Customer Story

Before Ixcela, Cynthia was on the verge of burnout and was considering a leave of absence.


Cynthia came to Ixcela seeking answers on how to lower her stress and lose weight. She felt an unusual amount of agitation toward others, and depression was beginning to creep in. She was losing focus at work and felt so burnt out that her happiness—and her job— were on the line.

Cynthia worked long hours, which led to high stress levels and poor sleep. She was always too tired for her morning workouts, and she would frequently skip breakfast as she tried to squeeze in more sleep.

Cynthia’s poor sleep and stress levels made focusing on healthy habits challenging. Feeling incredibly overwhelmed, she turned to Ixcela for guidance.


Cynthia’s Ixcela results revealed that her xanthine was above the optimal level. This marker indicates that physical, mental, and/or emotional stress were impacting her health. Elevated xanthine can make it more difficult to lose weight. It also increases risk of inflammation.

Cynthia’s results also showed that her serotonin, the “happiness chemical,” was below optimal levels. This has two common consequences:

  1. Serotonin below optimal levels often affects the ability to fall asleep or stay asleep because melatonin (the sleep hormone) comes from serotonin.
  2. People with serotonin below optimal levels often report feeling unhappy.


Cynthia was surprised to see that her results aligned with her feelings of stress and poor sleep. She finally knew why it was difficult for her to feel good and have the motivation to exercise, and why she was tired all the time.


Cynthia met with her Ixcela dietitian to decide exactly what to do to get started.

  • To decrease her stress markers, Cynthia decided that going for a thirty-minute walk as part of her lunch break was a restorative activity that she could fit into her daily routine. She also committed to not checking her phone while she was still in bed in the morning.
  • To support her serotonin levels, Cynthia committed to two things:
    1. She would prioritize sleep by winding down and avoiding screens an hour before bed.
    2. She would begin the day with a protein-rich breakfast. (She chose hard-boiled eggs and a glass of green juice.)


After making these simple changes, Cynthia started to sleep better! With improved sleep, she had more energy and time to prepare breakfast and listen to a mindful meditation podcast. These things gave her the energy she needed to start her day.

She also reported that her mental health and her attitude toward her family and her coworkers improved. Cynthia is finding more day-to-today satisfaction and fulfillment and is no longer planning to leave her job.

Note: Cynthia benefited from the Complete Package Program. This client's name has been changed to protect her privacy.

Here's what Cynthia said:

As a result of Ixcela, I am now waking up and working out, prioritizing breakfast, my mental health has improved and I was able to speak up and ask for help with my workload. I am now enjoying that morning time and consequently my serotonin levels have improved!

I really enjoyed the accountability and the science. Nice to learn about what is going on on the inside and I am glad I was able to refocus on my physical and mental health.


Note: Cynthia benefited from the Complete Package Program. This client's name has been changed to protect her privacy.

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