What is phosphorus?
Phosphorus is a mineral that works with calcium to strengthen bones. When the kidneys do not work well, phosphorus rises in the blood, and calcium is pulled from the bones. This causes your bones to become weak and could harden the blood vessels to the lungs, eyes, and heart.
How can phosphorus levels in the blood be controlled?
Phosphorus buildup can be controlled by cutting down on foods rich in phosphorus. Protein-rich foods tend to have large amounts of phosphorus, but some intake is needed to maintain good health and strong muscles. All foods that come from animals, such as meat and milk, and other non-meat foods, such
as dried beans and seeds, are high in phosphorus. It is important to keep consistent and eat the same amount of protein-rich foods daily. Plans for vegetarians or other special diets should be discussed with a Registered Dietitian.
If your blood phosphorus cannot be controlled by diet alone, you may need to take a phosphorus binder (Renagel®, Renvela®, PhosLo®, or Fosrenol®). These medications must be taken with meals and snacks as prescribed. If you take a calcium supplement, do not take it with the phosphorus binder.
Normal phosphorus range: 2.5 - 4.5 mg/dL
The following list of foods is a guideline. Many prepared foods (frozen, boxed, canned) may have phosphorus added as a preservative or additive. Also, baking mixes and baked goods often contain phosphorus as an anti-caking agent.
Be sure to read the ingredient list for any ingredients containing the word “phos.” If you have questions about specific foods, please ask your dietitian.