MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD - General Medicine, DM - Nephrology
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Kidney failure can lead to phosphate build-up
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The kidneys filter blood and remove excess phosphates from the body. This mineral is present in almost everything we eat. Hence, with renal disease, when the kidneys stop functioning optimally, the phosphate levels may increase. This can lead to a loss of calcium and in turn, weaken bones. To prevent this from happening, patients suffering from the renal disease are advised to eat foods low in phosphate. Taking a phosphate binder could also keep your body from absorbing phosphate from the food being eaten.
Activated vitamin D is known as
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Amongst all vitamins, vitamin D plays the most important role in maintaining bone health. This can be absorbed from sunlight and a number of different types of food. The kidneys are responsible for activating the vitamin D absorbed by the body. This is known as calcitriol. However, if the kidneys do not function properly, vitamin D cannot be activated. Without activated vitamin D, the body is unable to absorb calcium from the food consumed. Activated vitamin D is available as a medicine.
A blood test can determine renal osteodystrophy
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Testing for renal osteodystrophy is simple. A blood sample is collected from the patient and sent to a lab to measure the levels of phosphorus, calcium and PTH in the body. High PTH levels and low calcium and phosphorus levels indicate bone weakness. If the patient is on dialysis, this test must be conducted once a month. For patients just starting vitamin D therapy, PTH levels are usually checked quarterly. It is important to follow the dietary changes, if any, prescribed on the basis of these tests.
Symptoms of bone disease caused by chronic renal disease are
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As a result of chronic renal disease, the patient s bones may get weaker. This is known as renal osteodystrophy or the silent crippler. Most symptoms do not appear till the later stages of renal disease. These can include joint pain, painful bones, difficulty moving, frequent fractures and deformed bones. Early indicators of this disease could also include sores, itchiness and red eyes. Children suffering from kidney disease have a low risk of renal osteodystrophy.
Renal osteodystrophy can be treated
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Renal osteodystrophy can be treated with dietary changes and medication. The goal of treatment, in this case, is to restore the balance between phosphorus, calcium, vitamin D and PTH. Oral medication can help lower PTH levels. If need be, these can also be administered intravenously. Medication may also be prescribed to keep the parathyroid gland from releasing PTH. In addition to this medication, patients are also advised to have a diet low in phosphates and rich in calcium. Exercising can also help strengthen bones