Slideshow posted in Photos | Tuesday, January 04, 2011
He said on the ABC show 'The View' on Sept. 10, 2012 that when he was first diagnosed with diabetes, he thought he had a cold or the flu. In reality, he was experiencing symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening complication that sent him to the emergency room, where doctors worked to get his blood glucose down from a whopping 500 to normal levels - typically a fifth of that figure.
After he was out of danger, he started exercising, beginning with daily half-hour walks.
'I think you've got to definitely put more fruits and veggies in your lifestyle,' the Louisiana native said. "I tell people always - I grew up in the South where food is just, oh my God ... Everything's fried, there's lard, there's butter.'
He appeared on 'The View' to promote Merck's "Taking Diabetes To Heart" campaign, which features him as its latest celebrity spokesperson.
(Pictured: Randy Jackson appears in a 2011 promotional photo for 'American Idol.') (FOX / Warwick Saint)