Phosphorus Control

When kidneys lose their function, they are unable to keep calcium and phosphorus in balance. Phosphorus is a mineral found mainly in teeth and bones, and excess phosphorus in the body can elevate blood levels and cause bone disease. Extra phosphorus can result in an unbalance that can create dangerous calcium deposits in blood vessels, lungs, eyes and the heart. The goal for phosphorus is 3.0-5.5 mg/dL. Taking phosphate binders is an effective way to control blood levels of phosphorus.

Three ways to control phosphorus:

  1. Limit high phosphorus foods and drinks.
  2. Take phosphate binders.
  3. Get dialysis treatments as prescribed.

Know when to take your binders:

  • Be sure to take binders as directed by your physician and/or dietitian.
  • Binders should be taken at the same time that you eat a meal or snack.
  • In order to work, the binder needs to be in your digestive tract at the same time as your food.
  • If taking Renvela or Renagel: Take with the first bite of the meal.
  • If taking Fosrenol: Chew completely before swallowing. Take during or at the end of the meal.
  • If taking PhosLo: Take at the beginning of the meal.
  • If taking Tums: Take about five minutes before meals.

Limit or avoid these high phosphorus drinks and foods:

  • Almond milk
  • Beer
  • Canned coffee beverages
  • Caramels
  • Chocolate candy
  • Chocolate milk
  • Cola drinks
  • Energy drinks
  • Instant breakfast drinks
  • Milk
  • Nuts
  • Soy milk
  • Weight loss beverages
  • Yogurt