Randy Jackson’s Health: His Battle With Weight Loss, Walking With a Cane & How He’s Feeling Now

The former 'American Idol' judge has had gastric bypass surgeries and has been diagnosed with type two diabetes. Find out more about Randy Jackson's health here.

Reading Time: 3 minutes
randy jackson
Image Credit: Sara Jaye Weiss/Shutterstock

  • Randy Jackson is a musician and former ‘American Idol’ judge, who had significant weight loss and has battled diabetes.
  • He underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2003.
  • Randy had to walk with a cane while his health recovered.

Randy Jackson has been open about his health for years, including during his time as a judge on American Idol. The acclaimed musician, 67, has spoken about his weight loss and some of his struggles with his health in interviews and promotional appearances, and he’s said that those close to him are very supportive of his decisions regarding his health.

Randy has also worked to try to help others with their health through his company Unify Health Labs, which aims “to help other people in their journey to get healthy — while sparing them the long, confusing search he went through,” according to its website. Find out everything you need to know about Randy’s health here.

Randy Jackson has been open with his health issues through the years. (Sara Jaye Weiss/Shutterstock)

Randy Jackson Was Diagnosed With Type 2 Diabetes

The Journey bassist was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2002, as Idol was at the height of its fame. He called the diagnosis a “wake-up call,” and it motivated him to try to get healthy. “Diabetes snuck up on me. I didn’t know I had it, and it was a huge wake-up call to get my health together,” he told ABC News in an interview. After receiving his diagnosis, he did a lot of research into the best way to treat it.

Part of the way that Randy sought to treat his diabetes was by undergoing gastric bypass surgery. The procedure helped him lose 100 pounds, and he aided it with a healthy diet and exercise. He opened up about his habits in a 2008 interview with WebMD.“I am very attuned to knowing when I have had enough,” he said. “The signal to stop eating is going to come from your body, not an empty plate.”

Some fans have worried as Randy’s been seen walking with a cane on a few occasions in recent years. (CPR/Bruce / BACKGRID)

What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a form of the disease where the body has trouble regulating the amount of sugar in the bloodstream, according to the Mayo Clinic. Two of the largest effects of type 2 diabetes include the body not producing a sufficient amount of insulin to regulate sugar in the bloodstream and the body reacting poorly to insulin. While there isn’t a cure, weight loss, diet, and exercise are all effective means of keeping the disease in check.

How Long Has Randy Jackson Been Sick?

Randy first learned about his diabetes diagnosis in 2002, and he’s been very open about his health struggles since then. Some fans have been concerned as they’ve seen him walk with the help of a cane in recent years (like when he joined fellow former Idol judges Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell to support Kelly Clarkson when she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame), but he’s assured people that he’s OK.  Randy has also undergone spinal surgery in 2019, as he revealed in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. He also continues to run Unify Health Labs, which he founded in 2019, and shares his story.

Randy was seen with a cane while reuniting with his fellow former ‘Idol’ judges and Kelly Clarkson. (John Salangsang/Shutterstock)

How Is Randy Jackson Doing Today?

Randy seems like he’s doing well with his health and keeps on top of it. Besides Unify Health Labs, he also penned a health and dieting book Body With Soul in 2008.  He said he likes being open with his fans in a November 2022 episode of Tig Notaro’s podcast Don’t Ask TigHe admitted that his walking was improving in the interview. “I’m happy that I did that because it gave me a much better quality of life, even though I’ve been going through some back surgeries over the last couple of years. But on the mend there, trying to get off the cane and walk better,” he said.