Sure, at-home COVID tests and DNA kits are popular take-and-see-results offerings that are widely accessible. But, for those undergoing food allergies and celiac disease — the choices are slim.
Luckily, Everlywell is breaking the glass ceiling with its new tests for food allergies and celiac disease, respectively.
The innovative at-home testing brand — which is known for validated lab tests for Food Sensitivity, Metabolism, common vitamin deficiencies and its newly launched line of vitamins and supplements — expanded its consumer-first product catalog to fill in health condition gaps.
Gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating are estimated to regularly affect two out of three Americans, yet clinical testing for common food-related conditions can be costly and difficult to access. Plus, testing can cost more than a thousand dollars in traditional doctor’s offices, hospitals, and clinics.
“Since day one, Everlywell’s mission has been to provide affordable and accessible diagnostic-driven healthcare,” Liz Kwo, MD, MBA, MPH, chief medical officer of Everly Health — the parent company of EverlyWell — told the New York Post. “By offering these tests at a fraction of the cost and enabling people to take them in the comfort of their own homes, Everlywell is providing insight and guidance to those seeking relief from uncomfortable symptoms.”
According to a recent Nationwide Benchmark Report from Beyond Celiac, only 50% of Americans report knowing anything about celiac disease and/or gluten sensitivity, and more than 50% of people with celiac disease are undiagnosed — despite rising numbers.
EverlyWell’s Celiac Disease Screening Test measures three key biomarkers that contribute to both the diagnosis and management of the condition as a whole — an autoimmune disorder that could cause long-term damage if left unidentified and untreated.
Everlywell’s Food Allergy Test helps users learn about their IgE reactivity to nine common food allergens: eggs, milk and dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat and soy — which, collectively, comprise 90% of the most common causes of food reactions.
What is celiac disease?
According to an Everlywell informational report, celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation and damage in the small intestine, leading to various digestive and non-digestive symptoms.
“For a person with celiac disease, the immune system releases certain antibodies after consuming foods containing gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale) because it mistakes gluten as a threat to the body,” per the report. That’s why it’s important to screen for CD if it’s accessible — and that’s where Everlywell comes in.
What are the symptoms of celiac disease?
For some, celiac disease may not be much of a thought. However, the following symptoms contribute to the condition: bloating, fatigue, bone or joint pain, unintended weight loss, itchy skin rash and abdominal pain, diarrhea and constipation.
While these are linked symptoms, please refer to your doctor for any urgent concerns.
What is a food allergy?
We’ve heard of food allergies before, but how do they take form in the body? Per the same report, a food allergy occurs when the immune system views a food allergen as a threat and releases IgE antibodies.
“When your body produces too many IgE antibodies to specific foods, you may be at higher risk of having allergic symptoms,” the report notes. “Paired with symptoms and history and physical evaluation, serum IgE testing may be a helpful tool for a healthcare provider to use while determining the likelihood of a food allergy.”
So, Everlywell’s at-home test makes it easier than ever to access those tangible results.
What are the symptoms of a food allergy, both mild and severe?
The following are mild symptoms linked to a food allergy: tingling or itching of your face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat; itchy or watery eyes; hives, skin rash or itchy skin; stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea; runny nose, sneezing, congestion.
What’s the difference between this laundry list of mild symptoms with those that are more severe? Instead of just a tingling sensation, you may experience tightening of your airways, wheezing, chest tightness or being unable to breathe.
Additionally, your lips, tongue or throat may become swollen and may experience a rapid pulse or fainting.
For medical emergencies, call 9-1-1 as your primary line of help.
How Everlywell’s tests work
Before testing, please keep in mind that Everlywell’s kits are not intended to provide a diagnosis. A follow-up appointment with a medical professional is required as a next step.
“The kit comes with everything you need to collect a sample and send it back to a lab for testing,” Kwo highlights. “Results are available within a few business days.”
Kwo further explains how to use each test accordingly:
- For the Food Allergy Test: if your results show you are in the 1-6 class reactivity, or low to high reactivity, an Everlywell Registered Nurse will call you to discuss your results and next steps within 24 hours of receiving your results. A live group educational session with a healthcare professional is also included in the cost of your kit so you can ask questions in real-time.
- For the Celiac Disease Screening Test: if your results show an increased risk of Celiac Disease, a member of Everlywell’s care department will reach out to you to provide guidance about appropriate next steps including questions to take to your healthcare provider.
For context, all of the laboratories that process Everlywell tests are CLIA-certified, and some are also CAP-accredited.
“These labs comply with all federal and state regulations regarding laboratory testing in addition to performing frequent internal quality assurance testing, regular external inspections and routine validation of the accuracy of their testing,” Kwo says. “All of the at-home sample collection testing Everlywell offers has been thoroughly validated against traditional testing conducted in doctor’s offices and clinics.”
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