Last night, singer Mariah Carey tweeted a photo of her husband Nick Cannon laid up in a hospital bed in Aspen, along with the news that he was hospitalized with a "mild" form of kidney failure.
"Please pray for Nick as he's fighting to recover from a mild kidney failure," she tweeted early Wednesday morning.
In a subsequent tweet, she added: "We're trying to be as festive as possible under the circumstances but please keep Nick in your thoughts because this is very painful. They tried to kick me out of the hospital but here I am pon de bed with Mr. C."
So what is "mild" kidney failure, you ask? Mariah might be referring to Acute Renal Failure, or the beginning stages of kidney failure. But then again, Nick might not be in kidney failure at all (Nick and Mariah are such drama queens).
Most healthy humans have 2 kidneys, 1 each located in your flank area. If you place your hands above your hips and slide each hand a few inches toward your spine, that's where each kidney is located.
Your kidneys act as a pump filtering out all the chemicals in the food and drink that you take in. Your kidneys also filters out the bad toxins and waste in your blood that results from actions performed by your liver, spleen, and intestines, for example.
Your kidneys are attached to your bladder (located above your groin area) by way of two thin tubes called ureters. The toxins and waste is excreted by the kidneys through your ureters into your bladder and expelled from your bladder as urine.
Therefore, if your urine looks like apple juice (amber or yellow) you're good. But if your urine looks like coffee, tea or blood, your should consult with your doctor or go to an emergency room.
If the kidneys are impaired by low blood volume, high blood pressure, an infection, illness (diabetes), an accident, or violent trauma, they can't filter out the toxins and waste from your body. So the toxins and waste backs up in your blood. Your urine will also slow to a trickle, or stop flowing altogether. There might also be changes in the color of your stool, and your feet and legs will swell from water retention in your body.
When this happens you are probably in acute (recent) or chronic (long-term) renal failure or kidney failure.
But there are cases where doctors diagnose people with renal failure yet they look healthy and their urine looks normal. For instance, athletes and bodybuilders are frequently diagnosed with renal failure due to their high protein diets and their use of performance enhancing drugs.
Even though these patients appear to be healthy and they are urinating okay, their blood tests tell a different story.
If the doctor suspects acute renal failure (the beginning stages of kidney failure) or chronic renal failure (long-term kidney damage) he or she will run a battery of blood tests on you, including BUN (blood), Creatinine clearance (urine test), Serum creatinine (blood), Serum potassium (blood), and Urinalysis (urine test), among others.
If your blood work comes back abnormal the doctor will order an ultrasound scan and/or x-rays of your kidneys and abdomen.
Signs (what you see) and Symptoms (what you feel) of renal failure include:
In Nick Cannon's case, his blood Creatinine level was probably a little high, and his doctor hospitalized him as a precaution to find out why.
This has been your Medical Minute.
More Info On the Web
Acute Kidney Failure - PubMed Health
Acute Renal Failure - WebMD
Renal Failure - MedicineNet
Acute Kidney Failure - Mayo Clinic
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