With Mariah Carey's tweet that her 31 year old husband was in an Aspen hospital with "mild kidney failure" it got me to wondering what exactly is that in a seemingly healthy young man.

 

Here's some of what I found out.

From iVillage.com

"Kidney failure is a broad term that implies that the kidneys are not working at their optimal level," says David P. Pryor M.D., West Coast Medical Director for NBCUniversal. Kidney failure is actually called acute renal failure or injury and it means that the kidneys suddenly stop working. Our kidneys are the waste management system of the body -- they process out toxins and waste through the urine and maintain balanced levels of water, salt and electrolytes in the blood. If that process stops working, those toxins get backed up into the body, which can ultimately be fatal (end-stage renal failure).

"I explain kidney disease to my patients like this," says Dr. Pryor: "There is acute renal failure (or injury) versus chronic renal failure. In the case of Nick Cannon, who is an apparently healthy young man, kidney failure came on suddenly so we would classify it as an acute injury." Carey's use of the word "mild" to describe Cannon's diagnosis, says Pryor, "implies that his kidneys are functioning but at less than 100 percent." Acute renal failure is usually reversible whereas chronic renal failure happens over the long-term, usually to people who suffer from chronic conditions that can damage the kidneys, like diabetes or hypertension.

Have you ever suffered from a quickly on coming serious health problem?