I was diagnosed with prediabetes during a routine visit with my physician. My blood sugar was 145 mg/dL and my A1c was around 6.3%. My doctor said that discovering this early was actually a good thing because I could control it with medication and a change of diet. He prescribed me a few medications and put me in contact with a registered dietitian.
Over the next 10 years, I tried a medley of medications including metformin, Invokana, and Trulicity. No matter what I did, though, I was not able to control my blood sugar. The process was always the same: I would start a new medication. My blood sugar would decrease initially, but after a few months, it would jump back up. As a teacher, working long hours, I was out of the house all day and did not have the time to pay much attention to my diet. For lunch, I would usually grab pizza or a burger from the school cafeteria. By the time I got home after a long day of school, I was always exhausted, so fast food was our go-to for dinner. So in hindsight, the increase in my blood sugar was not surprising because I had never made the recommended dietary changes.
In early 2021, I received a call from my doctor saying that my A1c had increased to 7.9%, and I needed to start taking insulin immediately. I had always been scared of taking injections, so this felt like a wakeup call. I knew I had to make some changes but just was not sure what to do. Fate intervened and a few weeks after that phone call, I received an email from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas saying that through the Teachers Retirement System of Texas, I now had access to a treatment called Virta that could help me get off my medications and even reverse my diabetes. It was exactly what I had been looking for and knew I had to try it.
The transition to the Virta treatment has gone extremely well. My health coach, Adan, has been a great support system and has provided a lot of tips that I incorporate into my daily life. So for example, when I grab a hamburger in the school cafeteria, I make simple modifications like eating it with lettuce instead of the bun. Overall, the food options and variety available through Virta are great. Other diets require you to cut out everything that tastes good, but with Virta, the types of food that I get to enjoy are not only delicious, but satisfying as well. Virta is more than a diet for me; it’s a new way of life.
I have been on the Virta treatment for three months now, and have seen huge improvements. Before Virta, my blood sugar ran between 130-140 mg/dL, which I have lowered to around 100-110 mg/dL. My A1c was 7.2% at the start, and my latest lab results showed that it had dropped to 6.8%. These improvements came even though I have stopped needing Invokana, and my Virta doctor lowered my insulin dosage from 15 units to 4 units. On top of this, I have also lost 15 pounds, which was a pleasant surprise.
Before Virta, I used to want to take a nap after a long day of teaching. But now, I have so much more energy that I am ready to do something after school like go on a walk or spend more time with my kids. I am so happy with the changes so far, and my next goal is to lower my blood sugar to under 100 mg/dL and continue to lose more weight. Because of Virta, I believe that these goals are achievable. I feel amazing and can’t wait to see what’s next!
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