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Nick Cannon's Autoimmune Disease: 'America's Got Talent' Host Opens Up About His Health

Nick Cannon Autoimmune Disease

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 03/ 2/2012 1:19 pm Updated: 03/ 2/2012 6:02 pm

Nick Cannon is opening up about the series of health problems he's faced over the last couple of months.

The 31-year-old has revealed that the kidney disease he was hospitalized for earlier this year was a result of an autoimmune disease, People magazine reported.

The kidney disease was caused by "autoimmune disease that [doctors] found in my system," Cannon told People, and went on to say that the doctors told him his "autoimmune [disease] is -- like a lupus type of thing, but no one else in my family has it."

While Cannon didn't explain further what his disease was, we know that autoimmune diseases occur when the body's immune system attacks its own healthy cells. There are more than 100 autoimmune diseases, according to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association.

Lupus in particular is when the immune system attacks the body's tissues and organs, according to the Mayo Clinic, and is most known for the butterfly-wing-like rash that appears on the face. Symptoms of lupus are different from case to case, but common symptoms include fever, fatigue, joint pain, the facial rash, chest pain, headaches, dry eyes and skin lesions, the Mayo Clinic reported.

Cannon was hospitalized in January with what his wife Mariah Carey described as a "mild kidney failure." Doctors say she probably meant that Cannon had something called acute kidney injury, or acute kidney failure, which is when the kidneys stop functioning properly and allow fluids, waste and electrolytes to store up in the body, according to the Mayo Clinic.

And just last month, the "America's Got Talent" host was hospitalized again for blood clots in his lung and an enlarged heart ventricle, the New York Daily News reported. Cannon told People that the blood clots were linked with his kidney disease.

Shortly after being hospitalized for the blood clots, Cannon stepped down from his "Rollin" radio show on 92.3 NOW.

He said in a statement on the 92.3 NOW website:

Under doctor's orders, I have been asked to put my health first and cut back on some of my professional commitments in order to allow my body to get the rest that it needs to keep up with the demands of my multi-tasking schedule.

Click through the slideshow to see other celebrities whose lives have been impacted by an autoimmune disease:

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  • Venus Williams

    Earlier this fall, tennis superstar Venus Williams announced she has Sjogren's syndrome, <a href="" target="_hplink">telling the Associated Press</a> that the disease sapped her energy and made it difficult for her to compete. With Sjogren's, a person's white blood cells attack their moisture-producing glands, leading to issues like dry eyes and dry mouth, <a href="" target="_hplink">according to the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation,</a> as well as more serous complications, including extreme fatigue. It is one of the most prevalent autoimmune disorders, <a href="" target="_hplink">the organization states,</a> and nine out of 10 sufferers are women. The good news? After several months off, Williams had a triumphant return to the court in late November.

  • Elisabeth Hasselbeck

    In 2009, "The View" co-host released a new book all about eating gluten-free, after she and her doctors spent years struggling to get the correct diagnosis of celiac disease. <a href="" target="_hplink">According to the <em>Daily News,</em></a> it was being a contestant on the show "Survivor" and eliminating gluten from her diet that allowed her to finally realize what was wrong. The digestive condition that is set-off by contact with the protein, which is why sufferers like Hasselbeck have to avoid it altogether.

  • Kim Kardashian

    Kim Kardashian was diagnosed with psoriasis on her reality TV show, heading to the dermatologist after she found flaky, pink patches on her skin. <a href="" target="_hplink">According to ABC News,</a> reps from the National Psoriasis Foundation have expressed concern for the star. "Celebrities with psoriasis are under intense pressure, and stress is a trigger for psoriasis," <a href="" target="_hplink">a spokesperson told the news outlet.</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">According to the NPF's website,</a> there are five types of psoriasis, but the most common form, called plaque psoriasis, appears as raised, red patches -- like Kardashian's -- that occur when the body sends out faulty signals, which speed up the growth cycle of skin cells.

  • Toni Braxton

    Singer Toni Braxton lives with lupus, an autoimmune disorder that can impact a person's skin, joints, kidney, brain and other organs. Depending on what part of the body is affected, symptoms can include abdominal pain, patchy skin and serious fatigue. Braxton revealed she had the disease in an episode of her reality TV show. <a href="" target="_hplink">According to the<em> Daily Mail,</em> </a>Braxton's brother also has lupus and her uncle died from complications from the disease.

  • Jay Cutler

    <a href="" target="_hplink">According to Yahoo! Sports,</a> the football star travels everywhere with a blood testing kit given he has Type 1 (often known as juvenile) diabetes, <a href="" target="_hplink">which the Mayo Clinic describes</a> as a chronic condition whereby the pancreas produces too little or no insulin. "This whole thing is a little scary sometimes, but it's not like you have a choice," <a href="" target="_hplink">Cutler told Yahoo!.</a> "It's part of your life, you know?"

  • Kathleen Turner

    "I remember vividly finding out that I had arthritis," <a href="" target="_hplink">rheumatoid arthritis sufferer and actress Kathleen Turner told <em>USA Today </em>back in 2001.</a> "I was on my way to my daughter's school for a meeting with her kindergarten teacher. All I could think about was how I would deal with it, how would I be a mother, how would I carry on?" But carry on she did, and Turner has since drawn attention to the painful autoimmune disease. For reasons not yet understood, it causes the body to attack its own tissues, particularly a thin membrane surrounding joints, <a href="" target="_hplink">the Arthritis Foundation reports.</a>

  • Missy Elliott

    When rapper Missy Elliott fell out of the public eye a few years back, it was because she was quietly dealing with Graves' disease, according to <em>USA Today.</em> <a href="" target="_hplink">The autoimmune disease impacts the thyroid and can lead to goiter, fatigue, insomnia, eye problems and more. <a href="" target="_hplink">Indeed, according to <em>USA Today,</em></a> Elliott's condition was so debilitating, the star couldn't write or drive a car.

  • Montel Williams

    Former talkshow host Montel Williams announced back in 1999 that he had multiple sclerosis, the autoimmune disease that impacts the brain and spinal cord. He then began an effort to raise awareness and funding for research, starting <a href="" target="_hplink">The Montel Williams Foundation.</a> "When the neurologist said those three words -- 'You have MS' -- it hit me like a brick," <a href="" target="_hplink">Williams said on his website.</a> "It became clear that I had a choice to make. I could spend the rest of my life feeling sorry for myself as the victim of a tragic fate. Or I could view my illness as a call to action," he continued.

  • Shannen Doherty

    <a href="" target="_hplink">As reports,</a> back in 1999 the former "90210" star and "Dancing With The Stars" contestant told <em>Star</em> magazine she has Crohn's disease. The actress has preferred to keep most details private. Crohn's affects the gastrointestinal tract, and, according to the NIH, people with the disease may have chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, leading to constipation or regular diarrhea.