Pinnertest Food Intolerance Results (And Discount)
I recently took the Pinnertest which checks for food intolerances. As you may know from my previous Insta posts and stories, I was SO excited to take this test. Like, more excited than I was on Christmas (as a child). I consider myself an extremely healthy eater. However, as much as I've cleaned up my diet and made so many positive changes, I've always been curious what foods I could potentially be intolerant to after experiencing many of the associated symptoms.
How I Found Out About Pinnertest
As you might also know from my previous posts, I started experiencing some acne on my forehead back in the fall. It's basically skin colored bumps that come and go but for the most part are always there and vary in terms of looking better or worse on certain days. I've tried so many different approaches to make them go away (acupuncture, changing my beauty products, and eliminating foods that I thought could be the culprit such as dairy and gluten). The problem here is that although I eliminated foods, I only did each one for 2 weeks and it could take months to see a difference in your symptoms! Even though I normally don't consume much of those two types of foods, it's tough to commit to eliminating something for 6 months when you're only guessing and not 100% sure that it's the cause of your issues. As I've documented this journey on my Insta, I've had people who have experienced similar issues reach out with recos. My friend Alyssa, owner of Root & Bones, told me to check out @devotedexistence documenting of her experience with Pinnertest and how after finding out that she had an intolerance to lemons, removing them helped clear up her skin.
What is Pinnertest and Food Intolerance vs. Food Allergy
Pinnertest is an at-home blood test (you simply prick your finger at home and mail it back in with the provided pre-postage envelope) that tests for permanent intolerances to 200 different foods. A food intolerance is maldigestion in your body, mostly caused by a lack of certain enzymes needed to properly digest your food. If you eat a food you are intolerant to, your immune system won't recognize it or be able to properly break down the molecules into nutrients, in which case the undigested proteins will then accumulate in the gut and bloodstream and trigger inflammation, which then leads to a variety of other symptoms (fatigue, headaches, skin problems, brain fog, joint pain, weight gain, bloating, gas, low energy, congestion, cravings). The main difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance is that a food allergy will manifest immediately after inhalation or consumption whereas a food intolerance could take hours or even days for symptoms to show up (which makes it even harder to identify what symptom came from what food).
What I thought I was going to have intolerances to: Lactose (I usually get a stomach ache from dairy), gluten (gluten makes me tired), possibly mushrooms or apples (both make me bloated), and I thought lemons but only because @devotedexistence said that was what her skin issues were from.
What I actually have intolerances to: ....egg whites, cashews, sesame seeds, tuna and trout. HOW RANDOM is that. The first three I pretty much consume on the reg. Eggs are in everything and I also love eating them for breakfast on the weekends, I have a huge (overflowing) handful of raw cashews basically every day at work as my afternoon snack, and sesame seeds are in tahini which is what hummus is made of which I usually have as my after work snack. Trout I barely eat but it could be hidden in fish oils and tuna I do eat (and love) in sushi, tuna steaks and tuna salad but only occasionally. Interestingly, I learned from the specialists over at Pinnertest that the average person has between 2-12 intolerances and also that it is likely for your intolerances to be things that you crave (YOLKY and SCRAMBLED EGGS for me). Another interesting finding here, one of my other almost-daily at work snacks was rX bars, which are made with 2-3 egg whites and cashews...
So Now What
The results are broken out by low (+1), moderate (+2) and high (+3) reaction so when I first got my results and was in shock of the findings and denial that eggs were on there, I assumed I could still eat eggs because of the "low" reaction (all of my foods were +1s other than cashews which were +2). After e-mailing with their Dietician and chatting on the phone with their specialist, I learned that all intolerances noted are high intolerances and should be removed from your diet. The reaction level just shows the quantities of antibodies detected so for a +2 there are basically just more immunoglobulins (iGgs) found but this doesn't necessarily mean that your reactions will be any more or less severe. They also noted that the test detects permanent intolerances and to eliminate them for 6 full months. After 6 months, you can try to eat the foods (one at a time) to see if any symptoms show up.
My plan of action is to remove all of my intolerances. I'm definitely going to have to do some research on where these foods could show up to make sure I'm avoiding them (the example the nutritionist gave was that sesame oil could be used to cook a lot of foods when dining out especially at Asian restaurants and eggs will be in anything fried with a batter and also most desserts). I think for the most part it will be OK but it is killing me knowing I won't be able to have my favorite scrambled eggs in ghee with nutritional yeast on the weekends. I'm also a big brunch lover, it's probably my favorite meal of the day!, so I will have to get creative with brunch options (goodbye eggs benny with hollandaise sauce made with more eggs). Tuna will be tough too because I love sushi, and also being a pescatarian, I often have to resort to the tuna sandwich whenever eating at a deli, but I will have to figure this all out and although this has kept me up all night (didn't sleep last night thinking about being a mom and not being able to eat eggs with my husband and kids...such a weird vivid specific thought but that's what came up!), I'm also excited at the same time to make these changes and see if my health improves. I'm unsure whether this is what is causing my forehead acne, but I hope these diet changes help that, occasional stomach aches, bloating, brain fog, fatigue after certain meals, and possibly my wrist injury. It's hard to pin point exactly what symptom is tied to what food, and also whether those symptoms are definitely coming from your diet, but I think that any information you can find out about your personal health is valuable and it's worth a try.
Note - I'm obviously going to eat the cake at my wedding (which will have egg in it) but other than that I'm going to try my best to stay away from all intolerances. After 6 months, I will slowly bring these foods back into my diet one by one to see if they have an effect.
- The test is expensive but it's an investment that will probably save you more $ long-term - While Pinnertest might initially seem a bit overpriced, I think it's a test for everyone, especially if you noticeably have any of the above symptoms (which because there's so many of them, I'm sure everyone has had at least a few at some point). You also have to think about all the other $ (copays at doctors, buying and throwing out different beauty products, supplements, medications, etc.) that you would probably spend trying to figure out any of your associated symptoms
- You don't have to go to the doctor. Going to the doctor requires both time & $. When I initially went to my physician, they tested me for allergies, not intolerances, which as mentioned above are very different. I never actually went to an allergist for food sensitivities but I went when I thought I had a reaction (rash) to beauty products and they would only test me for seasonal allergies (pollen etc.). They of course love to send you to 500 different doctors to get answers.
- Time/Convenience - I received my test within 2-3 days, pricked my finger, sent it back and had my results e-mailed to me 7 business days later. Easy peasy, and no 2 hour waits at the doctors office when you're trying to sneak over on your lunch break.
- Post-test support - After receiving your results, you can either call or e-mail their support team to walk through your personal results. I of course called and e-mailed to make sure I could gather as much information as possible :)
If you're interested in trying Pinnertest, you can use the code LEXSENTIALS for $60 off + free shipping.