What Exactly is ‘Mild Kidney Failure’?

Nick Cannon & Mariah CareyNick Cannon & Mariah CareyYou probably heard Mariah Carey recently announce that her hubby Nick Cannon is in the hospital for "mild kidney failure." You might have even seen the photo she tweeted of Nick laying in a hospital bed while she nursed him back to health (side note: Aww).

By Korin Miller

But you're probably also wondering the same thing as we are: Uh, what is "mild kidney failure"? And why is a guy as young as Nick (he's 31) suffering from it? According to Jennifer Wider, M.D., the condition is actually known as a decrease in kidney function ("mild kidney failure" isn't a proper medical term) and it can be caused by anything from dehydration to taking too much ibuprofen. Symptoms include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fluid retention, swelling, and shortness of breath.

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An important note for women: Wider says women are more susceptible to kidney issues (especially if you have diabetes), and a decrease in kidney function can happen even by doing something as "innocent" as letting a UTI go untreated. So if you suspect you may have one, be sure to see your gyno for a diagnosis. If the condition worsens, you may need dialysis-a machine that filters your blood-to help your body get rid of toxins.

Not the best way to start out the new year, but the good news for Nick? Wider says it's totally treatable.

Read more at Cosmopolitan.com!

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