Tag Archives: electrolyte levels

Categories Kidney Disease, Kundan Kidney Care Centre, Risk Factors

Calcium, Phosphorus, and the Kidneys

Skeletons in Buffalo Museum of Science - IMG 3795
Calcium & Phosphorus together help build the bones
Electrolytes float through the blood and perform various functions in people’s bodies. Calcium, Sodium, and Potassium, for example, work together to help the muscles of the body contract. And the work of some of these electrically charged substances is controlled or at least affected by the kidneys.


This means that when the kidneys are diseased, the electrolytes may also function in an unhealthy way. Serious problems can arise that might, at first, seem unrelated to the kidneys at all. But to understand how these issues develop, we first need to know how electrolytes function when everything works properly.

Let’s take a look at two electrolytes – calcium and phosphorus – which often work together, each substance relying on the kidneys to keep it in balance with the other. The first function of the two is probably obvious: to help build up bones and teeth. Almost everyone knows that calcium is good for building bones, but few are aware that phosphorus is just as important. In fact, while about ninety-nine percent of the calcium in the body is concentrated in the bones, as much as eighty-five percent of the body’s phosphorus may also be found there.
In addition, phosphorus plays a major role in transferring energy throughout in the body. Calcium and phosphorus together help keep cells in good order, and regulate nerve function. Remember calcium’s role in helping muscles to contract? This would not be possible without phosphorus working right alongside it. The two electrolytes are equal partners.

The kidney helps keep phosphorus levels balanced by inducing the production of D vitamins, which in turn help the body excrete excess phosphorus. But as kidney disease progresses, the kidney becomes unable to trigger the Vitamin D. And that’s when the happy partnership of calcium and phosphorus becomes a nightmare instead. We’ll examine what happens under these circumstances with our next look at kidneys and the electrolytes.


Categories Kidney Disease, Kundan Kidney Care Centre, Risk Factors

Introduction to Electrolytes: Part 1

Cell electrolytes
Electrolytes passing through cells (click to enlarge)
One topic that frequently comes up in connection with kidney disease is electrolytes. They play an important role in the body, and relate particularly to kidney malfunction. But what are they, and what do they actually do? We will explore this topic in several installments, to try to explain how electrolytes work, and why their levels are important to monitor when you have impaired kidneys.


Electrolytes are substances that are electrically charged, or ionized. Because of this charge, they can carry electrical impulses along the nerves and muscles. These substances are, in fact, what make most parts of the body function at all. And if they aren’t present in proper levels, or certain types are out of balance, the body begins to suffer the consequences.
So for example, you may have some electrolytes carried along in the blood, and they would pass through membranes and cell walls into muscle tissue, to transmit impulses that make the tissue contract. Muscle contraction depends on the presence of three electrolytes in particular: Calcium (Ca2+), Sodium (Na+), and Potassium (K+), with the plus or minus values indicating what sorts of ions they are. Lower the levels of these three too much, or put them out of balance, and muscle function suffers.

So how does this relate to kidney disease? The kidneys play a major role in regulating fluids (which contain electrolytes) in the body. So when the kidneys are impaired or fail, this often throws out the balance, or results in a surfeit of some electrolytes. If this problem isn’t addressed, other parts of the body can be affected in serious ways, some of them potentially fatal.

In the next few installments, we’ll discuss specific types of electrolyte problems that are most closely associated with kidney disease. We’ll look at symptoms, but we’ll also try to discover ways to restore electrolyte levels and return to a safer, more healthy balance.

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