By Greg, a Virta patient
When I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes three years ago, I didn’t understand the severity of diabetes and what it could do to your body. I was always told the only thing you could do to manage it was to take medicine and exercise. For someone who stays active and has been overweight for the majority of his life, just saying “exercise” and “take these meds” wasn’t going to work. I was frustrated that I had let food control my life so much that I now had to take metformin and perhaps more meds for the rest of my life. But the only thing I changed was that I stopped drinking sugary soda. I was in denial about my diabetes from the beginning.
For the first two years, I was always tired and snacked to bring up my energy level. It was always just a temporary fix, and I would be exhausted an hour later. I started to get neuropathy in my feet, and they stayed numb most of the time. I had constant mood swings and was not a fun person to live with.
I joined Virta a year ago after I got an email from my employer, US Foods, about Virta being offered as a new employee benefit. Prior to Virta, I had also tried using digital diabetes management programs, since US Foods covers them too. I joined the management program because they offer a cool meter and free diabetes supplies. But I still struggled to improve my blood sugar, and I couldn’t get off my diabetes meds. They did not offer any support other than to resupply me when I needed lancets or strips. The only contact I had with them is when my glucose level dropped below 75 mg/dL, they would message me asking if I was ok. That’s it. The supplies were nice, but I realized that watching my blood sugar and carefully taking my meds wasn’t going to be enough to reverse my diabetes.
Since starting Virta, my A1C has dropped from 6.7% to 5.2%, putting me below the diagnostic threshold for diabetes (6.5%) and even below the threshold for prediabetes (5.7%). Even though I stopped the metformin, my blood glucose has remained steadily between 75 and 85. My blood pressure has also come down, even though it wasn’t that high to begin with. I’ve even lost over 100 pounds and have reached my goal weight of 205 pounds. I have so much more energy. I no longer have a foggy feeling in my brain, and I can actually remember things again! I stopped having so many mood swings, my energy level is through the roof, and I sleep through the night and feel rested when I wake up. Best of all, I have regained the feeling in my feet!
These health improvements have really enhanced my day to day quality of life. Before getting on Virta, I was always tired after work, so I would spend time laying on the couch or in my chair. I love being able to now play more with my kids. I also have always loved baseball, and wanted to be umpire but never seemed to be able to do it. I now have the confidence and the energy I need to umpire games.
I think the greatest part of Virta is the fact that you are not on this journey alone. You have a health coach to help with the day to day, so you don’t have to struggle on your own. There is also the Virta Community, where we can celebrate our successes and share our challenges with people just like us, from all over the country. I think that Virta is almost fail-proof and the support system is fantastic. Virta makes it easy through the mobile app to get answers to quick questions and to keep information at your fingertips. Virta has also helped me gain control over food, and I no longer eat just to eat. I make sensible decisions every day, and I’ve realized it is very easy to stick with Virta even if you’re dining out.
My life is happier and more active because of my success with Virta. A year ago, I had no idea what to do or how I could get healthy. Because of Virta, I am now educated on how to get healthy and reverse my diabetes. Virta saved my life, and I now know what a long-term healthy lifestyle looks like. If you have type 2 diabetes, Virta is the only way to go!