Phosphorus and kidney disease – American Kidney Fund


(upbeat music) – Hi, My name is Laura Cochran, and I’m a registered dietician. If you have kidney disease,
you may already know you need to watch the
phosphorus in your diet to avoid problems, like heart disease, damage to blood vessels,
or weak and brittle bones. This video will explain the connection between phosphorus and kidney disease and give you some tips on
how to manage phosphorus. Let’s talk about why that’s so important. Phosphorus is a mineral
that teams with calcium to keep your bones and
teeth healthy and strong. Phosphorus has other
important roles in the body. Some of these are to
build your blood cells, keep your muscles working,
increase your energy, and improve digestion. Most people end up eating more phosphorus than they actually need. It is the kidney’s job to
filter out and throw away the extra phosphorus that
the body doesn’t need. Imagine you’re in a coffee shop. Imagine your kidney is a coffee filter. A coffee filter keeps
out the gritty grounds, but allows water to
pass through the grounds to make that perfect cup of coffee. Healthy kidneys allow just
enough phosphorus through into the blood to keep the body healthy and then gets rid of the rest. When you have kidney disease, and your kidney’s filters
are broken or overworked, too much phosphorus gets
through into the blood. The body likes to have an equal amount of phosphorus and calcium in the blood. When you have too much
phosphorus in the blood, your body will pull calcium
from the bones in an attempt to match the amount of
phosphorus in the blood, causing bones to become weak and brittle. This condition is called
hyperphosphatemia. If there is a combination
of too much calcium and phosphorus in the blood, together they can make
the blood vessels hard. Then the blood vessels and the
organs they supply blood to can get damaged. If this happens, a person
might not feel any symptoms or they might feel joint or bone pain and even experience broken bones. It is important to eat
low phosphorus foods to help keep the phosphorus
levels in your blood from getting too high. A dietician can help
teach you and your family how to select these foods. It is also important to exercise, even if it’s just in a chair,
to help strengthen your bones. Even when people watch
what they are eating and try not to eat foods
with a lot of phosphorus, that may not be enough to keep phosphorus in the blood normal. Then they might need to
take a special medicine called phosphorus binders
or phosphate binders. This medicine helps soak up the phosphorus from food in your stomach before it goes into the blood stream. This may seem challenging at times, but with a little planning and preparation you will find plenty of
delicious foods you can enjoy. (upbeat music)

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