An Honest Review of Viome's Gut Microbiome Test
viome: in-home microbiome test kit
I discovered Viome on Instagram a few months ago and was immediately intrigued by the fact that they could recommend personalized diet and nutrition advice based on the state of my gut health. After months of healing my gut from SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth), I was really curious about what food Viome would and wouldn't recommend. Would their tips align with what I had discovered on my own through a pain in the ass trial-and-error method? Would they be able to reveal new information that I didn't already know and that EverlyWell's Food Sensitivity test didn't cover? More importantly, would their advice be worth their annual $399 price tag?
After doing some research and feeling rather impressed by what I found, I applied to be their ambassador (in all honesty I thought I'd get a free test kit out of it but nope, had to pay for it all by myself 😂). This post is not sponsored.
How It Works: 3 easy steps
1. Complete your in-home test kit
Viome sends you 2 tests: Gut Intelligence (a stool test to analyze your gut health) and Metabolic Intelligence (a glucose test to test your metabolism). Both are simple, straightforward and can be completed in less than 2 hours. Pricking my finger multiple times for the glucose test was the worst part, only because I'm a baby with zero pain tolerance. The stool test is what you'd imagine it to be: you poo onto a disposable toilet paper cover that comes with the kit, scoop a tiny sample into a stool container, shake it (yes really) and then ship it off.
2. Wait for your lab results
Viome analyzes your stool sample to understand what nutrients and toxins are being produced by your gut. You can track the the status of your stool sample (when it's reached the lab and when it's been analyzed) on their app.
3. Receive your personalized diet and nutrition advice
It took a little less than a month to receive my results. I was completely blown away! Viome breaks EVERYTHING down:
- Your metabolism (mine is below average... what a shocker)
- The different types of bacteria in your gut, how it compares to the "healthy standard" and to other users
- Your macronutrient ratios
- Foods you should and shouldn't eat. Recommendations are divided into 5 categories: superfood, indulge, enjoy, minimize and avoid.
- General food preparation tips
- Supplements and probiotics you should take
my results: useful or nah?
The information is comprehensive, helpful and pretty accurate. A lot of the foods that I had previously discovered I was intolerant to showed up on my minimize and avoid lists! It made me realize that if I had done Viome right after I found out I had SIBO last year, I would have saved SO much time, energy, agony and tears. Instead of doing an elimination diet (which is a slow, agonizing process that can take anywhere from weeks to months), I would have known in about a month what supplements and probiotics to take, what foods I can indulge in and what foods I should completely avoid.
HOWEVER, one thing that surprised and annoyed me was that my food recommendations changed without my knowledge. It wasn't until I logged into my app to take screenshots for this blog post that I realized that all my superfoods changed. Last week, they were apples, bananas, oranges and papaya and today it's arugula and watercress 🤔 I emailed to find out why and they explained that:
"Viome is growing and continually learning, using new analysis techniques and deepening our understanding of specific components in food and the specific microorganisms that utilize these components for energy. For example, we are now able to take into account oxalate and ellagic acid concentrations in foods, which is a significant reason why foods are moving on food lists. We can use these changing foods as an opportunity to diversity our diets."
That's great but I'd still wish Viome had emailed or notified me on their app.
Viome is not perfect (I don't think any gut testing kit is) but it can be so helpful, especially for those suffering from digestive issues. I don't know where else I'd be able to access the same type of detailed information in such a short span of time. Seeing holistic doctors in New York can be SO INSANELY EXPENSIVE and the process can be long and drawn out. I have a few girlfriends who also have SIBO; we've all seen different doctors, we take different probiotics and have different diets. Some have paid $300-400 per session to see their holistic doctor and it's taken them multiple visits and countless tests (that each cost a couple hundred dollars!) to know what they should and shouldn't eat. Viome is so much more worth it in comparison.