Kidney Disease: Balancing Calcium and Phosphorus

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. But if you have kidney disease, phosphorus may build up in your blood. 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.

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

Phosphate binders are medications 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 health care provider recommends. The type of binder that you should be taking is ____________________

  • Always take phosphate binders as directed.

Image of block  With meals

Image of block  Other ____________________

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

Limit These Foods


Do Not 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

  • Firm tofu

  • Ice cream


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

  • Cola drinks

  • Dried or baked beans

  • Nuts and seeds of all kinds

  • Peanut butter

  • Split peas

  • Whole-grain cereals