An expert explains the possible causes of the America's Got Talent host's hospitalization

By Carlos Greer
Updated January 04, 2012 02:30 PM
Credit: Courtesy Mariah Carey

As Nick Cannon continues to recover from what his wife Mariah Carey calls “mild kidney failure,” the future of the America’s Got Talent host’s health is in question.

Dr. Bryan Becker, the past immediate president of the National Kidney Foundation, took some time to chat with PEOPLE about Cannon’s condition, and what may be ahead in terms of his health.

What is mild kidney failure?
Normally when this happens, medically, we call it acute kidney injury. When Nick was being evaluated, someone probably did a serum creatinine test and his serum creatinine was elevated and there was some decrease in kidney function.

What causes it?
The decrease in kidney function could have been due to an illness of some sort or taking an over-the-counter medication like Motrin or Advil. It could also be due to dehydration.

What type of illness can cause this?
It could be pneumonia or stomach problems that decrease fluid.

How fast will he recover?
It depends on the cause. If it’s just related to fluid, he’s probably going to recover very quickly once he gets fluid back. If it’s related to medication, it’ll take a few days to get off of the medication. If it’s related to another illness, it’ll get better over time.

Could he relapse easily?
It depends on the cause, but usually when it’s acute, the person tends to get better.