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J Nephrol. 2003 Jan-Feb;16(1):29-33.

Phosphate control in chronic uremia: don't forget diet.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.


Control of the phosphate balance is a major concern for chronic dialysis patients and it depends on dietary intake, intestinal binding and dialytic removal. Phosphorus mass transfer through dialysis and new phosphorus binders have been widely investigated, but negligible attention has been given to dietary phosphorus management, because of the problems of poor compliance and conflict with the recommended high protein intake. The nutritional target in dialysis patients should be a diet supplying adequate protein but limited phosphate intake, without dramatic changes of dietary habits and lifestyle. It is important to educate patients regarding phosphorus content of current foods so that foods providing less phosphorus with the same protein content can be selected, thus preventing dietary phosphate overload. On the basis of a three-day dietary record, dieticians should give the patient personalised advice in order to reduce phosphorus intake while ensuring the desired protein and energy intake. Dietary manipulation may have little impact on the dialysis population but in individual patients dietary counselling can greatly improve phosphate control. Close co-operation between nephrologists and dieticians is needed to motivate patients and ensure compliance, if dietary intervention is to succeed. All patients should be given dietary education and counselling, especially young-adults, because dietary phosphate control is an important component of an integrated therapeutic approach to phosphate retention and hyperphosphatemia in end-stage renal disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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