In Categories: Patient Voice

By Eileen, a Virta patient

I was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1980. At the time, I was very upset because my mother had died of complications from diabetes in her early 50s. At first, I went through denial and then anger. Though angry about it (because I couldn’t eat what I wanted), I was able to control my condition through diet. But as I grew older, it became more difficult to keep my weight under control, and it ballooned.

I eventually needed to take Metformin, which I hated because it upset my stomach. Then I developed hypertension. When one medication didn’t bring my blood pressure to normal, I began taking a second pill. I never felt these medications were improving my health. And it was inconvenient and expensive to take them.

Before Virta, I tried everything: I joined the gym. I took classes on nutrition and tried lots of different diets. I consulted a therapist to learn if I was overeating for emotional reasons. I joined a major national weight loss program. Nothing worked for long, and I was unhappy. I couldn’t seem to make the changes which could turn things around.

I found Virta while I was searching for yet another diet and came across Dr. Sarah Hallberg’s TED Talk. I joined Virta in December 2017. The best feeling is that my blood glucose level went down after I completely stopped Metformin. Since I eliminated Meformin, my A1c has gone down to normal and I’ve been free of upset stomachs. My blood pressure is also normal – using 50% of my previous dose.  I have lost 56 pounds in 8 months!

Eileen, before and after Virta

On a day-to-day basis, my life has changed a bit: I take fewer medications and measure my blood glucose, ketones, and blood pressure regularly. I cook more of my food instead of eating at restaurants. I spend more time shopping for healthy foods, and I enjoy trying new recipes. I really enjoy eating the foods I can have on Virta. The most significant change for me has been a sustained period of healthy eating instead of yo-yo dieting.  My moods and energy levels have smoothed out instead of having extreme peaks and valleys. I also have increased energy and getting better sleep. As a result, I can now keep up with my two grandchildren, who are both under 3!

I believe that the most valuable part of the Virta Treatment is the medical supervision. When you have a chronic disease, it can be dangerous to make changes without oversight. Its reassuring. I love my coach. She is positive, very smart and well-informed. I love the fact that I am following an evidence-based program; I’m not wasting my effort on something that does not work.

If you are ready to commit to taking steps to improve your health and reverse your prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, I wholeheartedly recommend Virta. My life is so much improved on Virta that I would never consider returning to my former way of life. I have never regretted joining Virta.

8 Comments

  1. Its just shocking how we all struggle feeling like diabetes is just slow death, and all the doctors can do is slow its progression, cranking up the meds we take, as our bodies slowly get destroyed. This was where I was at, until discovering LCHF as a way of life. No one else in my family believes in this, although they are leaving me alone now because of the results they are seeing in me. I have struggled with my weight my entire life. When I was young, I kept it under control by running and playing sports. But when I blew a knee out in 88, and could no longer run, I put on 20 pounds a year for a number of year, and woke up one day heading for an audition for my 600 pound life. I was at 425, lost 65 pounds, put it back on, lost it again, then went up to 454. It was at that point that I found out I was also diabetic. When I was not careful what I ate, I would get a wound on my left leg the size of a softball, and on the one hand, I think I was lucky, because it made me get serious. For a few years, I had a bowl of Special K for breakfast, a can of Progresso Soup for lunch, and whatever my family had for dinner. I got my A1C from 8.7 to the mid to lower 7’s, but then everything stalled. I was around 365 again, but I stopped losing weight, and my blood tests started to get worse. I was googling about flappy skin, and if it was possible to not get surgery to get rid of it, and came across the whole LCHF life style, and decided to give it a try. My insurance will not cover Virta, if they would, I would sign up in a heart beat, but I have been having to do this on my own. My family doctor, and my diabetes doctor are expressing concern at what I have been doing the past 3 months, but they can’t deny the results. I have lost 30 pounds, my A1C at my last test was 6.5, and I had stopped taking the Jardiance in May due to the side effects. I also stopped taking the statin and my LDL was 149. My HDL is up from 32 to 39, and my Triglycerates are down from I believe 152 to 87. I can only imagine how much better this would be with the coaching and doctors at Virta, but hopefully, as more and more people cure their diabetes, instead of living a life of slow death insurance companies will begin to understand this will save them money down the road. Kudo’s to VIrta, I have spent a lot of time watching your vidio’s and presentations, and knowing what I am doing is science based, not fad based gives me confidence to keep going on. Thanks.

    Reply

    1. Virta Health

      Thanks for all your support! We’re working on getting more widespread insurance coverage, so keep an eye on us! Your insurance may cover us in the future.

      Reply

  2. Cynthia Contreras August 22, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    Your amazing! Congrats on your Success!

    Reply

  3. I am 75 and keep getting rejected by Virta. When will you broaden your requirements. I am in good shape and have brought my A1c down and unmedicated. I would love to have Virta keep track of me and get my numbers even lower. I can’t believe Virta doesn’t care about people over 70.

    Reply

    1. Virta Health

      Thanks so much for your interest in Virta! At the root of our decisions is the fact that we can never compromise patient safety, and there are generally two issues that initiate most of our exclusions. The first is that we are somewhat limited by the technology of remote monitoring. Some medical conditions, such as ongoing or recent cancer treatment or complex or recent cardiovascular events, create exclusions because coordinating remote care creates difficulties in delivering treatment. Our physicians need the flexibility to evaluate these more complex cases on a case by case basis to ensure we can deliver safe and effective outcomes.

      Secondly, as a science and evidence based company, we make our decisions based on our research and that of others. This means that currently, we won’t accept patients younger than 18 or older than 69 at the time of application.

      The good news is that this will change rapidly over time, and it is possible that in the near future we may be able to change our exclusion criteria. For now, we strongly recommend you explore treatment options with your existing physician, as others might be able to provide the type of support required for you.

      Reply

  4. Thanks, Cynthia. The interesting thing is that the Virta way of eating is so much easier and tastier than all the other diets I’ve tried that do not work! It is not a sacrifice to eat the Virta way. No hunger and no cravings!

    Reply

  5. I am healthy, except for diabetes, and weight appropriate, but past the age for Virta. My local doctor is not interested in this method (not what was taught in his med school). Cab you recommend any other coaching or medical resources?

    Reply

    1. Virta Health

      We recommend you find a physician who can closely supervise you in this treatment. As for resources, our founders Drs. Steve Phinney and Jeff Volek wrote The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living, which explains a lot of the science. We also have an FAQ here: https://blog.virtahealth.com/nutritional-ketosis-faq/

      Reply

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