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Phosphorus and Kidney Disease


Phosphorus and Kidney Disease

What is phosphorus?

  • A mineral that is needed for healthy bones and teeth                 
  • Many foods contain phosphorus
  • Phosphorus goal is 3.5 milligrams (mg)/deciliter (dL)-5.5 mg/dL

Why is phosphorus important?

  • Too much phosphorus can make your bones weak and likely to break
  • Damaged kidneys are not able to get rid of phosphorus very well
  • Dialysis is helpful, but is not able to remove all phosphorus from the body
  • Too much phosphorus can cause itchy skin, bone pain, heart issues, or even death

How can you control your phosphorus?

  • Take your phosphorus binders every time you eat
  • Come to your scheduled dialysis and stay for your full treatment
  • Avoid high-phosphorus foods and control your phosphorus intake

Limit high-phosphorus foods

Dark colas
Hot dogs
Beans and peas
Pancakes and cakes
Nuts and  peanut butter
Ice cream and cream
Chocolate and chocolate cakes
Milk and yogurt
Cheese and macaroni and cheese
Pudding and biscuits

Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Renal diet cookbooks for kidney failure patients with end stage kidney disease. Available at: Accessed September 16, 2010.

DaVita. Phosphorus and chronic kidney disease. Available at: Accessed September 16, 2010.

Mayo Clinic. Low-phosphorus diet: best for kidney disease? Available at: Accessed September 16, 2010.

ScienceDaily. Hidden phosphorus food additives dangerous to kidney disease patients. Available at: Accessed September 16, 2010.


Contributed by Nada Moghbel, dietetic intern, Texas A&M University

Review Date 9/10

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