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Medication was controlling my life, but because of Virta, I am back in the driver’s seat

August 18, 2021
August 18, 2021

By Joe, AutoZoner for 10 years, on Virta for 16 months

Your life can change in a matter of minutes. I was in the emergency room due to a minor complication from my Intermittent Atrial fibrillation (AFib) when the ER doctor asked how I had been managing my type 2 diabetes. I had no idea how to respond! He then told me that my blood sugar was extremely high, and I needed to look into medications and additional care immediately. Imagine my surprise when I went into the ER with AFib, but left with a brand new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. 

After leaving the hospital, I met with my internist who prescribed multiple medications that would manage my type 2 diabetes. Over the next few years, it was trial and error with these medications and their dosage because nothing really seemed to stick. Before Virta, I was taking one injection daily of both insulin and Victoza. The medication wasn’t really helping because my A1c stayed high around 7.2%, and I never had a morning where my fasting blood sugar was lower than 150 mg/dL. 

A few years ago, AutoZone introduced a program that was supposed to help people like me better manage my diabetes by regularly monitoring my blood sugar levels. This helped me lower my A1c slightly and lose a few pounds, but I wasn’t unable to stop taking any of my medications. Ultimately, I didn’t feel like I had true control over my life. 

Last year, I received an email from AutoZone announcing a new benefit for type 2 diabetes through Virta Health. The email said that Virta could help me come off my medications and reverse my type 2 diabetes, as well as help others lose weight and prevent prediabetes from getting worse. These were some of the exact problems I was trying to solve, so I was instantly intrigued. I applied and spoke to Virta’s enrollment advisor. She showed me that my medications were controlling my diabetes, not me, but Virta could help change that. That was when a lightbulb turned on in my head—I wanted to learn how to take back control and reverse my diabetes. 

The transition to Virta was easier than I expected. I was never a big vegetable eater, and struggled in the beginning to find meal options that I enjoyed.  But my health coach Kari was very helpful because she helped me explore different vegetable-based recipes and healthy alternatives. For example - I learned you can get a burger at 5 Guys with a lettuce wrap, which has become a new go-to for when we want to eat out. 

Since starting Virta last year, I have stopped taking both insulin and Victoza. In addition to that, my A1c is around 5.2% and my morning blood sugar averages 90-110 mg/dl. I recently visited family in Philadelphia and was worried if I would be able to maintain my diet while traveling. But I am excited to share that I was able to do it. I have so much more control over my life and health because of this treatment, and I am so thankful to AutoZone and Virta for helping me get here.

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