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Watching your Phosphate
Not all patients with kidney disease need to cut down on phosphate. Even on dialysis, a few lucky people don't. If you don't need to - don't! Most people only need to adjust their phosphate intake when they have quite severe kidney disease. High phosphate levels can cause bone disease, itching, and calcium deposits in arteries and elsewhere. Blood tests show your level - the target is below 1.8mmol/l. This page is a quick guide to foods that are high in phosphate. It is not a substitute for speaking to a renal Dietitian, who will look at your whole diet, not just the phosphate.

Further information contact your renal Dietitian

Main sources of dietary phosphate
Foods high in PhosphateAlternative choices
Dairy* - milk, cheese, yoghurts, eggs, ice cream
*The dietitian will give you allowances
of these foods
Milk substitute e.g. double cream & water, Soft cheese or cheese spread, Double cream
Meat liver, kidney, pate, gameBeef, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, rabbit
Fish shell fish, kippers, whitebait, roeWhite fish, fish fingers/cakes, tuna, salmon
Breakfast cereals Cereals containing bran, nuts or chocolateAll other cereals
Biscuits / Cakes chocolate biscuits, oatcakes, scones, flapjacks, rye crisp breadCream crackers, water biscuits, digestives, rich tea, shortbread, crumpet, pancake, doughnuts, jaffa cakes, pastries
Miscellaneous milk chocolate, nuts, baking powder, cocoa, marzipan, Horlicks, MarmitePlain chocolate, boiled sweets, jelly sweets, mints, chewing gum

Diet alone is rarely enough and almost all patients with high phosphate levels will also need to take Phosphate binders.

Phosphate binders
  • It is important to take these at just the right time, immediately before eating foods high in phosphate, whether these are meals or snacks.
  • Taken at other times they will not work.
  • The following table gives a quick guide to some of the binders you may be given:
The amount you should take will be determined by your Doctor and Dietitian only take what has been prescribed.

What they are and what they look like

Alucap (Aluminium Hydroxide) Green & red capsuleSwallow
Calcichew (Calcium Carbonate) White, round tabletChew
Calcium 500 (Calcium Carbonate) Pink, oval tabletSwallow
Renagel 800mg (Sevelamer) White, oval capsuleSwallow
Fosrenol White, round tablet Marked S405 and sizeChew
Phosex (Calcium Acetate) White, oval tabletSwallow