By Richard, on Virta for 7 months
I’ve had type 2 diabetes since 2010, but I didn’t recognize some of its symptoms at the time, particularly the fatigue. Over the years, I would feel tired all the time, to the point where I’d get home from work and fall asleep immediately right in my armchair. I just figured it was because I was busy, or because I didn’t sleep well the night before. Also, at the time, I weighed over 400 pounds.
Last year, my doctor sent me to an endocrinologist when my A1c test came back at 12.1%. At the same time, my cholesterol was around 1,200 mg/dL, so I was referred to a hyperlipidemia specialist as well. I tried to watch my diet and signed up with another popular program, but neither worked for me. I had tried the latest and most effective diets to date, but none had any personalized support. I had some successes, but they were followed by failures that had me back nearly to where I started after years of working to improve my health. It became so frustrating that I had basically given up.
In October of 2020, my employer, Oshkosh, began offering Virta as a free benefit for employees that seemed to do it all: reverse type 2 diabetes, reduce diabetes medications, regain more energy, and help with weight loss. Virta was the program I was waiting for, but I had to make sure, so I started to do my own research. I read news articles about Virta and found medical journals that described the kind of treatment plan that Virta puts their patients on. All of the information I found convinced me that Virta could help me improve my health.
After speaking with a Virta enrollment advisor who guided me through the process, I was introduced to my Virta health coach, Laura. Together, we made a plan to adjust my diet in a way that works for my body. Through the education that Laura provided me along with the resources available on Virta’s app, I learned how to teach my body to not rely on carbs for energy.
By doing so, I now no longer crave sweets. This is quite a change from someone who confesses to having a finely-tuned “food-dar”—I could tell when coworkers bring in something sweet from all the way across the office. Just the other day, someone brought in a retirement cake to share with the team, and I found that I wasn’t even tempted. I think it is because I am more satisfied with the food I am eating on the Virta treatment. I have broken the awful carb cycle so common with diabetes, and I just don’t feel the need to eat as much.
All the while, Laura’s health coaching and the Virta medical team have helped me bring my A1c down from 12.1% to a 6.1%, even as I’ve reduced my diabetes medication by half. My goal to be rid of these medications for good looks achievable with Virta. My cholesterol has also decreased to a much-improved 400 mg/dL, and I believe my next visit will show even more improvement. The 30 pounds I’ve lost has helped me feel better overall as well. I am now the lightest I’ve been in a long time. I have so much extra energy that I even have trouble falling asleep sometimes. I’ve recently started to go hiking again and found that I can go further than ever before and be less tired. This tells me that what I am doing with Virta is working. I am taking more control over my health with the decisions I’m making on what to eat.
One of the best things about Virta is that you have a team there, available at any time to answer questions and offer support. They know how I’m doing because they have access to my real-time health information day in and day out based on what I put into the Virta app. I told my primary care doctor and specialists about the Virta program, but they were skeptical based on the thoughts of fad diets. After seeing my successes on Virta, they are happy to see that I am clearly doing the right thing.
In addition to the support I get through Virta, I know a few other people in my office building at Oshkosh who are also going through the treatment. Being able to talk about it with someone who understands the lifestyle is also really helpful. I’m sure there are countless employees here who could benefit from something like Virta, and I hope they take advantage of the opportunity soon. It would be great to have a group of people at work all achieving the same kinds of results I have and supporting each other along the way!