In his 2008 memoir “Body With Soul” (via Today), Randy Jackson discussed the health problems that he suffered from for years. After a health scare in 1999 resulted in him being admitted to the emergency room, he was subsequently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. “For five long days I had been feeling sick in the craziest kind of way — extremely tired, extremely thirsty, all sweaty and dizzy,” he recalled. Then came the news that his blood sugar was five times higher than normal, putting him at risk of a heart attack or stroke. “It’s a curse to be saddled with a disease that’s life-threatening and that you can’t completely get rid of (though you can certainly manage it). But it’s a blessing to get that huge wake-up call,” he explained.
Subsequently, he decided to prioritize his health, as he feared he would die young or else have life-threatening complications without medical intervention. “It had really come down to a matter of life and death (or at least a life threatened by blindness, amputation, and the complications I mentioned earlier),” he said. He underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2003.
In an interview with WebMD, Jackson acknowledged that he had difficulty managing his diabetes. He also opened up about his issues with food addiction and binge eating, which exacerbated his illness. Accordingly, he highlighted the importance of being kind to oneself, noting that depriving one’s body of food can trigger a binge cycle.
If you need help with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA’s Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).