This Company Wants You To Mail Them Your Poop In The Name Of Your Gut Health
Gut health is a fiercely complicated thing. No matter how diverse your diet may be or how many high-quality probiotic supplements you pop during the day, it’s nearly impossible to know exactly what’s going on inside that little microbiome of yours… unless you’re willing to have your poop analyzed, of course.
We know what you’re thinking — ew ew ew — but hear us out. Fecal samples are the only scientifically sound way to measure what’s going on in your gut, both good and bad, and determine which specific bacteria you need to supplement with in order to balance out your overall health. And Thryve, a gut health company founded in 2016, is the first one to offer both at-home microbiome testing via fecal samples and specialized probiotic supplements based on your test results.
CEO and co-founder Richard Lin started Thryve after developing a major gut infection as a reaction to taking antibiotics for a common cold. Being hospitalized and losing control of his health inspired him to find all of the answers he could surrounding gut health and, ultimately, share them with the rest of us.
He told Swirled that the microbiome as we know it is essentially disappearing, which leads to a slew of health issues and diseases including (but not limited to) multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, skin issues like eczema, irritable bowel syndrome and depression. So instead of leaving everyday consumers to suffer in silence, his team at Thryve developed a starter quiz to get to know individuals’ dietary habits and their symptoms, a fecal testing kit users complete at home and mail in, a list of recommended foods and probiotics based on the test results and personalized probiotics that are mailed out on a monthly basis. Think of it as your one-stop shop for customized gut health care.
While Thryve’s roots stem from helping people facing chronic illnesses, Lin and his team have noticed a lot more people who are simply more health- and wellness-minded leaning into the service to learn more about their bodies and optimize their health. It’s not just diagnostic — it’s therapeutic, too.
While the quality of a lot of over-the-counter probiotic supplements is questionable, the ones used by Thryve are supported by more than 36,000 research articles on the microbiome and are manufactured in Europe, Asia and the United States using a raw probiotic powder. And Lin doesn’t just want people to pop a pill to try and feel better. The test kit informs users about the best food choices for their bodies just as much as which bacteria strains they’re severely lacking or missing entirely. Because after all, the right foods — not just the right supplements — are what make a microbiome happy.
Thryve’s starter quiz is free, the at-home gut health test costs $150 and customized probiotic supplements start at $39 per bottle (a month’s supply). It’s certainly an investment in your health, but we doubt it’s one you’d regret if you’ve dealt with gut health issues consistently and can’t seem to identify a proper solution.
We gotta say — this is the first time we’ve ever felt tempted to put some of our poop in the mail. But hey, when it comes to a healthy microbiome, you gotta do whatcha gotta do, right?