Most Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients know that they should try to keep their phosphorus levels between 3.5 and 5.5 mg/dL. However, a litany (long list) of studies are now directly connecting high phosphorus (Hyperphosphatemia) to higher risks of death in Dialysis patients which is placing an emphasis on patients maintaining stable phosphorus levels. High phosphorus levels can also cause patients to have bone pain. It's clear that Chronic Kidney Disease patients, especially those on Dialysis, must actively work to stabilize their phosphorus levels by using the following tips to eliminate hidden phosphorus from their diets and incorporate the following lesser-known, tailored cooking strategies to help improve and extend their lives.
To further elaborate, the National Kidney Foundation found that, "Hemodialysis patients with a high serum phosphorus level that subsequently rises have a greater risk of early death compared with those with a stable level." Similarly, the Journal of Renal Nutrition wrote, "Hyperphosphatemia is consistently associated with increased all-cause and cardiovascular (heart-related) mortality (death) in Hemodialysis patients across all age categories." What's more, Renal and Urology News published, "Dialysis patients who have high concentrations of serum calcium and phosphorus are at elevated risk of dying early."
Many Chronic Kidney Disease patients faithfully take their phosphate binders as directed, no longer drink milk, limit cheese, and seldom indulge in chocolate. Yet, they still see their phosphorus levels out of range. Frustrated, Dialysis patients often wonder what THEY are doing wrong. However, patients are usually not to blame. Instead, hidden sources of phosphorus in common foods and poor cooking methods are frequently the reason behind higher phosphorus levels. The following tips can help:
1.) Soak your meat! According to Dr. Ivica Vrdoljak, patients can cut the natural phosphorus found in their meat by simply soaking their desired portion in water for an hour before cooking.
2.) Cooking options. Dialysis patients may consider boiling foods a few nights a week. The boiling process eliminates much of the phosphorus in foods. Also, when stewing foods, use oil. Researchers have suggested that this cooking method also limits phosphorus found in some favorite stew dishes. Remember to continue to limit your fluid intake, and do not over consume liquids from boiled or stewed meals.
3.) Plant foods. Consider enjoying plant foods because the phosphorus content is lower. You may be thinking to yourself, "Plant foods are high in potassium. I can't eat those." Well, try some low potassium options such as: Apples, tangerines, canned apricots, mandarin oranges, berries, plums, grapes, cherries, plums, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, and celery.
4.) Common hidden sources of phosphorus. Foods that Chronic Kidney Disease patients commonly enjoy, but actually have hidden levels of phosphorus include: Flavored waters, iced teas, sodas and other bottled beverages, enhanced meat and chicken products, breakfast (cereal) bars, nondairy creamers, and bottled coffee beverages. Try to avoid these foods or be very mindful when eating them.
5.) Locating hidden sources of phosphorus. Finding hidden sources of phosphorus in your personal diet is important. Take a few moments to read the labels of your favorite foods. Looking for the following ingredients on food packages will help you identify foods that should either be eliminated or avoided: Phosphoric acid, Sodium polyphosphate, Pyrophosphate, Sodium tripolyphosphate, Polyphosphate, Tricalcium phosphate, Hexametaphosphate, Trisodium phosphate, Dicalcium phosphate, Sodium phosphate, Monocalcium phosphate, Tetrasodium phosphate, Aluminum phosphate. Write these ingredients down or put them in your phone and try to refer to them next time you are at the grocery story. You may be surprised how many of your favorite foods and drinks contain hidden phosphorus.
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