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Nick Cannon's likely kidney disorder known as 'silent' disease

January 6, 2012 |  6:36 am

Nick Cannon and his wife, singer Mariah Carey, have been keeping fans informed about the kidney condition that has actor and comedian in a Los Angeles hospital

Nick Cannon and his wife, singer Mariah Carey, have been keeping fans informed about the kidney condition that has the actor and comedian in a Los Angeles hospital.

Carey told fans on Twitter that her husband suffers from "minor kidney failure," but doctors said there's no such diagnosis. Experts said it's likely Cannon is actually suffering from some form of acute kidney failure.

That's the medical term used to describe the kidney's inability to properly filter toxins in the body, said Dr. Madeleine Pahl, chief of nephrology at UC Irvine Medical Center and a specialist in kidney disorders.

Acute kidney failure, known as a "silent" disease, may go unnoticed in most patients until it lands them in the hospital, Pahl said. 

Pahl said a patient with the disorder might experience no pain unless the ailment was "severe." (Carey said Cannon was in pain).

Other symptoms include swelling, anemia and confusion, and heart disease might occur, Pahl said.

"Almost every organ in your body, every system is affected, she said.  "So you are retaining fluid and you might swell."

Carey asked fans to "please keep Nick in your thoughts because this is very painful." 

Cannon was hospitalized in Aspen, Colo., where the couple was spending the holidays with their twins. He was transferred and is being treated at an undisclosed Los Angeles hospital. 

Carey on Wednesday posted a picture of herself snuggled in a hospital bed next to her husband.

The cause of Cannon's condition was not listed, but Pahl said common causes of acute kidney failure include dehydration, diabetes, infection, trauma and kidney stones.

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-- Angel Jennings

Photo: Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon in the hospital in Aspen, Colo., on Wednesday. Credit: Twitter / KTLA

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