My Doctor Has Not Mentioned A Low Phosphorus Diet– Should I Be Concerned?

The Doctor, by Sir Luke Fildes (1891)
The Doctor, by Sir Luke Fildes (1891) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How Much Phosphorus Should I Eat?

If you have kidney disease, you certainly know it’s a difficult diet to manage.  That is one of the reasons we offer a meal planning solution – so you can control your kidney diet much easier and without the struggle – which reduces your stress and makes you healthier.  Either way, you have to wonder about all the nutrients you have to control.

Phosphorus is found in most foods you eat.  It’s part of the process of creating energy, so it’s a good thing that it is so plentiful – that is until you need to control it for your kidneys.  As your kidney disease progresses, you will find that you need to lower the amount you consume – most people with kidney disease should limit their diet to 800 – 1000 mg per day.

How Do I Lower My Phosphorus Intake?

Foods that are high in protein are usually also high in phosphorus, so as you progress in kidney diets from stage 1 – – – > stage 5, you will naturally eat less phosphorus.  Your decrease in protein will also give your kidneys a much needed break.

Phosphorus binders are another way you can lower your phosphorus intake.  A phosphorus binder works to keep the phosphorus in foods from being absorbed into your bloodstream.  So it passes through your digestive system without entering your blood stream and keeps your levels down.  Tums is one of the most common phosphorus binders available.  Usually, phosphorus binders are taken in conjunction with a meal – immediately before or when you start eating – as that is when they are most effective.

I Don’t Know If I Need To Limit My Phosphorus Intake

If your doctor has not mentioned it, you should ask.  But you can relax a little if you are not on dialysis since your body is still processing the phosphorus – and you will be on a lower protein diet anyway.  That will naturally decrease the amount of phosphorus in your food and intake.  Sticking to less than 1,000 mg of phosphorus can be hard, but you can certainly lower the amount that you eat by reading labels.

Cheese and milk products, as well as meats, are highest in phosphorus.  You can decrease your intake of those foods if you feel it necessary, but you should also know your labs first and see if you even need to limit the amount of phosphorus.

The single most important thing you can do to reduce the rate of progression of your kidney disease is to lower the amount of protein that you eat which will naturally lower your phosphorus consumption.

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