started to remove almost all of the food allergens from my diet, but still find wheat, gluten, and chia seeds slipping in here and there. I am hoping to start the New Year on a full removal of all allergens, to see how my body reacts. Since finding out which allergens most affect me I’ve tried to actively omit them from my diet, and have already started to see small improvements in my eczema and acne. Score!
I look forward to using the Helix DNA collection towards one of their awesome biomarker tests, too - because once they have it on file, they keep it on file. And they have so many great accompaniment kits I’d love to try, like their Thyroid and Women’s Health and Fertility tests! You can get 30% OFF any purchase on any Helix product with code: HelixJPfO. But HURRY - only the first 25 unique users get the discount!
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