Randy Jackson Promises to “Take Diabetes to Heart”

Will Randy Jackson still be a judge on American Idol?

That’s what Barbara Walters kept asking guest Randy Jackson on today’s edition of The View.

But that’s not what Randy wanted to talk about.

He was there to talk about a partnership he had made with the pharmaceutical company Merck. The campaign that Jackson has become the spokesperson for is called “Take Diabetes to Heart. The program is designed to “help people living with type 2 diabetes ‘get in tune’ with the disease and to ‘drum up’ awareness of serious complications, including heart disease.”

Jackson, 56, was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes 9 years ago. He originally thought he just had the flu, feeling “tired, lethargic, and thirsty all the time.”  By the time he actually sought medical attention, his blood sugar was five times normal!

After the initial shock wore off, Jackson worked with his physician and through weight loss (over 100 pounds, with the help of gastric bypass surgery), changes in his diet and exercise,  his diabetes is in much better control.

Randy’s “Favorite Tips” for “Taking Diabetes to Heart”

“Hit Your Notes”

Work with your doctor to come up with a treatment plan that works for you and set goals for the “ABC’s of Diabetes”: your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

Journey for Control, Merck

“Tune Up” Your Diet

Eat smaller portions, fill up on fresh fruits and vegetables, and keep track of your carbs. Planning your meals ahead of time helps!

Drop a Few Pounds

Losing weight isn’t easy, but even a small amount of weight loss can help reduce risks to your health.

“Move to Your Own Groove”

You can have fun while exercising. If you can’t get to a gym, take a walk, park your car a little farther away from where you are heading, or take the stairs. Every little bit helps, as long as you keep moving.

Gather Your “Fans”

Having a supportive entourage can help keep you on track. Involve family and friends in your diabetes management plan – a little support goes a long way.

Know When to Quit

If you smoke and have diabetes, you have an even higher risk of heart attack or stroke – 10 times the risk of a non-smoker without diabetes. And, if you already have diabetes, the harmful effects of smoking can cause even more complications, such as nerve damage and kidney disease. What are you waiting for? QUIT.

Put Yourself “Center Stage”

If you get discouraged, think of the big picture. The changes you are working hard to make can help you reduce your risk of heart disease, manage your diabetes, and work toward a healthier life.

You can get more details about the “Take Diabetes to Heart” program by clicking here.

BTW: Randy never did tell Barbara whether he will be continuing as a judge on American Idol. He says things are still being “worked out” and should be finally settled over the next two weeks. The only thing that is definite is that Mariah Carey (who Jackson manages) will be one of the judges. He did not rule out  that he could have a different role on the show. (Should Ryan Seacrest be worried???)

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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