A few weeks ago, I mentioned I was finally getting around to testing my gut bacteria. Well, on Saturday I got my results and I thought I’d blog about my experiences, my results and my plan of action!
What is Thryve?
So the test I used was Thryve-an American based company who say they are the first to be offering gut health testing kits with ‘personalised probiotics’. Unlike many gut bacteria tests, these pinpoint the bacteria to specific symptoms and also aim to offer you a personalised probiotic based on the info you send them. So it all very practical and user-friendly!
It was really simple to complete. Unlike previous stool tests I’ve had to do, you don’t need to actually send off a whole sample (hurrah! Anyone who has tried to use one of those pots will know exactly what I’m talking about here!)
Instead, you simply wipe your toilet paper with a cotton swap and that just gives them literally a ‘grain of rice’ size sample. It’s very clever and much less hassle! Then you simply add this to a special solution and pop it in the post.
It is free return postage inside the US but it cost me around £5 to send the box to the US via the post office.I believe Thryve do refund their international customers this fee via email but I haven’t got around to doing that yet!
In terms of getting your results, you need to register the box before you send it and then you’ll get an email when it’s arrived (handy since you’re shipping to the US) and another when you get your results.
I’ve heard some gut testing kits take around 4-6 weeks so I was very impressed to receive my results just over two weeks after I sent my package!
Right, so let’s get to the interesting part: my results. What did I learn: well I pretty much have ZERO good bacteria in my gut (okay, perhaps not zero, but it’s definitely in short supply!) The results are split into several parts.
- An overall wellness score (mine said my gut was ‘getting there’ with a score of 53% so I was quite pleased with that initially)
- An overall microbiome diversity score (this was ‘needs improvement’ which was the lowest score possible!)
- An individual breakdown of specific bacteria, the levels I had and the symptoms of deficiency.
As much as I was a bit gutted, I found this breakdown very interesting. Here’s an example of mine…
So as you can see, it’s presented in a really user-friendly way.
Interestingly, faecalibacterium was almost off-the-scale low. Once I clicked on it, it explained this was an ‘anti-Crohn’s bacteria‘ and those with IBD were far more likely to have very low levels than the population!
As you know, I have also blogged about anxiety so it was kind of reassuring to know that there could be a reason I worry about every.single.thing.
I’ve just been writing an article about how the gut microbiome influences our mental health for another publication, so this was a reminder that getting to grips with my microbiome would hugely benefit my anxiety and constant worrying too!
As well as seeing the overview, you can on the individual bacteria and it will explain it benefits, signs of low levels and how to improve it through food choices. The idea is to encourage users to make dietary changes and also subscribe to the personalised probiotics.
It can be a little misleading, so to clarify the personalised probiotics aren’t just based on your results-as it would be impossible to completely tailor a probiotic to an individual at this point I think. They’re largely based on a survey you fill out with info and your health and diet. So whilst my suggested probiotics contained some of the strains I was deficient in, it isn’t a complete solution.
Would I recommend Thryve?
I found Thyrve really simple to use and extremely user-friendly. I was worried I’d be bombarded with information but it was pretty easy to navigate and understand. It doesn’t cover as wide a range as some tests out there. For example, one of our guest writers Lauren reviewed Atlas’ microbiome test last month which claims it can give you an idea of which diseases you are at risk of based on your results. Other tests might also look for parasites or inflammation levels. However, as someone with health anxiety, I wanted something that was practical and useful rather than too overwhelming!
It’s also one of the cheapest kits on the market. It’s $105 for the test and $135 for the test with personalised probiotics. Thryve have very kindly given my readers a 15% off discount code-which brings to just over £70. This is the cheapest kit I’ve seen yet! (Atlas’ being £111 currently). Interested in other people’s experiences? Here’s another review from Sheryl at A Chronic Voice.
Where can I buy it?
You can buy the kit at Thyrve Inside. You can use the code BALANCEDBELLY15 to get 15% or $22.50 to be precise off your order!