Over 1 in 10 Americans— 34.5 million of us — suffer from diabetes, according to the CDC. That doesn’t even take into account the over 88 million adults who have prediabetes – an astounding 34.5% of the US population.
As the $400B/year epidemic rages on, 30 Americans per hour die from diabetes (a figure that’s increasing amid COVID-19 [care.diabetesjournals.org]) and there are 350 amputations per day due to the disease.
And the problem is only getting worse. Every 17 seconds, an American is diagnosed with diabetes, and the CDC estimates that 1 in 3 Americans will develop diabetes in their lifetime, if trends continue.
Now, with the resurgence of COVID-19 infections & hospitalization, it has become even more imperative to improve diabetes care. That’s because those who have this underlying condition – and particularly those who are overweight and/or have poorly controlled blood sugar – are much more likely to suffer from severe complications and even death from the virus.
But, there are stories of hope for people with diabetes – stories of how regular people like Whitney Morganbeat the statistics and broke the cycle of the diabetes epidemic. With American Diabetes Month [diabetes.org] coming up in November, this story is especially important.
Whitney was first diagnosed with gestational diabetes when she was pregnant with her second child. For years she worked to manage her diabetes by going on strict diets and losing weight – yet she always seemed to get sicker. During a doctor’s visit when she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, her A1c was so high, it was LITERALLY off the charts, and the doctor was shocked she was not in a diabetic coma. At that point, she was immediately started on diabetes medications – but one after the other gave her severe side effects. When nothing was working, her doctor seemingly gave up and said, “I don’t know what else to do, we are running out of options.”
Whitney was not ready to accept this death sentence, so she opted to try Virta, a virtual lifestyle treatment aimed at reversing diabetes without medications. Now Whitney is off two diabetes medications, including her daily insulin injections, has lost 30 pounds, and is living a life her doctor once told her was not an option.