For years, I’ve wanted to have testing done for food sensitivities, so when I came across Pinnertest, I was psyched. I suspected I might have a slight dairy intolerance thanks to the inevitable bloat that follows my ingestion of anything cream-related. But I promised myself I’d power through if that were the case. You can have my butter when you pry it from my kung-fu grip. Good luck ducking my punches.
How is this test different than an allergy test?
Good question. This test doesn’t identify allergies. A food allergy is actually pretty rare, affecting about 2% of the adult population. During an allergic reaction, the body’s immune system is all “AHHHHHHH, WE’RE BEING INVADED!!!!!”, producing IgE (Immunoglobulin E) antibodies to fight off the offending food. Allergy tests therefore sniff out those IgE antibodies in order to flag the allergies.
Inflammatory responses to allergies vary from mild to severe and can affect one or more systems in the body – digestive, respiratory, or the skin. In extreme cases, the immune system triggers a response throughout the whole body, resulting in potentially fatal anaphylaxis.
On the other hand, a food intolerance is a difficulty digesting certain foods, most often caused by either chronic leaky gut or an enzyme deficiency. Basically, incompletely digested food particles find their way into your bloodstream and your immune system is all “Ummmmmm, you’re wearing sweatpants. You can’t sit with us.”, and produces IgG (Immunoglobulin G) antibodies to attack the food in question. Pinnertest analyzes your blood for the presence of these IgG antibodies.
Food intolerance is much more common, affecting more than half the people in the world, and usually materializes as fatigue, skin issues, migraines, IBS, bloating, gastrointestinal problems and/or Rheumatoid Arthritis, to name a few. So while a food intolerance may cause discomfort (or a blow to your pride), it’s not life threatening.
So how does it work?
Pinnertest sends you everything you need to self-administer a simple finger-prick blood-test at home, including a prepaid envelope to return your sample to the lab. If you don’t count the half-hour I wasted stalling the finger-prick (I’ve had three epidurals, and still, the mere thought of a finger-prick gives me heart palpitations…no, seriously.), the whole thing was literally done within a couple minutes. About a week later, we (the hubs wanted in on the action too) received our results via email.
And that’s when the unthinkable happened.
I quickly opened up the results pdf, ready to finally receive confirmation of my dairy intolerance. I scanned the intro – Green column = good, Red column = bad, with differing degrees of intolerance ranging from low (+1) to high (+3). Got it. I scrolled down the list of more than 100 different foods. Come to mama, test results, come. to. mama.
Barley +1: Whatevs. Can’t remember the last time I was jonesin’ for a biiiiiig ol’ bowl of barley. I mean, I don’t mind a little in my soup here and there, but this will not affect my life in any meaningful way.
Coffee +1: Makes total sense. Coffee gives me the jitters somethin’ awful, and therefore, I don’t drink it, so we’re all good, Pinnertest. Keep ’em comin’!
Then things got a little dicier…
Mango +1: Hmph. Ok, not the best news I’ve ever gotten, but I don’t eat mango on the regular anyway, sooooooo….
Raspberries: +1: Ouch. Ok, not gonna lie – that one stings a little. But really, Pinnertest, it’s like you’re doing me a favor because every carton of raspberries I ever buy molds on like day two anyway, so this is actually going to help the world by preventing food waste.
I soldiered on. I can do this, I thought. Easy.
Then, a sharp downturn.
Mushrooms +1: Sh*t. Are you kidding me?? NOOOOOOOO!! I love mushrooms!!!! How will I make portobello burgers now?!?
Onions +1: ONIONS?!?! WTF, Pinnertest?!?!?!!!! HOW am I expected to impart savory layers of flavor into my soups and stews without onions?! A mirepoix sans ONIONS???? WHAT KIND OF SICK JOKE IS THIS?? And I suppose you just expect me to use carrots and celery to prop up my chicken in the crockpot!!!!!! What about green onions????? What about shallots???? TALK TO ME, PINNERTEST!!!!!!
Then, the knockout punch. The sky clouded over. Everything went dark. Right there, spelled out in bold, insensitive print:
Honey +3: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! This has to be a mistake, I assured myself in desperation. God would never forsake me like this. Not when I just got a BRAND NEW JAR OF MANUKA HONEY!!!!!!!! A PLUS 3?!?!?! You’re KILLIN’ me, Pinnertest!!!!! This is all the confirmation I need to be unequivocally certain that I must’ve been a royal douche in a former life. HOW WILL I ENJOY MY NIGHTLY HOT TEA TO THE VERY FULLEST?!????? Hold me.
And that’s how I found myself here. With an onion-less taco salad. I’ve had a couple weeks to adjust now. And while my brain interprets a measly +1 intolerance as “Soooooooo, you’re tellin’ me there’s a chance!”, it’s tough to ignore a +3.
I’ve eliminated everything, so we’ll see how it goes. I must admit though, so far, so good. Less bloat and lots of energy, albeit slightly less flavorful stews and honey-less tea.
Despite my honey-coated dreams being brutally shattered, I highly recommend.
Click here to find out more about Pinnertest.