A recent study, published in the January issue of BMC Nephrology, reported that up to 53% of people with serious kidney illness experience musculoskeletal pain for periods of 3 months or more. Researchers from Taiwan recently published a study of 456 patients with Serious Kidney Illness and attributed the pain to high levels (above 8.0 mg/dl) of uric acid, a medical condition known as hyperuricemia. The researchers found that symptoms of musculoskeletal pain were similar across all five stages of Serious Kidney Illness. However, people with stage V of Serious Kidney Illness experienced the most pain and at the highest rate – 83%. The research team, led by Mai-Szu Wu (Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Keelung, Taiwan), said that “chronic musculoskeletal pain was also associated with calcium and phosphorus levels. This study brings up the importance of controlling uric acid levels and prevention of gout to possible decrease of musculoskeletal pain symptoms.” The team of researchers also reported that people with musculosketal pain were not prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to protect kidney function.This study highlights the important of controlling uric acid, phosphorus and calcium levels in kidney illness. Here are 5 Steps To Controlling Uric Acid, Phosphorus and Calcium Levels in Kidney Illness:
- Get tested by your nephrologist to know your current levels and work with your doctor to properly control them.
- Your nephrologist may recommend a medication, if appropriate for your situation. One problem with uric-acid-lowering medications is that they negatively impact kidney function.
- If calcium levels are low, you may need to take a Ca supplement, which can also help control phosphorus levels. If calcium levels are too high, you will need to restrict calcium supplements and calcium-rich foods.
- Phosphorus levels in kidney illness can be controlled by restricting high phosphorus foods such as beer, chocolate drinks, cocoa, milk, canned iced teas, dairy products, cottage cheese and ice cream, just to name a few. There is also a vitamin that helps control phosphorus levels. (See previous article, Vitamin B3 and Kidney Health.)
- There are also foods you should avoid, to help control uric acid levels. Please see previous article, How To Slow Down Kidney Illness, for a list of foods to avoid in a kidney illness diet.
Reference: Hsu HJ, Yen CH, Hsu KH, Wu IW et al. (2014). Factors Associated with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain in Patients With Serious Kidney Illness.BMC Nephrology, 15:6. Serious Kidney Illness symptoms;