Disorders of Phosphate Balance

Phosphorus 

In the body, almost all phosphorus is combined with oxygen to form phosphate. Phosphate is used as a building block for many substances such as DNA, cell membranes, etc. The body obtains phosphate from food and excretes it in urine and sometimes stool. Foods that are phosphate rich are milk, egg yolks, chocolate and soft drinks. Imbalances in phosphate may be too high (Hyperphosphatemia) or too low (Hypophosphatemia).

Instructions for Hyperphosphatemia

You have been diagnosed with hyperphosphatemia, which means you have too much phosphorus in your blood. Phosphorus helps develop bones and teeth and helps control energy metabolism. Most cases of hyperphosphatemia are caused by other health problems, such as kidney disease.

While in the hospital, you may have been treated with medicines for hyperphophatemia.

Diet changes

  • Keep track of how much fluid you drink.
    • Fill a washed and rinsed gallon milk jug with water and keep it in your refrigerator.
    • Try to drink half of the water in the jug during the course of the day.
  • Limit your intake of milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, and ice cream.
  • Limit your intake of meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans, and nuts.
  • Avoid or eliminate soft drinks (soda pop).
  • Avoid foods and drinks that contain added phosphorus or phosphates. Read ingredient labels for words containing "PHOS" like pyrophosphate. Consult a dietitian as instructed by your doctor for a list of foods that are safe for you.

Other home care

  • Take all medicines exactly as directed.
  • Take phosphorus-binding antacids with meals as prescribed by your healthcare provider. These antacids bind to the phosphorus in food and prevent it from being absorbed.
  • Avoid over-the-counter medicines that contain phosphorus, such as laxatives, enemas, and supplements. Read the labels before you purchase these products.
  • Keep all appointments for lab work and follow-up. Your healthcare provider needs to watch your condition closely.
  • Resume your normal activities as directed by your healthcare provider.

Follow-up

Make a follow-up appointment as directed.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your provider right away if you have any of the following:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea that is not relieved by antidiarrhea medication or by changing your diet
  • Constipation that lasts longer than 2 days
  • Chest Pain
  • Shortness of breath

Instructions for Hypophosphatemia

You have been diagnosed with hypophosphatemia (not enough phosphorus in your blood). Phosphorus helps develop bones and teeth and helps control energy metabolism. Most cases of hypophosphatemia are caused by other health problems.

Diet changes

  • Unless your healthcare provider tells you otherwise, drink at least 8 glasses of water every day.
  • Keep track of how much fluid you drink.
  • Eat more foods that contain phosphorus.
    • Increase your intake of milk, cream, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, puddings, custard, and ice cream. Add powdered milk to foods.
    • Eat meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and peanuts and other nuts and seeds. Also eat beans, lentils, peas, and soy products.
    • Eat bran cereal, granola, oatmeal, and wheat germ.

Other home care

  • Resume your normal activities as directed by your healthcare provider.
  • Tell your provider about all prescription and over-the-counter medicines you are taking. This includes vitamins and herbal preparations. Some of these may cause interactions with other medicines.
  • Tell your provider if you have a history of diabetes, liver, kidney, or heart disease.
  • Take all medicine exactly as directed.
  • Avoid antacids, which may keep you from absorbing the phosphorus in your food.

Follow-up care

  • Make a follow-up appointment with your healthcare provider, or as directed.
  • Keep all appointments for lab work and follow-up. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition closely.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your provider right away if you have any of these:

  • Confusion
  • Irritable behavior
  • Pain in your muscles
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea that is not relieved by anti-diarrhea medicine or by changing your diet.
  • Constipation that lasts longer than 2 days.

 Disclaimer: The UCLA Health System cannot guarantee the accuracy of such information. The information is provided without warranty or guarantee of any kind. Please speak to your Physician before making any changes.