Another condition associated with phosphate toxicity is calcification in the body. In this condition, calcium gets deposited in the organs and tissues of the body. When this happens in arteries and veins (vascular calcification), the risk of stroke and heart failure increases considerably. In recent studies, it has been found that phosphate toxicity may be responsible for accelerating the aging process in mammals by causing tissue damage. Tissue damage can also cause hypogonadism, loss of weight, and infertility. In many complicated cases, phosphate toxicity may increase the rate of apoptosis and result in premature cell deaths, leading to organ failure. In addition, increased phosphate levels in the blood have accelerated the growth and size of tumors in the lung.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Phosphorus Toxicity
If someone has phosphate toxicity, the doctor will most likely enquire about their medical history to determine the causes of the condition. Physical tests may also be conducted. Some possible diagnostic tests are as follows:
Blood tests to determine phosphate levels in the plasma
Collection of timed urine samples over 24 hours and their examination
X-ray for confirming the presence of calcification or bone disorders
Treatment for phosphate toxicity will depend on the underlying causative disorder.
If diabetes is causing phosphate toxicity, the person should take insulin medications, change their diet, and exercise regularly.
People with hormonal disorders due to a dysfunctional parathyroid gland will be required to take hormone supplements.
People with CKDs have to change their diet, take medications, and in critical conditions should turn to dialysis to fix the increased phosphate retention in their kidneys.
Some people might be required to take medications such as phosphate binders that control the amount of phosphorus absorbed in the body.
Causes of Phosphorus Toxicity
The average level of daily intake of phosphorus is about 800-1200 mg in adults. This phosphorus is converted to phosphate and combines with calcium to strengthen the teeth and bones. The homeostasis of phosphate in the body is maintained by positive and negative feedback loop systems that involve the intestine, bones, kidneys, and the parathyroid gland.
The kidneys are responsible for the removal of the extra unabsorbed phosphate in the blood. In case of kidney malfunctions, as seen in conditions such as chronic kidney disease (CKD), the phosphorus excretion process may be hindered, which causes elevated levels of phosphate in the body.
In addition, malfunctioning of the parathyroid gland can result in the rise of parathyroid hormone in the body, causing hyperparathyroidism. It inhibits the reabsorption of phosphorus in the kidneys.
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