Phosphorus is necessary for good health, but too much can cause problems for people with Chronic Kidney Disease. This, you probably know already. That is why you limit the amount of phosphorus in your diet and take phosphorus binders. Common binders such as Renvela, Renagel, PhosLo, Fosrenol, and Tums work to soak up excess phosphorus in your body to avoid: Weak and brittle bones that break easily, itchy skin, hard bumps under your skin, as well as damage to your heart, blood vessels and lungs.
Needless to say, these simple pills are very important to ensure your continued health. That is why it is surprising that so many Chronic Kidney Disease patients do not know when they should be taking their binders. One viewer wrote us asking, "I take Renvela Powder and Tums after I'm done eating. I know I should probably ask my Nephrologist, but when should I take my phosphorus binders before or after eating? I think that could be why my numbers are so messed up."
She is absolutely correct. KidneyBuzz.com never gives medical advice so asking your Nephrologists when you should personally take your binders is best. However, there are some rules-of-thumb which can assist you in getting the most out of your binder regimen. For instance, usually phosphate binders are taken within 5 to 10 minutes before or immediately after meals and snacks.
Some have noted improved results from taking binders after their first bite of food. Ask your Dietitian if this would work for you. While some Chronic Kidney Disease patients believe that as long as they take their binders, the medication will be effective: This is not true! It is very important to take the pills along with your meals or snacks. Waiting just 30 minutes or longer after eating can greatly reduce the effectiveness of your binders.
Although smaller meals and snacks usually require a lower number of phosphorus binders, talk to your Dietitian about how many binders you should be taking and fill in the below fields so that you do not forget the answers.
Take ______ binder(s) with large meals within __________minutes before/after eating.
Take ______ binder(s) with small meals within __________minutes before/after eating.
Take ______ binder(s) with snacks within __________minutes before/after eating.
Recommended Reading: More Frequent Dialysis allows Kidney Patients Freedom in Diet, Misconception?
Also, you should note that your phosphorus level is typically considered to be in a Healthy Range between 3.0 and 5.5 mg/dL. If your phosphorus levels are not in a healthy range, you can talk to your Healthcare Team and take action to change what you are eating or the amount of binders you are taking.
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