HOW TO RECOGNIZE A SHORTAGE OF PHOSPHATE
Phosphate is a mineral that is commonly found in nature as phosphorus. It is a mineral that appears in up to 85% of your teeth and your bones. It's processed by your kidneys. Besides, this substance is used by enzymes as a building block, so that your energy supply functions appropriately. These enzymes are proteins that help speed up various reactions in the body (1
). Hypophosphatasemia, or a low phosphate level, occurs when there is too little phosphate in the blood.
Because humans do not produce phosphate themselves, we have to get this mineral from our food. Fortunately, it is a common substance and can be found in dairy, organ meats, meat, eggs, whole grain products, cocoa, nuts, legumes, plankton, fish, oysters and plankton.
Within your body, there is always a balance between phosphate and calcium. When the phosphate level rises, the calcium level in the blood will also increase. To achieve this, calcium is released from the bones. However, this can lead to brittle bones and bone fractures.
People rarely suffer from a phosphate deficiency. When there is not enough phosphate in your diet, your body will compensate for this by re-absorbing the phosphate from your blood. If you suffer from mild hypophosphatemia, you will experience little to no symptoms. These only appear when you have a deficient phosphate level. About 2% of all patients suffer from hypophosphatemia (2
There are certain groups of people that have a higher risk of creating a phosphate deficiency. Those people may benefit from using phosphate supplements next to their daily meals. It is, however, important to note that if you suspect you have a shortage of phosphorus, you should always consult a doctor before taking any supplements.
People with a higher risk of developing a phosphate deficiency include:
- People who abuse alcohol
- Recovering diabetics who have had a diabetic ketoacidosis episode
- People with a respiratory alkalosis (a change in the acidity of the body)
- People with malnutrition or an eating disorder such as Anorexia and Bulimia
- People with hypophosphatemia due to a hereditary disease
- People with chronic diarrhea
- People with Fanconi syndrome (kidney disease)
- People who use drugs excessively, including antacids
A shortage of phosphate can be recognized by the following symptoms. Should you still recognize one or more of these symptoms? Then you should contact your physician.