Frequently Asked Questions

This page covers frequently asked questions on our treatment and the enrollment process. For questions on the science behind Virta, see our Research and our list of Nutritional Ketosis FAQs.
The Virta Treatment
What is the Virta Treatment?

The Virta Treatment is the first clinically-proven approach to reverse type 2 diabetes and other chronic metabolic diseases without the use of medications or surgery.

How does the Virta Treatment work?
  • Virta addresses the underlying causes of type 2 diabetes using a highly individualized approach to carbohydrate intake and nutritional ketosis, accounting for each person's unique biochemistry, medications, and lifestyle.
  • Most people living with diabetes see their medical provider every 6-12 months. Virta has reinvented the diabetes care model by providing patients with continuous, technology-enabled remote care from Virta medical providers who are experts in safely reducing and eliminating diabetes medications.
  • Our safety and efficacy has been proven in a large-scale clinical trial, which demonstrated the safe reversal of type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and metabolic syndrome without the use of surgery or pharmaceuticals.
  • Most patients see meaningful results in a matter of weeks, and they are able to sustain this success with the support of their Virta health coach and medical provider.
What does the Virta Treatment include?
  • Medical Supervision: A metabolic health specialist provides continuous medical supervision, check-ups, and safe medication reductions.
  • Personal Health Coach: A nutrition and behavior expert answers your questions, helps you form habits, and keeps you accountable.
  • Tools for Biomarker Feedback: Measuring blood glucose, ketones, weight, and more helps us personalize the Virta Treatment to your individual biochemistry.
  • A Clinic in Your Pocket: Our easy-to-use mobile and desktop app provides immediate access to care—no waiting rooms and no lines.
  • On-demand Resources: Learn the basics from a structured online curriculum, and access a library of guides and food options for any dietary preference.
  • Private Virta Community: Connect with other Virta patients to find support and share tips in a positive, moderated environment.
Who could benefit from the Virta Treatment?

The Virta Treatment is designed to improve metabolic health by treating insulin resistance, and can reverse metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

How does the Virta app work?

Everything you need to learn, practice, or measure will be presented to you daily through a custom online experience, which can be accessed through a desktop or mobile app:

  • Educational Content: step-by-step, interactive video guides teach the science and concepts behind Virta.
  • Phases: custom goals help turn new learnings into long-term, sustainable habits.
  • Biomarker Tracking: as a Virta patient, you will log your biomarker data regularly, which will guide your Virta health coach and medical provider’s continuous remote care plan and ensure your safety and success.
  • Chat: secure communication with your Health Coach gives you the space to ask, discuss, and troubleshoot the personal questions you need answered in order to be successful.
  • Practical Resources: access to practical resources likes food lists, recipes, how-to guides, and webinars.
Are there really no medications included in the Virta Treatment?

No. Virta is focused on getting you metabolically healthy and off your diabetes and blood pressure medications.

Why shouldn't I just try to do this on my own?
  • Safety: if you are on any sort of blood sugar or blood pressure lowering medication, you need continuous remote medical supervision. The rapid improvements from ketosis in conjunction with these medications can create hypoglycemic and hypotensive episodes, meaning your medications will need to be adjusted on a day-to-day basis.
  • Success: figuring out how to optimize your metabolic health is difficult - and you can't become an expert overnight! Having a Virta medical team there to answer your questions, provide expert feedback on your data and progress, and make personalized recommendations will ensure that you achieve the maximum benefit from ketosis.
  • Sustainability: to make a genuine and long-lasting lifestyle change, it helps tremendously to have a medical provider, coach, and community of patients supporting you along each step of your journey.
If my medication dose changes, who prescribes the new or adjusted meds for me?

Your Virta medical provider will communicate any dose changes to your pharmacy of choice.

What does my Virta medical provider do?

Your Virta medical provider manages your medical care at the Virta Clinic, and provides the following:

  • Metabolic Health Expertise: Your Virta medical provider becomes your metabolic health specialist. Note that they don't replace your primary care provider, but they will work with them to ensure continuity of care.
  • Safety & Monitoring: Your Virta medical provider ensures your safety by continuously monitoring your data and reported symptoms through the app.
  • Medication Management: Your Virta medical provider manages your medications, including safely reducing or eliminating any medications you no longer need

    • It can be dangerous to suddenly stop taking a medication on your own, which is why the Virta medical provider is there to taper you off and supervise you when your dose changes or is eliminated.
    • If you aren't on any medications, your Virta medical provider will actively work to help you avoid needing certain medications in the future.
How will I interact with my Virta medical provider?

You will have a telemedicine appointment with your Virta medical provider as part of the enrollment process, and then they will monitor your progress on Virta through the app. You will have annual check-ups with them, and they will schedule additional follow-ups as needed.

What does my Virta health coach do?

Your Virta health coach helps you succeed on a daily basis, and provides the following:

  • Nutritional Expertise: if you aren't sure about a particular food, are looking for a substitute brand or recipe, or are interested in knowing more about the science, your Virta health coach can answer your questions.
  • Positive Health Habit Formation: knowing what you should do is only half the battle - you might know what you should do, but struggle to do it consistently. Your Virta health coach will help you figure out the best way to create and solidify positive habits, so that long-term, you can consistently make the right choices.
  • Support & Encouragement: your Virta health coach is there to support your progress, celebrate your successes, and encourage you when obstacles arise.
  • Feedback & Accountability: your Virta health coach reviews your data daily (e.g. biomarkers), and provides feedback and troubleshooting. Knowing that someone else is watching your data and checking in with you on a regular basis keeps you accountable and motivated.
  • Personalized, Goal-Based Phases: everyone has different needs, so your Virta health coach adjusts your path on Virta by selecting treatment phases that reflect your health goals (e.g. complete 7 days with fasting blood glucose under 150 mg/dL).
How does the personalized nutritional intervention work?

The Virta Treatment focuses on helping patients get into nutritional ketosis, which is a metabolic state in which your body is primarily burning fat for energy, instead of burning the sugar from carbs. When you are burning fat efficiently, your body will also begin to produce molecules called ketones, which can act as both fuel and like endogenous hormones. Virta focuses on inducing nutritional ketosis using whole, real foods and a high fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate intake. Since everyone is different, the Virta care team provides personalized recommendations based on your biomarker data (e.g. blood glucose and ketones) to determine if you are consuming an appropriate amount of fat, protein, and carbs for your specific biochemistry.

What is included in the Starter Kit?
  • A body weight scale that uses cellular data to track your weight and upload it automatically
  • A Precision Xtra Meter that measures glucose and ketones
  • Ketone and Glucose Strips
  • Lancets
  • Alcohol Swabs
  • Protein Scale
  • Magnesium
  • Bouillon
  • Helpful printed materials like a food guide
  • Blood Pressure Cuff (as needed)
What biomarkers will I be testing?
  • Blood Glucose: this biomarker reflects the amount of sugar in your blood at any given time, and can indicate if you are consuming over your carbohydrate or protein tolerance, or if your body is experiencing stress and/or inflammation.
  • Blood Ketones: this biomarker reflects the amount of a particular ketone (Beta-hydroxybutyrate or βOHB) in your blood at any given time, and allows you to see if you are keeping your insulin levels low and adapting to a fat-based metabolism.
What sort of education and resources are in the app?
  • Step-by-step Interactive Education: Modules that explain the science behind the Virta Treatment, and teach you how to practically apply these concepts.
  • Practical, Curated Resources: Virta provides carefully curated and scientifically-vetted resources, to ensure that you are getting accurate information. These include recipes, how-to guides (e.g. "Guide to Dining Out"), and food lists.
What does the patient community do?

This private, moderated online forum is a space where patients share wins, recipes, and tips, look for support when challenges arise, and form relationships with their peers. The community is moderated to ensure safety and accuracy of shared information. You can leave the community at any time without penalty, and participation is completely optional.

Is calorie restriction or fasting required?

The Virta perspective on intermittent fasting is that is not necessary to achieve metabolic health. The Virta Treatment does not expect patients to count or restrict calories.

Is exercise required?

Exercise is not required for success on Virta. We encourage you to choose whatever level of physical activity you desire.

Can I join Virta if I travel extensively?

Yes! Because our treatment is accessed digitally, as long as you have internet access, you'll have access to all of our resources and your dedicated Health Coach. We can also provide recommendations and meal ideas as you navigate airports, restaurants, room service, and much more.

Can vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, or patients with other dietary restrictions still do Virta?

Absolutely! The Virta Treatment is diet-agnostic. We personalize the treatment to your individual dietary needs and cultural tastes — ketosis can be achieved from a variety of different high fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate plans.

Do I need a referral from my doctor to start Virta?

No referral is required for Virta - just go to to start your application.

I know someone else who might benefit from Virta—how can I refer them?

Direct them to where they can start their application.

How does the enrollment process work?

Virta's enrollment process has 5 steps:

  • Initial Application: Submitting the initial application through
  • Intake Call: Having your free, no-obligation phone consultation with a Virta enrollment advisor, who can answer any questions you have on how Virta works
  • Paperwork: Submitting your Health History and Release of Information (ROI)
  • Medical Screening: Providing a current set of lab work
  • Doctor's Appointment Video Call: Having your free, no-obligation video consultation with your Virta medical provider, who can answer your personal medical questions
Is there any fee to apply for Virta?

There is no fee to apply—the treatment cost for Virta is not paid until after the entire enrollment process is complete and you are ready to start treatment! For patients who are covered through their employer-sponsored health plans, there is no treatment cost.

What if my medical provider or provider wants to learn more about Virta?

If your medical provider or provider has any questions about Virta's approach, we can put them in contact with your Virta medical provider.

Who would not be a good fit for Virta?

To receive treatment from Virta, a patient must:

  • Speak and read English
  • Be 18 or older and 79 or younger
  • Have access and basic ability to use a smartphone, tablet, or computer
  • Not have any medical conditions that cannot be properly supported through our continuous remote care model at this time. Our enrollment and medical team reviews each patient carefully, so if in doubt, please reach out to us!
I don't have a smartphone - can I still join Virta?

Virta is accessed through a smartphone, tablet or computer. While we recommend a smartphone for continuous access to your treatment and care team, it is not necessary to have a smartphone to be successful on Virta.

Where is the Virta Treatment available?

The Virta Treatment is currently only available in the United States. If you live in another country, please still reach out to us at to be added to our waitlist!

Where is Virta located?

Virta's corporate headquarters are in California, but our treatment is designed to be accessed digitally through the Virta app, so that patients can receive treatment anywhere. Our patients communicate with their Virta medical provider and health coach via telehealth appointments, phone calls, and text message.

How does the patient assistance program (PAP) work?

Based on household size and income as determined by an applicant's tax return from the prior year, a patient may be eligible for up to a 60% discount off the annual cost of Virta. At this time, there is no monthly payment option for PAP.

Are you accepting additional patients for Virta's clinical trial?

At this time, we are not currently looking for additional participants for our trial. There is a chance that Virta recruit for another trial in the future, but there is no current, active recruitment.

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