Back in May I had the pleasure of being introduced to Harvey. An at-home medical testing service that connects you with a holistic doctor. All at an affordable rate and with no insurance required. You have the opportunity to schedule a consultation with a certified naturopathic doctor that specializes in holistic health. Meaning, the approach to your health concerns is addressed with a treatment that’s totally natural. No prescription drugs – it’s all about supplementation and adding in foods that aid in your overall health goals.
Having never had my blood panels tested before, I didn’t know where I stood. I’ve been vegan for almost five years now and I wanted to see where I ranked in terms of my potential deficiencies. Living a vegan lifestyle, it’s common to run across low levels of B vitamins – specifically B12. So I opted for the Micronutrients test.
“Our micronutrient test is one of the most accurate and scientifically proven method of assessing vitamin, mineral, antioxidant and amino acid deficiencies.
Nutritional balance plays a key role in optimal wellness, chronic disease prevention and managing the aging process. If your chronic symptoms include fatigue, stress, depression or irritability, this test can help your doctor quantifiably measure the levels of 35 critical nutritional biomarkers“.
So how did this experience go?!?
My anxiety was through the roof but after spending a few minutes on the phone and getting past the questions I was most nervous about discussing, the time flew by. Over an hour in I felt like I was talking to a close friend. I felt safe and understood in my health concerns. For the first time in my entire life I was in a safe place and getting valuable information to actually improve my wellbeing. I learned more in that conversation about my health then I have in my entire life visiting general doctors. I walked away feeling optimistic for once and it was only the first consultation!
During my consultation with the amazing Dr. Amanda Frick. I addressed my main health concerns. We discussed what I wanted to work on and what test could help me gain the most information in regards to those concerns.
Anxiety has always been a struggle for me. As well as depression from isolating myself. Of course, I’ve already been taking steps to help with that. Working out, being more active in general, eating a diet rich in whole unprocessed foods. But I knew there was something off inside me that needed to be addressed, I wasn’t sure what. This consultation assured me that I would finally gain that knowledge to move forward with improvement in a holistic approach.
My Micronutrient Testing Kit:
Within a week after my initial consultation, I received my test kit. This included my tools for blood draw, instructions on setting up my phlebotomist appointment, information on the test I was having drawn for, a requisition form for the phlebotomist to fill out and a sweet handwritten note. All I had to do was keep everything handy for my blood draw.
After scheduling my phlebotomist appointment, in the comfort of my own home, I waited. It took exactly 20 days to receive my blood test results. After which a follow-up consultation was scheduled to discuss them with my doctor. I had a busy schedule, so I didn’t get around to this until about two weeks after the results came in.
It’s also worth noting that in order to run a micronutrient test you need to have the basics already ran. I did this myself through my primary doctor, but you can of course have this done through Harvey as well. Through my separate blood testing, I found out I was deficient in Vitamin D. Something I actually realized a month beforehand having talked with a friend who shared having similar symptoms. At that point I had already started intuitively supplementing. But, to my surprise, it was incredibly low. Like so low it could have very well been non existent. Meaning it was playing a factor in my anxiety and depression. Overall mood is greatly affected by a lack of Vitamin D. I had no idea!
In the span of aggressive vitamin D supplementation over the course of a month, I was already noticing a difference. My mood was slowly improving, panic attacks were minimized and I felt less brain fog and overall tension due to stress.
Once I met back with Dr. Amanda Frick, we went over my micronutrient results. It also revealed I was deficient in Pantothenate aka vitamin B5. Known to help convert food into energy. Explaining where my lethargy could be coming from. I had a borderline deficiency in my B12, B6 and Folate as well. All easily remedied with a simple B-Complex supplement.
As a sidenote, I just want to say that I in no way claim my diet is perfect. Every body is different, I knew something was up and gaining this information assured my suspicions. Luckily when faced with all of this information on what’s going on internally, I was able see the bright side. I learned what specifically was happening in my body and how to go about improving upon it.
I also learned where I stand with my mineral levels. Everything from calcium to zinc were well above normal range. I was happy to see that aside from B vitamins, everything was looking great. My diet proved to serve me well in every other micronutrient level.
To correct my deficiencies, I was prescribed to take a B12 supplement – either in a shot or sublingually. I opted for a sublingual tablet for convenience, though a shot is more effective. I’m also taking a separate tablet for Pantothenate and vitamin D drops. Re-evaluating after three months to check improvement through a second basic labs retesting. As well as retesting my micronutrient levels after six months.
It seemed like a simple enough solution for me. A few supplements, as well as a recommendation on vegan-friendly foods to aid my overall health. Like wheat germ, nutritional yeast and legumes – all naturally rich in Pantothenate.
Without getting too mushy, this experience helped me gain control of my life in a whole new way. I have a better understanding of my body and how everything is working together. I feel very fortunate to know that all I needed to adjust was supplementation. In the now span of two months that I’ve been actively treating my deficiencies, I feel infinitely better. Of course the stress of day to day life isn’t something that can be magically cured, I feel as though my anxiety overall has lessened. Giving me the ability to better navigate stressful occurrences that may arise. I also feel as though my level of patience and understanding has increased as a result of this treatment too.
I without a doubt would highly recommend giving Harvey a try if you’re wanting to learn more about your body’s internal health. You’re able to test your hormones, thyroid and/or possible food allergies and so much more. The one-on-one time I had with my doctor was the first time I’ve ever felt heard and truly understood. Harvey gave me the ability to connect with a professional that truly cared. I alone believe that’s worth every penny. Having come from a pattern of repeat doctors that wrote me off the moment I expressed my vegan lifestyle. Finally being in contact with someone that respects my lifestyle is empowering. I feel a new sense of self and confidence in my body, knowing I’m treating it well and doing all I can to improve upon my health daily.
If you would like to give Harvey a try, they’ve graciously offered my readers $25 off your consultation or labs. Use the code “Plant Philosophy” to save!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Harvey. I was given the opportunity to try out their services in exchange for writing a full review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.