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Hyperphosphatemia: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

Hyperphosphatemia (say "hy-per-faws-fuh-TEE-mee-uh") is too much phosphorus in your blood. Phosphorus is a mineral that does many things in the body, including helping make bones and teeth strong. But too much phosphorus can lower the amount of calcium in your blood. This makes your body take calcium from your bones, which can make the bones weaker. Your kidneys usually get rid of extra phosphorus through your urine. But if you have chronic kidney disease, your body cannot remove extra phosphorus.

You can treat this problem by eating foods that have little or no phosphorus. You also can take medicine that keeps your body from absorbing phosphorus. It can be hard to know what to eat, because many foods have phosphorus. A dietitian can help you plan a well-balanced diet.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse advice line if you have any problems with your medicine. You may need to take a phosphorus binder with all your meals. This medicine keeps your body from taking in phosphorus. You also may take an active form of vitamin D that helps balance the calcium and phosphorus in your blood.
  • Tell your doctor if you take any other medicines or natural health products. These may have phosphorus.
  • Work with your doctor and a dietitian to find out how much phosphorus you can have in your diet. A dietitian can help you plan meals.
  • Avoid or limit foods that have phosphorus:
    • Avoid or limit milk and dairy products, like cheese, yogurt, pudding, and ice cream. Try flavoured ice pops or sorbet instead of ice cream. Use non-dairy creamers, soy beverage, or rice milk to replace milk. But make sure the brands are low in phosphorus.
    • Avoid or limit beans, peas, and lentils. Try green beans, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, and bell peppers instead.
    • Avoid or limit bran or whole wheat cereals and whole grain breads. Have corn and rice cereals and French, Italian, and white breads.
    • Avoid or limit brown rice or wild rice. Eat white rice, pasta, grits, or couscous instead.
    • Avoid or limit nuts, seeds, and nut butters. Use jam, jelly, honey, cream cheese, margarine, or butter.
    • Avoid or limit drinks such as cola drinks, cocoa, and beer. Try homemade lemonade or iced tea, cranberry juice, or root beer.
  • Ask your doctor if you can take an antihistamine to help reduce itching. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if you are having any problems.

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.