Kidney Disease: Balancing Calcium and Phosphorus

Calcium and phosphorus are minerals found in many foods. Your body works best when these minerals are in balance. If you have kidney disease, phosphorus may build up in your blood and calcium is pulled out of your bones. This can weaken your bones over time. To help keep your bones strong, control the amount of phosphorus in your body. This sheet tells you how.

Take phosphate binders

Man putting pill in his mouth while holding glass of water.

Phosphate binders are medicines that stick to the phosphorus in the food you eat. This keeps the phosphorus from being absorbed into your body. Instead, the phosphorus passes from your body with stool (solid waste). For best results, keep these tips in mind:

☐ Use only the type of phosphate binder that your healthcare provider recommends. The type of binder that you should be taking is ___________________________.

☐ Always take phosphate binders as directed.

☐ Take phosphate binders with meals.

☐ Other: _________________________.

☐ Phosphate binders can cause constipation. You may need to eat more fiber or take stool softeners.

Limit these foods

Don't eat these foods

To keep calcium and phosphorus in balance, limit the amount of phosphorus you eat. To do so, eat less of the following foods:

  • Milk

  • Chocolate

  • Cheese

  • Beer

  • Yogurt

  • Soybeans

  • Ice cream

Some foods are so high in phosphorus that you may need to stop eating them. Talk with a registered dietitian before eating these foods:

  • Cola drinks

  • Dried or baked beans

  • Nuts and seeds of all kinds

  • Peanut butter

  • Split peas

  • Whole-grain cereals

© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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