Jackson's symptoms of fatigue and dehydration are very typical of people who have diabetes, Clement said, adding that blurred vision can be another common complaint of undiagnosed diabetes. Tests showing a high blood sugar level, high blood pressure and a cholesterol profile that includes a high triglyceride count and a low HDL count can indicate diabetes.
Jackson said that after his diagnosis, "the hardest thing to change was what I grew up with in Baton Rouge, Louisiana -- southern cooking."
All the sweet foods he loves and southern classic dishes like gumbo are no longer part of his diet, replaced with healthier food and a treadmill in his bedroom.
"I need to see the treadmill in my bedroom so I can stumble over to it," he quipped.
But Jackson urges everyone with diabetes to go at their own pace to improve their health -- and not get discouraged.
"The thing about being overweight is that you don't really want to work out, so I tell people, 'Just walk around the block 12 times,' " he said.
Visit The Heart of Diabetes to learn about the disease and tell your own story.
SOURCES: Randy Jackson, musician, music producer and judge on American Idol; Stephen Clement, M.D., associate professor of medicine/endocrinology, Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, D.C.; American Heart Association
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