Preventing Phosphorus Build-up in Your Blood
Healthy kidneys control the levels of phosphorus in your blood. When the kidneys don’t work as well as they used to, phosphorus can build up in your blood. This can lead to severe itching and other health problems that you can prevent by taking phosphate binders.
Calcium + Phosphorus Can Harden Blood Vessels
Having too much calcium and phosphorus in your blood at the same time is a problem. The two minerals can join and form deposits in your skin, causing painful itching. Or, they can form deposits in blood vessels that may cut off blood flow to a limb. Phosphate binders can help keep your blood levels of phosphorus from getting too high.
Types of Phosphate Binders
Some phosphate binders are calcium-based. These binders may be over-the-counter or prescription drugs. Other binders do not have calcium and may taste less “chalky.” Talk to your doctor about which type is right for you.
When to Take Phosphate Binders
You take phosphate binders WITH food. With ALL food. ONLY with food. They only work if they are in your gut at the same time that food is in your gut. When you eat a snack, you’ll take a small number of binders. With a larger meal, you’ll take more binders. Your dietitian will go over your lab test results with you to see if your phosphorus level is in the target range.
Bring Your Phosphate Binders With You
Keep some binders on hand when you’re away from home so you can take them as you need to. You can use a keychain container, pill box, or pill bottle to bring them along. Some people keep a bottle of binders in a purse or backpack.
Any time you eat, you want your binders to be on duty, cleaning up phosphorus.
- If you have too much calcium and phosphorus in your blood at the same time:
Not scored Calcium and phosphorus can form deposits in your skin and blood vessels. These can cause itching or block the blood supply to part of your body. Skin or tissue that does not get enough blood could break down.
- Phosphate binders work by:
Not scored Phosphate binders remove phosphorus from food so it can’t get into your bloodstream.
- Phosphate binders may or may not contain this mineral:
Not scored Some phosphate binders use calcium, but others do not.
- How do you take phosphate binders and why?
Not scored Binders only work when they are in your gut at the same time that food is present.
- One way to remember to take your binders is to:
Not scored It’s best if you come up with your own way to remind yourself to take your binders. But these ideas may help you think about what would work for you.