By Erica B, Virta patient
I was first diagnosed with prediabetes in 2011 and I remember feeling like I had been punched in the stomach. Four of my relatives in the generation above me have type 2 diabetes and I’ve seen their struggles. I immediately tried changing my diet: cutting out refined sugars, white rice, pasta, and bread. My doctor prescribed Metformin, but I kept telling myself that I would lose weight and lower my A1c through diet and exercise. (I didn't take the Metformin past the first week.)
I started exercising more but I began to have spine and nerve issues. I admit that I occasionally did have treats of candy, cheesecake, etc. thinking that a little wouldn't hurt since it wasn't a regular habit. I kept on thinking that if I lost 10 lbs, I might lower my A1c just enough to keep out of trouble, enough to stave off type 2 diabetes.
I remember being devastated each time I bought new pants and skirts only to grow out of them within a year. It seemed like all my efforts meant nothing. There were many times that I was brought to tears as I continually thought about how my life would change for the worse when I would finally get the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. I couldn’t stop worrying about the complications that would follow.
Finally, I tearfully asked my doctor for a prescription of Metformin to help me: I was in fear of needlessly damaging my eyes, kidneys, feet, etc. She directed me to websites related to eating heart healthy and the Mediterranean diet. She then set me up for a follow-up visit.
While waiting for my follow-up visit, I found out about Virta though my health insurance carrier’s app. I joined Virta at the beginning of July. After just a few days on the Virta treatment, my blood glucose dropped below 100. About a month into treatment, I had lost 18 pounds. After 40 days, I dropped below 200 pounds -- the first time in 12 years!
Life on Virta is different. Virta-friendly meals are satisfying and it’s greatly reduced my hunger. My sugar cravings have stopped. I feel good every day because I am actively making choices that are good for my body. I am so happy that my efforts bring about real change: My energy is sustained, not fleeting. I sleep soundly. I no longer need to take power naps or need a sugar boost; I find it easy to make it through the day without dragging. I don't feel the need to constantly snack. I have more confidence as I go about my day, and that carries over into my job and other daily activities.
I think that Virta’s support system is key: My intake call was pivotal: I keep remembering the intake specialist telling me, "You are not a failure." Everything else after that moment was just as valuable. I love my health coach! I had a lumbar injection recently and it was reassuring to have my questions answered by my supervising physician.
All of the other Virta resources set me up for continued success. I fear nothing about traveling, family reunions, and friendly get-togethers: I know that with good planning, referring to the guide, and using all the tips that I’ve learned, I will be prepared. I also enjoy keeping up with and supporting my fellow “Virtans” on the community blogs.
I think that anyone with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes should consider Virta seriously. They should weigh the changes diabetes would bring to their body against the dietary changes on Virta and see why it's worthy of consideration.