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Ever notice how a simple stomachache can take you down no matter your size? If your gut ain’t happy, you ain’t happy! In March, during a 10 day “IBS” flare, I received an email asking me to review a new-to-me gut health testing kit called Thyrve in exchange for a discounted kit. I figured this was the Universe sending me a message since my gut was NOT happy, so I agreed. This post is my unbiased, professional opinion.
Why I Tried This Particular Gut Health Testing Kit
I’ve been a health coach for five years at this point, but I’ve been an IBS sufferer for pretty much all of my adult life (we won’t go into how many years that is). I’ve tried various microbiome testing kits and found many of them lacking the clinical benefits I’m looking for. Meaning…they’ve told me which bacteria they found, but not actually how this could help me or my clients in real life.
The Thyrve kit is different. Not only does this kit give you actionable information that can actually positively affect your health in days, but it’s also very reasonably priced.
The benefit of knowing which bacteria and microbes are in range, or out of range, can help to explain some of your symptoms…and not necessarily just gut symptoms. My results showed high skin inflammation as well as pain and gut issues. It was super affirming to know that my random symptoms actually have a root cause – imbalanced gut microbes and bacteria.
Ordering the Kit
This part was the easiest. You just go to the Thryve Inside website, click Get My Test and choose if you want just the test or want to add in the probiotics up front.
I got just the test when I did it because I wasn’t sure what it was going to tell me and if I’d want to order the probiotics (spoiler alert – I did order them after the test since I was so impressed by what I learned).
It took about a week for the kit to get to me. I did the test the next morning and sent it back right away.
Performing the At Home Test
The kit comes with a couple of boxes. One with everything you need to perform the test and one with everything you need to mail the test back.
Make sure that you go back to the Thryve Inside website and “Activate” your test. This links the vial number with you so that you receive your results. DO NOT SKIP THIS!
I activated my test immediately upon receiving it so that I wouldn’t forget. That was ok because I was performing the test immediately too. If you are waiting a week or so, then wait to activate your kit. I think they want to know the date of collection.
The collection box has two swabs and a collection vial.
It’s very easy to “perform the test” at home. When you go to the bathroom, you just run a swab over the toilet paper after you wipe.
The hardest part is…making sure you get enough of a sample.
I have done other gut health testing kits that have come back with “not enough to test” so if you’re a clean pooper…this may be harder than you think.
You are given two swabs so if at first you don’t succeed…try again the next day.
After you have enough of a sample on the swab, you place the swab in the collection vial and “mix” it for 20 seconds. Then you put the lid on the tube and shake it for 5 seconds.
The liquid in the vial is blue when it comes. Mine turned green afterwards…not sure if that’s what color it’s supposed to be…but just saying. LOL
Then I placed the vial in the provided plastic baggie and sealed it in the provided box. I dropped it off at the Post Office that day.
The Thryve Inside website says it takes 3-5 weeks to get your results, but mine took about 2 weeks. This can vary on how many test kits they receive and time of year (holidays) and of course…on the mail system.
When my results were done, I received an email telling me to log in to my dashboard. Being me, I had logged in multiple times already in that two weeks between mailing in my kit and receiving that email to see if they had received my sample and if my results were back.
The main dashboard gives you some basic information at a glance.
It gives you a gut score – mine was 72 which was much higher than I thought it would be.
It tells some symptoms you may be experiencing – this has changed each time I log in so that seems to scroll through your top issues.
It gives you a button to click on which gut bacteria need help and which probiotics they would recommend to help.
It showed how many optimal bacteria I have and how many “need work”.
It tells you some symptoms you may be experiencing and how many bacteria they found in your sample.
My Personalized Food Plan
The dashboard also gives you a pie graph telling you how many foods they feel are ok for you and how many you should avoid. If you click through, they give specific recommendations.
First you complete a survey. They ask you what diet you are currently eating, what your top health goal is and if you have any food allergies.
Then they give you a tab of foods that they recommend and a tab they feel you should avoid based on your gut microbiome.
Of course, I went straight to the avoid.
My Avoid Foods List
In the Vegetables section, mine listed almost every type of squash (my kids will be happy about that).
It said I should avoid olives…which I just learned to like in the last few years. That includes olive oil on that list too.
Meat is the section where it got interesting…steak, eggs (all parts of the egg), lamb, chicken, kidney (no problem avoiding that), pepperoni, quail’s eggs (again, no problem), shellfish, haddock and halibut.
It’s also listed dairy and goat’s milk as well as pasta, barley, rosemary, salt, sugar and wine (WTF?), vodka and tequila (sorry, I live in TX and can’t give up margaritas forever!).
So I guess I’m going Vegan!
It definitely takes some time to go through all of this information. You can just look at the overview or you can dig deep into the specifics of each bacteria they found and the levels that are ideal compared to the levels you have.
There is a TON of information in the essential report, but I wanted more.
I added on the Premium subscription. Premium gives you a discount on doing more tests AND it also gives you some really actionable information. I found this to be completely worth the additional fee.
This is where I found the Food Intolerance tab that showed that my gut can handle dairy, but not gluten very well (although it did recommend that I avoid dairy in my foods list to help build back my optimal gut bacteria).
There is an Inflammation tab where you can see if you have the bacteria to help deal with inflammation and an Intestinal Permeability tab to show if you have the bacteria levels of someone with Leaky Gut.
The Metabolism tab showed me that my gut handles Carbs and Fats well, but not Proteins (hence all the meats in my avoid list).
The Sleep Hormones tab showed that I have a good amount of GABA producing microbes, but have a low level of Serotonin producing microbes.
There is also a Cardiovascular tab. This again confirmed that my body may be doing a poor job of handling meat and eggs and this may contribute to low cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular Disease is the number one cause of death in the world and my dad died of a stroke at age 60…which doesn’t seem as far away as it used to seem. This tab was a BIG wake up call for me.
There is even more info in the Premium reports, but I think you’re getting the gist of it….it’s totally worth it!
Thryve takes the information they have gained from your gut health testing kit to create a specific combination of probiotics to help improve your gut health.
I’m ALL about personalized health care and this service speaks to my very soul. Instead of throwing any and all probiotics at you, they make a combination that will help you where you are right now.
The price was, again, very reasonable, so I ordered some.
For me, I will work to make the food changes they recommend.
I will take the probiotics for 2-3 months. Then I will order another test kit, with my Premium discount code, to see if the probiotics are working and if any changes need to be made to the specific combination I’m on.
In the past I have made changes to my diet, but not all the changes I apparently need to actually make a difference in my health.
It can be sooooo frustrating to have a gut imbalance. You have crazy bad symptoms and go to the doctor, and they say you’re fine and send you home with no help…or hope.
You make some changes to your diet, but those don’t completely solve the problems and are a BIG pain in the ass for just a little improvement.
This Thyrve gut health testing kit seems to be a game changer to me.
It has shown me a clear path to better health and is providing me with the correct probiotics to actually heal my gut imbalances.
The only other service that I wish that they had…is access to a gastroenterologist on staff.
My gut report showed a bad bacteria that is overgrown (helicobacter). This bacteria can lead to many issues including peptic ulcers, stomach inflammation, Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease and may explain the “flare” I had that prompted me to order this test.
I would like to be able to talk to a knowledgeable doctor about the results and what I can do, other than the above recommendations, if I can’t get this under control. (Many times it takes one or two types of antibiotics which I don’t really want to do because that would mess up the other good bacteria I actually do have.) A doctor on staff would help me faster than going to my Primary and having to explain the last 30 years of gut issues.
I loved this test and can’t recommend it enough. I will be using it in my Health Coaching practice and recommending it to friends and family who are suffering.
If you try the test, let me know. I’d love to see other people’s results and how they compare to mine.
What do you think? Will you try it?