The health benefits of Phosphorus for the human body are long: Maintain teeth health, strengthen bones, balance pH levels, important for Metabolism and Nutrient Utilization, needed to maintain energy levels, and used for cognitive (mental) function. However, since most Chronic Kidney Disease patients conducting Dialysis do not have the kidney function to release extra phosphorus into the urine, Phosphorus can build-up in the body and cause serious problems for patients including bone pain, heart complications, and even death. The following tips offer the best Phosphorus Binders to limit Hyperphosphatemia (High Phosphorus) as well as additional insights to keep levels in range.
Recommended Reading: Can "Too Many" Phosphorus Binders be Harmful to Chronic Kidney Disease Patients?
Unfortunately, "Hyperphosphatemia is a major cause of morbidity (condition of being diseased) and mortality (death) in patients with Chronic Kidney Disease," according to the US National Institutes of Health. Many patients struggle to keep their Phosphorus within the recommended range of 3.0 to 5.5 mg/dL. Symptoms of High Phosphorus among Dialysis patients include joint pain, muscle pain, muscle weakness, itching, and red eyes. Symptoms of more severe cases of High Phosphorus may also include severe constipation, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Phosphorus Binders help to prevent High Phosphorus in one of two ways. Some Binders, such as Renvela, work like a sponge and soak up the Phosphorus in the food so that it doesn’t get into the blood. Instead it is carried through the digestive tract and eliminated in the stool. Other Phosphorus Binders, such as Fosrenol, Phoslo, and Tums, work like a magnet -the Phosphorus in the food connects to the Binder and it is carried through the digestive tract to be eliminated. Take a look at the four most common Phosphorus Binders to see which work best for your situation:
Calcium-Based Phosphorus Binders (Tums): Largely replaced Aluminum-Based Binders and may also serve as calcium supplements. However, since most people need to take several Phosphorus Binders with every meal, there may be concern about Dialysis patients absorbing too much calcium from these medicines, so calcium levels must be monitored. Additionally, some of the calcium from these Binders is absorbed into the bloodstream and may deposit in small blood vessels, causing organ damage.
Magnesium-Based Phosphorus Binders: May be used as an alternative to Calcium-Based Phosphorus Binders when it’s necessary for a patient to have a lower calcium intake. Magnesium Levels should be monitored. This Binder may be appropriate for Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) patients, who tend to run lower Magnesium Levels.
Aluminum-Based Phosphorus Binders: Have been shown to have toxic side effects that cause bone disease and damage the nervous system, therefore they are rarely prescribed as a long-term Phosphorus Binder today. Aluminum-based binders may be prescribed for short-term use when Phosphorus is poorly controlled and other binders are not effective.
Aluminum-Free, Calcium-Free Phosphorus Binders (Renagel and Renvela): Mix with phosphorus in the intestinal tract, but do not contain aluminum or calcium, so they don’t cause problems with excess aluminum or calcium load. Chewable Fosrenol (lanthanum carbonate) is another aluminum and calcium free binder.
If you are taking your Binders as prescribed and are still experiencing High Phosphorus symptoms, then consider working with your Dietitian to adjust your diet and incorporate light workouts to help strengthen the body against feeling weak. Also, discuss with your Nephrologist prescribing Vitamin D and/or Calcimimetic Medicine (seems to help keep bones healthier in people with Chronic Kidney Disease, lowering parathyroid hormones).
Do you ever have issue with controling your Phosphorous? If so, how often? If not, what are some strategies that have worked for you? Your insights could be very helpful to other patients so share your responses with the nearly 71,000 friends who have liked the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Page (click here). Also, consider following the nearly 250,000 monthly visitors on KidneyBuzz.com for your Number One (1) source of Daily News, Information, Impact Meals, Inspirational Quotes, and tailored Products and Services which teach Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure patients how to better manage and improve their lives.