Updated on 19 October, 2021
Phosphate is a very important nutrient. This element is needed to make phosphorous, one of the building blocks of DNA and protein. It is also needed to produce energy and perform many bodily functions. Many people don't know how much Phosphate they should be getting in their diet, but there are several factors that can affect this.
Phosphate is one of the eight common minerals that are needed to regulate the activity of the human body's cells. Phosphorus is needed to absorb calcium, and much of the phosphorus in a typical person's diet comes from the foods they eat. A Phosphate test is commonly used to determine the levels of phosphate in the patient's blood.
A Phosphate test is also used to test for a condition called ketoacidemia, which at times affects patients with ileus (soft tissue injury). People with ketoacidemia may experience symptoms such as weakness, dizziness and fatigue, as well as trouble breathing. Ketoacidemia can lead to heart disease, kidney failure, and pulmonary disorders. If you've been diagnosed with ketoacidemia, you will need to have your blood tested to see if the levels of phosphate are within normal limits.
Kidney disease, in turn, can cause Phosphate depletion. High levels of Phosphate are needed for the function of the kidney. Phosphate is involved in the transport of elements from the bones to the bloodstream, where it is then passed into the cells for use and energy. Without Phosphate, the kidney cannot function properly and won't be able to excrete enough urine to adequately carry wastes away from the body. When the kidney doesn't get enough Phosphate, the body becomes an electrolyte desert and the levels of potassium and calcium begin to drop.
It is not only the kidneys and the bones that become electrolyte deserts when there is Phosphate deficiency. The skin, muscle tissues, and blood cells all become depleted of this important mineral when there is Phosphate deficiency as well. When a doctor takes a Phosphate test, the test technician will place a charged particle, called a phosphate-free complex, on the midstream of the patient's blood stream. The Phosphate levels in the blood will then be measured over a period of time. The technician will record the results and then present them to the lab for analysis.
Phosphate levels are important not only to the function of the body, but also to the health of its cells. Without Phosphate, many of the body's organs and glands are unable to work properly. Phosphorus is used in the manufacture of red blood cells and other cells of the body. Without Phosphate, it is impossible for the body to manufacture the energy that is needed to make cells function properly and live and grow. Therefore, without Phosphate, the body will be unable to fight off diseases and the energy it needs to survive is unavailable.
There are many different kinds of kidney disorders that involve Phosphate deficiency. A kidney disease that commonly involves Phosphate is Acute Kidney Failure (AKF). A kidney disease that is associated with Phosphate is Phosphate-induced nephrotoxicity (PIM). A PIM is a condition where Phosphate residues in the body build up to a point where they begin to cause damage to the kidneys and eventually to the rest of the body.
When patients with AKF or PIM have their blood tested, doctors can check to see if Phosphate is lacking. The urine specimen from these patients will then show levels of phosphates, which are then compared to the ranges that are safe for human consumption. If the ranges are too low, doctors may recommend that patients receive a phosphate supplement through their diet or their kidneys in order to bring their Phosphate levels back up. Patients with kidney disease or who have high levels of Phosphate in their urine though should never be given Phosphate supplements as this can reverse their kidney disease and cause other life threatening problems.