Nick Cannon Illness Update: What is a Lupus-Like Autoimmune Disease?

Singer, DJ, TV host, husband to Mariah and dad to twins Moraccan and Monroe has had been through some pretty big health scares lately. In January Nick Cannon was hospitalized with kidney failure and then weeks later the 31-year-old was hospitalized for blood clots in his lungs.

“The blood clot thing was probably the scariest because … I’ve known people who have passed away from that,” he told PEOPLE “I thought I was getting better,” said Cannon “and then that happened, so that kind of came out of nowhere.”

His kidney issues are something he will have to deal with for his whole life. But that’s not all, he also revealed that he another health issue that will plague him for the rest of his life. He stated that his  kidney disease was a direct result from a “autoimmune disease that [doctors] found in my system,” and that his blood clots were connected to his kidney infection. Pretty much a snowball effect from the lupus-like autoimmune disease that Cannon has been diagnosed with.

But what is a lupus-like autoimmune disease?

There are a whole slew of autoimmune diseases, diseases when one’s system has a “inappropriate immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body.”

Lupus can affect any part of the body. It often “harms the heart, joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, liver, kidneys, and nervous system.” Basically reeking havoc on the body. The disease is more common in women than men and usually strikes between the ages of 15 – 35.

There are certain markers that are found that define an autoimmune disease as Lupus, but there are lots of cases that aren’t classically lupus but share symptoms and reactions. Those are often just defined as “Lupus-like.” Many times that exact disease cannot be named, or may not even have a name but just gets bunched in with the other similar autoimmune disorders.  The jury is still out whether there is a genetic component (Nick Cannon said there were no other cases in his family), an issue with a certain gene, or affected by environmental elements.

There is no cure for lupus or lupus-like autoimmune diseases but it can be managed with the aid of drugs and taking care of one’s health becomes a new focus. Nick Cannon is doing what he can, he quit his radio show, is taking it easier and trying to get more sleep.

Here’s hoping that Nick Cannon, and everyone else suffering from diseases like this, will be able to manage it and live full and healthy lives.

You can read more about Auto Immune Diseases right here.

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