Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Getting serious about phosphorus

My blood work has been really off lately.  Phosphorus blood levels should be between 2-4.5 and mine are never there.  Usually they hover around 5 and we just ignore them.  This week they have been well over 6 - in a range that is really dangerous for my kidneys.

Without parathyroid hormone the phosphorus I eat gets absorbed by my gut but my kidneys don't get the message to excrete it so it builds up and up.  The only way to keep the blood levels safe is just not to eat more phosphorus than necessary.

The kicker is, it is in everything except fat and sugar.  LOL  Whole grains have the most, dairy is horribly full of it, chocolate is high in phosphorus as are oatmeal and seeds and nuts.  100 grams of wheat germ has well over 1,000mg of phosphorus - not that you eat it in that quantity, but wow!

I have tried low phosphorus diets before, and never could get my blood levels normal even when I was good about it,  but I need to do it again.

The goal is less than 800mg of phosphorus a day.  A cup of milk has 232mg, a cucumber 42mg, a potato 44mg, a package of instant oatmeal 143 and a cup of dark meat chicken 302mg a banana 26mg, a carrot 21mg and we are over 800!   It all ads up fast, even without wheat germ involved.

Right now the goal is to find low phosphorus foods so I am not over 800mg or hungry by the middle of the day, having used up my allowance.

Some foods, like eggs, change phosphorus content depending on how they are cooked.  Fried eggs have more phosphorus than boiled eggs which have more phosphorus than baked eggs, so the sum of the parts isn't even equal to the ingredients nutritional information.  Pickles have less phosphorus than cucumbers (25 for pickles, vs 42 for cucumbers) and I can't for the life of me figure out the phosphorus level in a piece of potato kuggel.

Good news is, brie cheese is pretty low in phosphorus at 53mg per ounce, vs 143mg per ounce for cheddar cheese.  Cream of wheat only has 19mg of phosphorus per package, so if I can find any here in this country it will be one of my quick and easy safe foods and oranges are also pretty safe at about 15mg of phosphorus each.  B"H it is orange season now.

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