Phosphorus

Phosphorus is a mineral found in many foods.

Your kidneys have the job of flushing out any of the phosphorus that your body does not need. When kidneys are not working as they should, phosphorus can build up in your blood. If phosphorus levels remain high, your body will pull calcium out of the bones, which will weaken your bones. The calcium and phosphorus can also collect in soft tissue such as joints, skin, organs and blood vessels, causing damage to these tissues. For good heart and bone health, it is important to keep phosphorus blood levels within the normal range.

Medications called "Phosphorus Binders" can be prescribed to help keep the phosphorus levels in your blood within normal range. To make these binders work they need to be taken with meals.

You cannot totally eliminate phosphorus from your diet, but you can limit your intake of high phosphorus foods. Your dietitian will recommend the amount of phosphorus you can safely eat throughout the day. The foods you eat are very important in controlling your blood phosphorus levels.