From Gestational Diabetes to Type 2 to Diabetes Reversal: a Nurse’s Story
By Brenda, a Virta patient
During my pregnancy in 2000, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I felt scared, lonely, depressed, hopeless, and ashamed. I worried for my unborn child. I had to do frequent finger sticks, give myself insulin, and take non-stress tests to monitor the health of my baby. It basically consumed my life.
I continued to have type 2 diabetes even after my baby was born and I continued to gain weight. I was hungry no matter how much I ate. I had to bring my insulin with me everywhere. I was confused at what to do, or not do, to help my situation. I tried diets, dietary changes, cleanses, and exercise. Nothing ever worked.
I experienced massive blood sugar swings and I never felt right. I would go to work as a nurse, and by the afternoon, my blood sugar would drop so far down that I would run to the nourishment room and eat graham crackers and juice until I felt "normal." I was always afraid that I would pass out when I started feel the nervousness, fogginess, and visual disturbances that occurred whenever my blood sugar dropped near 100.
In 2017, I was about to leave the house one day when I caught a preview of “The Doctors” television show. I heard them say "the company that is reversing diabetes." My ears perked up, and I took note of the company’s name so I could research it later. When I came back home, I looked up Virta Health on my computer, watched their YouTube videos, and became very interested in what they might be able to do for me.
I joined Virta in September of 2017. My A1C right before starting was 6.8, and my average glucose was 148. I averaged 70 units of fast-acting insulin before meals and 80 units of long-acting insulin at bedtime. This is a lot of insulin! Seven months into the Virta treatment, my A1C was 6.1 and my average glucose was 128. The day before I started Virta, they told me to reduce my insulin so much that I thought my blood sugar was going to go through the roof, but it didn't, and it was all good from there!
Before the Virta treatment, I also had edema and took Lasix for it. Now, I’ve stopped taking Lasix, but the swelling in my legs and ankles has improved. The last weight I recorded prior to starting Virta was 289.9 lbs. Today, I am proud and happy to say I weigh 195 pounds. I haven't been this small for 30 years!
The best part about the Virta treatment for me has been that I am completely off of my insulin! My body produces very little insulin on its own, and my endocrinologist was very surprised I was able to come off of it. Most importantly, I don’t have to have surgery!
My primary care physician told me from the very start she would support me, and she has! She’s been amazed at my progress and says I’ve been an inspiration to her.
I don't have to starve or commit to foods or shakes that taste horrible or make me feel bad. I can fix one meal, and my whole family can eat it. I can make breakfast and pack foods to take to work in a matter of minutes. I have tons of fresh choices and don't have to eat pre-made frozen food. I don’t have to replace meals with yet more pills.
I feel so much better without the symptoms of hypo- and hyperglycemia. I have more energy, less weight, and I can move better. I sleep better, wake up more energized, and think more clearly. The pain in my back, legs and feet has improved and I breathe more easily.
I now take pleasure in the small things that have changed: I can walk, bend, breathe, eat, sit at the booth in restaurants, ride rides at amusement parks, and have more room on airplanes. I can wear capris and not have swollen ankles! There is so much that we take for granted.
The best thing about Virta is that I can do it from anywhere. I love the Virta app: it makes everything accessible from just about anywhere! No sitting in doctor’s offices, no more support group meetings, no leaving home for weigh-ins. No more than a few short minutes out of my busy day to input my biomarkers. Their recipes and meal plans are all on your phone. I also appreciate the continuous medical supervision. In my case, it’s is an absolute necessity and gives me a sense of security knowing that someone is monitoring my health and responds to the changes. Last (but really first!): coaches, coaches, coaches...I could not say enough about them! They are all amazing and accessible. If it weren't for their dedication, compassion, caring and commitment, I could not survive and thrive on this treatment. My coach has been there for me every time, and I appreciate that from the bottom of my heart.
If someone out there is thinking about doing Virta, I would advise them this is the easiest, best thing you can do for yourself. The changes are almost immediate, and it doesn't take any more effort than what you are doing currently. I never thought I would be able to do anything to improve my health, but now that I found Virta, I feel hopeful for the future. I feel freer from medication. My body feels better; I know it’s healing.
I never thought in a million years that I would find something that would help me control my blood sugars like this. It has saved my life.