Phosphate and the dialysis patient
Most dialysis patients will be prescribed what is known as a "phosphate binder" by their renal physician.
Phosphate binders are used to reduce the levels of serum phosphate in the blood, a process usually performed by functioning kidneys.
The bodies balance of phosphate and calcium is crucial in developing and maintaining strong and healthy bones.
If phosphate levels are not well controlled in dialysis patients, calcium is "leeched" from the bones to help restore the phosphate/calcium balance in the blood.
Elevated phosphate levels cause lowered calcium levels in the bones, which in turn can cause bone pain, lowered bone density, and increase the likelihood of bone fractures.