By Richard K., a Virta Patient
When my doctor informed me in early 2013 that I was diagnosed with prediabetes, I had no idea what that meant. One year later, the prediabetes eventually turned into type 2 diabetes. I began reading books on diabetes and got even more confused and frustrated. In December 2015, my blood test showed a glucose level of 364 and my HbA1c at 12.4. I began working out every day thinking that would do the trick. It failed. And every 6 months my blood test showed little or no progress. I was on daily insulin shots, and I believed that would offset my evening food binge. That failed too. I thought I was doomed to a life of diabetes and all the physical symptoms that went along with it. I had sudden and frequent urges to urinate almost every hour. My skin was constantly itching, I was constantly dehydrated, and I had severe dry mouth. I had also developed a bumpy rash on both of my ankles that looked horrible. I wore socks to bed to hide them from my fiancé.
While on vacation last April, I saw an article in the New York Times about Virta. I loved that the Virta treatment provides a personal coach because I needed to be accountable to somebody on a daily basis. I knew about the keto diet and had tried it, but this was completely different. I knew I had to do it. I said to my fiancé, “I can’t say if this is going to work, since nothing else has. But this seems to be a full service medical team dedicated to reversing diabetes. It just feels right.” As expected, she hoped for the best but prepared for another failure.
At first, it wasn’t easy to change my lifestyle. But every day I checked my blood glucose and weight, and when I saw my numbers going down, that was my motivator. My personal coach kept me motivated and focused. After a few weeks I was able to decrease my insulin! And then all of a sudden, within 6 weeks, my glucose was under 125! I thought that was never going to happen.
Looking back, I remember I met with a couple reps from diabetes medication companies, who said my doctor would be happy with a fasting blood glucose of 190. I thought I would never be able to get there, even with medication. This morning I woke up with a fasting blood glucose of 118.
After four months on Virta, I’ve reduced my HbA1c from 12.4% to 6.4%, putting me under the diagnostic threshold for type 2 diabetes. I lost 20 pounds, and I eliminated my insulin and other diabetes medications. Miraculously, my physical symptoms are non-existent.
My sleep is awesome. I have no itching, no rashes, no excessive urinating, no dry mouth, and the energy level of a 20-year old. I always thought these were separate medical issues, but they were all linked to my chronically high blood sugar, and the Virta treatment resolved them all. My fiancé has fallen in love with Virta because she has personally witnessed the transformation of a “new” man.
I was also surprised to discover that Virta has saved me a ton of money. I love cooking now. I don’t have to go to the doctor to get medications for my itching and other symptoms, and I’m not paying for the medications I was on before.
When I run into people after a couple of months, they all ask what I’m doing, how I look so different. They don’t see my blood glucose improvements, but they see the physical improvements and the increased mental clarity.
I tell them, “If you want to do this, you need a coach, dedicated to the Virta plan, who will guide you and give you accountability.” I emphasize to people the importance of the Virta app that tracks your progress, and the need for a Virta physician’s expertise to oversee your overall progress. A comprehensive solution like Virta will definitely make lasting behavioral changes.
My doctor said he couldn’t even recognize me when I entered his office after 90-days on Virta. Even the front office staff were dumbfounded at how great I looked. I did my blood panel a month ago and it looked like another person’s results. After seeing how it helped me, my doctor not only loves Virta, he recommends it to his other patients.
My stubbornness before Virta could have shortened my life. I thought I could do it alone—read some books, exercise more and take more medications. Well, as the truism says about succeeding at anything, “It takes a village.” Virta is the village. I want Virta to be a household name. I tried so many diabetes treatments that failed. This should be the first step people take, before they take medications and insulin.