This has been one of the busiest months of my life. Not only did Jeff and I just return from 5 weeks on the road, I’ve had six virtual keynotes and two consulting opportunities close. In addition, I am in the process of launching my second book.
I noticed one thing though, my sleep was erratic. My pants no longer fit. I was irritable. I was bloated. Something wasn’t right. I figured it was just because I was busy. So I allowed myself a giant heaping of potatoes for dinner, guzzled wine on the weekends, and forced myself to get sleep on Sundays.
Yet, I didn’t feel like my normal productive and energetic self. During the weekdays, I would feel the need to nap after lunch and would often forget things Jeff told me that morning as he was leaving for his office.
It was then my team told me about Thryve. It’s a home test that analyzes your poop and gives you a snapshot of your health based on your microbiome. I knew nothing. I was cynical. I was too busy for this. And I was 100% wrong.
*Note: Whilst this post is sponsored by Thryve, all opinions expressed in this review are my own.
What is Thryve?
Thryve Inside is a biotechnology company that analyses the bacteria in your gut. It is the world’s first gut health company that incorporates microbiome testing with personalized dietary and probiotic recommendations.
Thryve has indexed over 36,000+ microbiome research articles, mapped 1,000 food ingredients, mapped 500 supplements, and created algorithms to instill confidence in the clinic trials as well as created an algorithm for what they call the Wellness Score.
We get into all that later on.
In their wellness score algorithm, they compare the amounts of probiotics, beneficial, commensal and pathogenic bacteria from their customer’s gut microbiome test to the American Gut Project results. From this comparison, Thyryve can calculate our gut microbiome diversity, which is the richness of bacterial genus or species (amounts of different bacteria) that characterizes the gut microbiome in individuals. Thryve’s team also considers the abundance of gut bacteria, including the percentage of beneficial bacteria (ex: Akkermansia, Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus), proteobacteria, and more.
It’s fascinating to say the least how much our gut affects us. However, I was still admittedly confused.
How would this affect ME? I wanted to know.
The Gut Brain Axis
I didn’t know why I was experiencing these symptoms, I just knew I had to get back to my normal self. It’s hard to teach others about peak performance when I was struggling myself. I know all of the tricks using neuroscience, but was there something I was missing?
Admittedly, I was busy but not productive. I would forget things my fiance told me. I neglected to take Chanel for a walk a few times because I was too tired. I started craving chocolate and loaded baked potatoes. Six weeks of traveling and I needed a break. I was starting to make some really poor decisions but figured it was just a phase of my life.
I’ve heard the gut is sometimes called the second brain. I just didn’t know why. The team at Thryve explained to me, the gut plays a crucial role in many of our daily activities and functions, including our thoughts, perceptions of our well-being, and performance.
Our gut-brain-axis is regulated by a complex series of nerves known collectively as the vagus nerve.- Thryve Mood Enhancer studies
The vagus nerve attaches to the brainstem. Like a turkey thermometer, the base of the
nerve sits at the top of our gut. Here, the neural tissues act as a barometer for how your
stomach acid is stewing. When the vapors reach an unpleasurable level, the receptors
receive this message for help [*].
Stomach Bacteria Can Even Trigger Some Mental Health Symptoms
Stomach bacteria activate the vagus nerve, with each species eliciting different reactions.
When poor gut health becomes chronic, your body’s stress levels get chronic, via the vagus nerve. Your body can only house so many hormones. As cortisol goes into overdrive, it leaves no room for other hormones to produce. Excessive stress can cause anything to lack of concentration, to disruptive sleep patterns, to Major Depressive Disorder [*].
Balance Gut Health to Boost Dopamine and Serotonin
90% of serotonin in our system comes from the gut.
The most effective way to fight off cortisol is by generating “reward” neurotransmitters and hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. When your mind receives messages from these hormones, it feels sensations such as calmness or elation. As a result, your adrenal glands don’t get the signal to pump out more cortisol. By having dopamine and serotonin on hand, all the other hormones can be created, restoring balance in the system [*].
Thryve’s Mood Enhancer psychobiotic supports your gut-brain health by utilizing strains that increase dopamine (pleasure chemical), serotonin (happy chemical), and reduce corticosterone (stress hormone). Thryve’s mood enhancer psychobiotic has 17 patents and has won the NutraIngredients “Probiotic Product of the Year” award in 2018.
- Reduce symptoms of disorders such as Autism, depression, anxiety, insomnia, IBS, Parkinson’s disease
- Improve your immune system so you can stay healthy.
- Reduce your stress hormones so you can feel calm, focused, and sharp.
- Increase your pleasure chemicals and reduce depressive/anxious chemicals so you can enjoy life at its fullest.
- Target your digestion to better metabolize and increase nutrient absorption.
Based on this and a conversation with the team and my doctors, I decided it made sense for me to get customized probiotics.
How can you find out what is in your gut?
The process is really simple.
Step 1: Visit this site:
Step 2: Sit back while Thryve ships you a box.
Step 3: Open the box and follow the 3 steps. You activate your kit, use the restroom, and use their cotton swab to collect a sample.
Step 4: Put the sample in the mail in the envelope they provide.
Step 5: When your sample is processed, you will get an email that shows you the results.
It is 100% pain-free and stress-free.
You open the email to see a screen like this and can go through a plethora of information that was customized for your sample.
What were my results?
Basically, I have a lot of room for improvement. I knew I wasn’t taking care of my body the way I normally would while traveling, but it wasn’t until I read this report that I saw exactly how much damage I was doing.
Gut Wellness Score
The healthy average wellness score is determined by the balance of probiotics, beneficial, commensal and pathogenic bacteria in your gut microbiome compared to those of the healthy population from the American Gut Project.
I scored 52/100.
Gut Diversity Score
Your diversity score is also considered along with your wellness score. Diversity is determined by the richness (variety of bacterial species) and evenness (amount of an individual species) of your gut microbiome.
I scored 89/100.
Then, I clicked on the tab I was least optimistic about:
My Gut Bacterial Level
I have a 10% optimal gut, so basically, the endless tacos with extra queso have to be in moderation. You can actually click on the report to read about the forms of bacteria in your gut and find out the actions you can take to improve them. You can click download csv to get this as a file you can also take to your doctor, should you prefer to share this with them.
They also have a link that lets you “Go Premium” and for roughly $7/ month you can get reports on what symptoms in your overall health your current gut status reveals.
I wanted to know what I could do to improve and get my life back.
My Personal Lists of Recommended Foods
This is by far my favorite part of the report. I can discover what types of foods I should be eating, for my unique body, and optimal results.
My Personal Food Plan from Thryve
So then the question comes down to, what can I actually eat? Should I place an order for Instacart now or can I rummage through the cupboards and start a clean slate? Ironically, I recently blogged about the healing principles of chicory root. It’s great to see this plant being recommended!
Foods to Avoid with my gut health
I’ve been gaining a bit of weight and although I am the fittest I have been in a while, it is still concerning. Come to find out, I can eat tacos still! What I need to cut back on for optimal health is the wheat, goat’s milk, oats, barley, and what I non-scientifically call, heavy grains.
I am actually pretty sure I ate all of this yesterday and wonder why I feel bloated and grouchy today:
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I look forward to you joining me on the reset challenge and learning about how your gut can improve your overall quality of life.
I’m excited to start this journey with you,
Note: what I loved the most about this experience was the team behind it. I was traveling for 6 weeks in the middle of the testing and results and writing phase. Every person in the company I interacted with was kind, understanding, and accommodating. I know and trust if I had a question, it would be answered fully. They care about their customers and it shows!
Check with your healthcare team if this is something you want to try. This is not medical advice, just my personal experience. Everyone will have different experiences.