Did you know that calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body? Well it is, and while about ninety-nine percent (99%) of the calcium in the body is found in bones and teeth, the element also conducts very important bodily functions such as: Strengthen bones and teeth, help muscles contract and relax for normal movement, transmit nerve impulses, and make blood clot normally. However, researchers at the University of Washington found, "Elevated blood levels of calcium are linked with an increased risk of premature (early) death in kidney disease patients on Dialysis."
More specifically, the findings which were published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology reported that patients with calcium levels above the recommended 8.4 mg/dL to 10.2 mg/dL threshold, " indeed have a higher risk of premature death compared with patients with intermediate levels of calcium." Hence, while calcium is good for the body in moderation, excess calcium can cause bone disease as well as lead to deposits in the blood vessels which contribute to Heart Disease (leading cause of death in Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients).
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These findings which relate to all Chronic Kidney Disease patients who conduct Dialysis are rightfully alarming since many Dialysis patients are prescribed and encouraged to use calcium-based phosphorus binders to combat high phosphorus levels. Hence, if you get your Lab Results back and you notice that your calcium levels are slightly over the recommended 10.2 mg/dL levels, do not take the matter lightly.
DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. stated, "If calcium levels are high then high calcium foods, calcium supplements, and calcium-based phosphorus binders may be limited or avoided to help control calcium levels." According to the National Kidney Foundation, " total calcium intake for people with Renal (Kidney) Disease should not be greater than 2,000 mg daily." That number is including calcium from the diet, any calcium supplements, and calcium-based phosphorus binders. Still, patients should seek advice from their Healthcare Teams before making any changes to their diet or medication regimens.
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