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Hip hop legend Doctor Dre opened up about losing his eyesight and a big toe in his battle with type 2 diabetes. Andre "Doctor Dre" Brown, pictured left, is best known for co-hosting television's Yo! MTV Raps with radio personality Ed Lover, right, in the 1980s. They are both pictured with Yo! MTV Raps weekend host Fab 5 Freddy, center.

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Dre was tapped by MTV producer Ted Demme, center, to co-host a weekday version of the wildly popular Yo! MTV Raps weekend show. Dre was paired with Ed Lover, and the rest is hip hop history.

Dre, of Long Island, sat down with ABC7 NY to discuss his battle with diabetes type 2, and working as a DJ, composer, talent scout, program host, actor, and book author.

Dre said he didn't take his health and obesity seriously until he was diagnosed with diabetes type 2 in the early 2000s. He underwent weight loss surgery to improve his health and mobility.

Dre is not totally blind, but he is legally blind due to the ravaging effects of diabetes on the ocular (eye) nerves and retinas.

Dre said he is working with an organization to raise awareness of diabetes and to encourage Black men to take an interest in their health.

Diabetes type 2 occurs when the body is resistant to insulin or does not produce enough insulin to push sugar (glucose) into the cells where it is burned for energy.

People who suffer from type 2 diabetes usually seek treatment because they feel hungry or thirsty all the time, are overweight, have blurred vision, and are easily fatigued (tired).

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are potentially fatal if not treated early. Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is reversible with medications, proper diet and exercise.

"Diabetes is treatable [and] you can reverse the effects of it," said Dre. "You got to stay on top [of your health], and first thing I want to say is drink water! Drink water."
 

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