My type 2 diabetes was out of control when I was diagnosed about 6 years ago. I was 45 years old, and my A1c was 13.1%, with blood sugars frequently testing over 500 mg/dL. I wasn’t as concerned as I should have been at the time, because those numbers didn’t mean anything to me. Type 2 diabetes was not even on my radar, and I didn’t have many symptoms. While I remember noticing some general blurriness in my vision, as well as a decline in the quality of my sleep, I didn’t see any other dramatic signs, so I didn’t take it very seriously. My first thought was simply, “What pill can I take to get better?”
My doctor first prescribed metformin, and over the last 5 years, my medication list grew to include glimepiride and injectable Trulicity. With these prescriptions, my A1c decreased to a “manageable” 7.1%. It stayed above the threshold for type 2 diabetes, but at least I didn’t feel like I was in imminent danger. Still, I didn’t want to be forever dependent on medications in order to stay healthy.
Then towards the end of 2019, I received a letter from my health insurance provider, announcing access to Virta Health’s type 2 diabetes reversal treatment. Though the letter said Virta could reverse type 2 diabetes without medication, surgery, or even exercise, I didn’t know much else about how the treatment worked. As with most things that seem too good to be true, I had some doubts and ignored the letter.
Over the next few weeks, I saw additional emails and ads on Facebook about the Virta treatment. They explained how it reduces medications, helps with weight loss, and how it is covered for eligible members like me. Though I wanted to continue to ignore it, I had a nagging feeling in the back of my head telling me to at least give it a try. When I finally took the leap and contacted Virta, all of my doubts disappeared.
My first contact with Virta was a personal phone consultation with an enrollment advisor, and we discussed if the treatment was right for me. She answered all of my questions, from “How does Virta even work?” to questions that were specific to my personal health and conditions. Then I spoke with my Virta provider over a video call. This was the first time I’ve ever seen a doctor over video, and it has certainly opened my eyes to what is possible with telemedicine. It was so convenient to do the appointment from my own house, and Dr. Dumont was a top-notch expert on diabetes reversal. I don’t know if there are even any doctors in my area with his expertise.
I can’t believe how quickly I’ve gotten better after starting Virta. In just 3 months, my A1c has decreased from 7.1% to 5.8%, even though I completely stopped the Trulicity injections and the glimepiride. It boggles my mind that I had barely managed type 2 diabetes with a cocktail of drugs for over 6 years, and then it took only 3 months on Virta to reverse it. My blood sugar levels are also more stable, now varying only by about 10 points daily instead of 50 points before I started Virta. As a side benefit, I even lost 50 pounds, currently weighing in at 200 pounds even.
These rapid improvements in my health have made me better at my job. I am an Event Presentation Manager at Toyota Stadium, just outside of Dallas, TX. Working at a full-sized stadium means that I often walk the length of a soccer field dozens of times a day, sometimes up to 10 miles. In fact, I had to climb a set of stairs the other day while carrying two 25-pound sandbags. It made me think back to when I used to carry that same 50 pounds on my body every day. It is so much easier to get around now, and I never want to go back to the way things were before Virta.
What I appreciate most about Virta is knowing that I have a support system just a tap away on my smartphone. My Virta health coach has been involved every step of the way, starting from day 1 of my treatment. Together, we address challenges, set goals, and work toward achieving them. At the same time, I never feel policed or micromanaged by the Virta care team. Instead, they empower me to take control, providing the tools and education I need to make healthy choices that work for my individual body and metabolic health.
My family and friends have been wonderfully supportive. I just came back from a family wedding, where I saw some cousins that I hadn’t seen for over a year. They all thought I looked great and wanted to know what I was doing. I find myself telling as many people as I can about Virta and why it works. I want more people with type 2 diabetes to know about Virta and give it a chance!
I was pretty doubtful and skeptical of trying Virta at first, but now I am so glad that I did. This is the future, not only for reversing type 2 diabetes, but for healthcare in general. The combination of technology, care on demand, and clinical expertise is how all medical decisions should be made. By covering Virta, my health plan has shown itself to be at the forefront of this revolutionary movement. I am so grateful for this treatment, for reversing my diabetes, and for a future I can look forward to.
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