Doctor Dre of ‘YO! MTV Raps’ goes blind in health crisis

Dr. Dre and Ed Lover Yo MTV Raps
Doctor Dre and Ed Lover (Photo credit: Everett Collection /

A number of famous Black men in their mid to late 40s are encountering health issues. Medical conditions such as hypertension, stroke, heart attacks and diabetes are striking this age group.

The latest star to develop a serious health issue is the former host of “YO! MTV Raps,” Doctor Dre, whose real name is Andre Brown. He announced recently that he has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and it has taken a toll on him. Over the past few years he has undergone a toe amputation, suffered ankle injuries, and three years ago, he went blind.

The 52-year-old Brown was diagnosed with diabetes more than 10 years ago and he acknowledges that his weight and unhealthy lifestyle contributed to his condition. “I had that lifestyle of being out all the time. You had to be, doing what we were doing. You had to be on the pulse. There was no TMZ or Kim Kardashian. This was the raw beginning. We had to be everywhere,” he said in a recent interview.

Understandable since he has been at the forefront of rap since the early ’90s as a DJ for the group Beastie Boys, movie roles and host of the popular MTV show that focused on rap. He recently announced that he will be undergoing weight loss surgery that will hopefully reduce the complications stemming from his diabetes. Bariatric surgery has been supported in the medical community to treat the condition. According to Dr. Nicholas Stylopoulos, principal investigator at the division of endocrinology at Children’s Hospital Boston and Boston Medical School, ““What we found is that the secret for the cure of diabetes after gastric bypass lies in the intestine. The key message is that after gastric bypass, the intestine becomes the most important tissue for glucose use and this decreases blood sugar levels.”

Now Brown wants to get the message out about a preventable disease and his struggles with weight. He is shopping around a reality TV show that will chronicle his journey to lose weight and his upcoming surgery. Brown wants to spread awareness about the growing number of Blacks and Latinos diagnosed with diabetes. According to the CDC, type 2 diabetes is more prevalent among Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans than among Caucasians in the United States.

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