Randy Jackson's Struggle With Diabetes

Randy Jackson is famous for being a Grammy-winning musician and the cool judge on "American Idol," but he is also the spokesperson for the American Heart Association's The Heart of Diabetes campaign.

Jackson, who is one of 21 million Americans suffering from diabetes, is looking for people who suffer from type 2 diabetes.

About five of years ago, Jackson weighed 355 pounds and started feeling rundown.

"I was feeling really ill over a couple days, thought I had a cold, was running a high fever," he told The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm. "I finally went to the doctor and they said, 'Guess what? You have type 2 diabetes.' It ran in my family and all this, so it was a little hereditary for me, but also it was not healthy living, eating, anything, exercise that I was doing, and I was really heavy at that time."

The diabetes diagnosis lead to Jackson having gastric bypass surgery and he has lost 110 pounds since.

"It really helped to get the disease to a manageable level for me so I could just go on medication," he said.

Jackson was lucky that he received a diagnosis in time for him to develop a healthy lifestyle. Now that he is the spokesperson for the American Heart association's campaign, he is hoping to raise awareness because he says that 1/3 of the people who have the disease don't know it.

Jackson offered some tips for people to prevent diabetes and stay healthy if they develop it.

  • Keep active and maintain a healthy body weight.

    "I learned to love the treadmill," he said. "I hated it before, but I really love it because of my busy lifestyle. It's something I can always do, jump on the treadmill for 45 minutes."

  • Go to the doctor.

    "Definitely consult your doctor and have regular visits," Jackson said. "Men are really bad about going to the doctor. You should go about four times a year at least. And normalize your blood sugar. Check it all the time and try to eat a balanced diet."

    Jackson says he was an emotional eater and, especially coming from the South where fattening comfort food abounds, it was difficult for him to change his habits.

    "It's trying to get sensible about that. In diet, I think moderation is the key. Too much of anything is going to be terrible for you," he said.

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