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How to reduce high phosphorous levels in the body?

Q: The phosphorous level in my mother is very high. What should be done to reduce it?

A:Phosphorus is an important element, which is required for strengthening bones and for the normal functioning of cells & energy metabolism. Most of the phosphorous in the body (~90%) is present in the bone. The normal levels in blood are in the range 2.5-4.5 mg/dl. Levels higher than 5 mg/dl in adults are significant. Increased phosphate level in the blood (hyperphosphataemia) is caused when the amount of phosphorous entering the body (via absorption, exogenous administration, or cellular release) is greater than the amount that can be excreted by the kidney or taken up by body tissues. The main effect of raised phosphate levels and its symptoms are due to reduced blood calcium (hypocalcaemia). If unchecked, it leads to abnormal deposition of calcium phosphate in normal tissues (heart & muscles). The most common cause for this condition is kidney disease due to which it is not excreted from the body and levels increase in the blood. Phosphate levels may also increase in muscle disease, extensive injury, burns, prolonged exercise, hormonal diseases, poisoning, tumours and some metabolic diseases. The treatment is aimed at correcting the reduced blood calcium levels. Patients who are at the risk of recurrent hyperphosphataemia should restrict their dietary phosphorous intake by avoiding dairy meat & poultry products and taking adequate water.

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