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Thousands of fans took to Twitter to show their support for entertainer Nick Cannon, after it was reported that his kidneys failed.  NewsOne explores what could have caused the failure.

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In Cannon’s case, there is speculation that he might have been battling flu and then became dehydrated.  Flu is certainly not a rare occurence in Aspen and dehydration is a common consequence of the virus.  According to David Repaske, M.D., and Chief of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio:

Usually a person with normal kidney function can get dehydrated without any effect on the kidney.  The normal kidney can continue to function pretty well with mild-to-moderate dehydration. [The kidney] just reabsorbs almost all of the liquid from the newly formed urine in order to recycle as much fluid as possible back into the body.  This results in a small volume of very concentrated urine, but the waste products and toxins continue to be filtered out.

Dr. Repaske warns, though, that if someone is extremely dehydrated, there may be more serious issues to contend with:

When someone is severly dehydrated, the body preferentially sends blood to the very most vital organs: the brain and the heart, and therefore the kidney, may not receive normal amounts of blood.  So in essence, the blood that does not make it to the kidneys cannot be cleaned.  The result is a build-up of waste products and toxins in the body (as if the kidney were failing).

Still, Dr. Respaske doesn’t feel that Cannon’s situation will have any long term damage to the kidney, but only time will tell.

On Wednesday, the “America’s Got Talent” (AGT) host, who was complaining of pain, was taken to a local hospital.  Cannon’s wife, songstress Mariah Carey, posted a note on her official website, stating that her husband was suffering from  “mild kidney failure.” The 42-year-old Mom of 8-month-old Monroe and Moroccan also made a plea that her fans keep Cannon in prayer in his fight to recover from the illness and then posted a picture of herself lying next to her sleeping hubby, who was hooked up to hospital monitors.

Later in the day, 31-year-old Cannon seemed optimistic and took to Twitter, informing his fans that he was headed to Los Angeles for treatment and would be fine:

Thank you all for all your love, prayers and concern. You know me… I will be a’ight.

Since then, Nick’s Twitter site has been flooded by tweets from not only fans but celebrity well-wishers, such as AGT fellow judges Howie Mandel and Sharon Osbourne and hip-hop icon Russell Simmons.