Q:

Is it possible to stabilize the PTH level with a specialized diet?

A:

Quick Answer

A low-phosphorus diet can stabilize parathyroid hormone levels in patients with kidney disease, reports DaVita. Stabilizing PTH levels prevents complications such as calcification of tissues and bone disease.

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Full Answer

Phosphorus is found in foods such as dairy, beans, whole grains and starchy vegetables and in cola, explains DaVita. In healthy individuals, parathyroid hormone regulates calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood, and the kidneys remove the excess phosphorus. In patients with kidney disease, the kidneys can't remove the excess phosphorus from the blood. The high levels of phosphorus stimulate the parathyroid gland to produce more hormone, which draws out calcium from the bones.

Calcium-phosphorus deposits may form in organs such as the skin, lungs and heart, which may lead to a heart attack, states DaVita. They may also form in blood vessels needed for dialysis. The diseased kidneys can't activate the vitamin D that is necessary for absorbing more calcium from the intestines. The bones can't regain lost calcium, leading to weakened bones.

Individuals also need to keep PTH levels from getting too low, as this can lead to brittle bones, according to WebMD. The ideal range is between 10 picograms per milliliter and 65 picograms per milliliter. In addition to avoiding high-phosphorus foods, patients should also avoid medications, such as lithium or cimetidine, that affect PTH levels.

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