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High phosphorus level in the blood

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High phosphorus level in the blood

What is high phosphorus in the blood called?

  • Hyperphosphatemia

What is the normal level of phosphorus in the blood?

If you need to know which are phosphorus reference ranges or you require more information about the role of phosphorus in the blood you can visit: Normal phosphorus level in the blood

What does a high phosphorus blood level mean?

Hyperphosphatemia or high phosphorus level in the blood may be a consequence of a high phosphorus intake or because the body cannot remove excess phosphorus from your blood due to a kidney problem.

Phosphorus blood values are usually given in mg/dl but sometimes you can see those values in mmol/l following the International System of Units (SI). In case your values are in mmol/l you can convert them using this tool:

mmol/L
  • Mild hyperphosphatemia (4.5 - 5 mg/dL in adults):

    Phosphorus levels in the blood are higher than normal but there is no need to worry without any other symptom.

    You must take care of your phosphorus intake trying to reduce it. Take a new blood test in the following months and these levels will probably be within the normal range.

  • Moderate hyperphosphatemia (5 - 6.5 mg/dl in adults) :

    Your phosphorus blood level is moderately high. Talk to your doctor because it is necessary to study the possible causes.

    There are chances that you are suffering a kidney disease as kidneys lose the ability to remove the excess of phosphorus in the blood by urinary excretion. A parathyroid gland problem (hypoparathyroidism) can also increase phosphorus levels in the blood.

    Your doctor will explain you the different tests to perform in order to arrive at a diagnosis.

  • Marked hyperphosphatemia (> 6.5 mg/dL in adults):

    Your phosphorus blood level is too high and you must visit your doctor because it is necessary to reduce these values.

    Marked hyperphosphatemia is usually a sign of kidney failure, a situation where the kidneys progressively lose the ability to filtrate and excrete phosphorus.

    The symptoms of marked hyperphosphatemia are those of acute hypocalcemia and include tetany, muscle fasciculation and dysrhythmias.

    Calcification in tissue, such as cornea and lungs, is a serious complication that may occur as a response to diseases causing hypercalcemia or hyperphosphatemia.

Which factors can raise phosphorus blood levels?

There are some health circumstances or drugs than can raise your phosphorus levels in the blood:

  • Fracture healing
  • Excess intake of vitamin D
  • Blood transfusion
  • Drugs
    • Androgen
    • Antibiotics
      • Tetracycline
    • Antiepileptic drugs
      • Phenytoin
    • Diuretics
      • Furosemide
      • Hydrochlorothiazide
    • Ergocalciferol
    • Steroids
    • Medroxyprogesterone

Which diseases can raise your phosphorus blood levels?

There are many medical conditions why the phosphorus levels in the blood can be higher than normal:

  • Hypoparathyroidism
  • Kidney failure
  • Acromegaly
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Lactic acidosis
  • Respiratory acidosis
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Addison's disease

What can I do to lower phosphorus blood levels?

If your phosphorus level in the blood is slightly high, you can consider the following tips:

  • Reduce vitamin D intake
  • Follow a low phosphorus diet. You should limit the intake of high phosphorus food like:
    • Milk
    • Egg yolks
    • Chocolate
    • Meat: Chicken, turkey, lamb, pork, veal
    • Fish: Pollock, clams, scallops, salmon, sardines

Where can I find more information about phosphorus in the blood?

You can visit our pages about:

Which values are considered a high phosphorus level in the blood?

The following values are considered to be above the normal range:

IMPORTANT: These levels are expressed in mg/dl. They are an example of a healthy man of about 45 years of age with no known disease, not taking any medication and with an appropriate intake of phosphorus in the diet. The ranges can be different depending on the laboratory or on your personal circumstances.

Phosphorus
Status
Mild hyperphosphatemia
4.6 mg/dL4.7 mg/dL4.8 mg/dL4.9 mg/dL5 mg/dL   
Moderate hyperphosphatemia
5.1 mg/dL5.2 mg/dL5.3 mg/dL5.4 mg/dL5.5 mg/dL5.6 mg/dL5.7 mg/dL5.8 mg/dL
5.9 mg/dL6 mg/dL6.1 mg/dL6.2 mg/dL6.3 mg/dL6.4 mg/dL6.5 mg/dL 
Marked hyperphosphatemia
6.6 mg/dL6.7 mg/dL6.8 mg/dL6.9 mg/dL7 mg/dL7.1 mg/dL7.2 mg/dL7.3 mg/dL
7.4 mg/dL7.5 mg/dL7.6 mg/dL7.7 mg/dL7.8 mg/dL7.9 mg/dL8 mg/dL8.1 mg/dL
8.2 mg/dL8.3 mg/dL8.4 mg/dL8.5 mg/dL8.6 mg/dL8.7 mg/dL8.8 mg/dL8.9 mg/dL
9 mg/dL9.1 mg/dL9.2 mg/dL9.3 mg/dL9.4 mg/dL9.5 mg/dL9.6 mg/dL9.7 mg/dL
9.8 mg/dL9.9 mg/dL10 mg/dL10.1 mg/dL10.2 mg/dL10.3 mg/dL10.4 mg/dL10.5 mg/dL
10.6 mg/dL10.7 mg/dL10.8 mg/dL10.9 mg/dL11 mg/dL11.1 mg/dL11.2 mg/dL11.3 mg/dL
11.4 mg/dL11.5 mg/dL11.6 mg/dL11.7 mg/dL11.8 mg/dL11.9 mg/dL12 mg/dL12.1 mg/dL
12.2 mg/dL12.3 mg/dL12.4 mg/dL12.5 mg/dL12.6 mg/dL12.7 mg/dL12.8 mg/dL12.9 mg/dL
13 mg/dL13.1 mg/dL13.2 mg/dL13.3 mg/dL13.4 mg/dL13.5 mg/dL13.6 mg/dL13.7 mg/dL
13.8 mg/dL13.9 mg/dL14 mg/dL14.1 mg/dL14.2 mg/dL14.3 mg/dL14.4 mg/dL14.5 mg/dL
14.6 mg/dL14.7 mg/dL14.8 mg/dL14.9 mg/dL15 mg/dL15.1 mg/dL15.2 mg/dL15.3 mg/dL
15.4 mg/dL15.5 mg/dL15.6 mg/dL15.7 mg/dL15.8 mg/dL15.9 mg/dL16 mg/dL16.1 mg/dL
16.2 mg/dL16.3 mg/dL16.4 mg/dL16.5 mg/dL16.6 mg/dL16.7 mg/dL16.8 mg/dL16.9 mg/dL
17 mg/dL17.1 mg/dL17.2 mg/dL17.3 mg/dL17.4 mg/dL17.5 mg/dL17.6 mg/dL17.7 mg/dL
17.8 mg/dL17.9 mg/dL18 mg/dL18.1 mg/dL18.2 mg/dL18.3 mg/dL18.4 mg/dL18.5 mg/dL
18.6 mg/dL18.7 mg/dL18.8 mg/dL18.9 mg/dL19 mg/dL19.1 mg/dL19.2 mg/dL19.3 mg/dL
19.4 mg/dL19.5 mg/dL19.6 mg/dL19.7 mg/dL19.8 mg/dL19.9 mg/dL20 mg/dL 
foto de Dr. Javier Muga Bustamante
Written by

Dr. Javier Muga Bustamante

Last update: 18/03/2020

Bibliography

  • Concise Book of Medical Laboratory Technology: Methods and Interpretations. 2nd Edition. 2015. Ramnik Sood. ISBN: 978-93-5152-333-8. Pag. 497.
  • Tietz. Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry. Carl A. Burtis, Edward R. Ashwood, David E. Bruns, Barbara G. Sawyer. WB Saunders Company, 2008. Pag 717. ISBN: 978-0-7216-3865-2.
  • Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE). Version 4.0.Published: May 28, 2009. U.S. Department of health and human Services. Disponible en: https://www.eortc.be
  • Fraser D, Jones G, Kooh SW, Radde IC. Calcium and phosphate metabolism. In: Tietz NW, ed. Fundamentals of clinical chemistry. Philadelphia:WB Saunders Company, 1987:706pp.

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