Phosphorus - Blood test is used to measure the phosphorus levels in the blood.
What is Phosphorus?
Phosphorus (P) is a mineral which is naturally present in many food items such as meat and dairy products that we eat. It is mainly present in your bones and teeth. It is also found within the cells throughout the body. The body needs phosphorus for bone growth, energy storage, and muscle and nerve function. It gets absorbed through small intestines and removed via the kidneys. The total body phosphate levels in the blood are about 1 percent in normal health condition.
Why this test is performed?
The Phosphorus Blood Test is performed to know whether an individual is having normal or abnormal phosphorus levels in the blood. Your doctor may ask to perform this test if you experience any signs and symptoms of hypophosphatemia (low levels of phosphorus in the blood) such as loss of appetite, bone pain, changes in mental state, poor bone development in children, irregular breathing, muscle weakness, weight gain or loss etc. This test is also recommended to you by your doctor if he suspects a condition called hyperphosphatemia (High levels of phosphorus in the blood). You may be advised to perform this test if you have a kidney disorder, diabetes, or if you are taking phosphate or calcium supplements. Your doctor may also recommend this test in individuals who had shown an abnormal calcium level as part of a follow-up test. However, in case of abnormal test results, your doctor may recommend a few more additional tests to detect the exact cause of abnormal test results.
If you have a family history of kidney problems, your doctor may ask you to perform this test on a 6-monthly basis or a yearly basis. Patients with kidney disorders or conditions such as hypophosphatemia or hyperphosphatemia should perform this test on a regular basis, as instructed by the doctor.
Medications such as antacids, intravenous glucose, or Vitamin D supplements may change the levels of phosphorus in the blood. So inform your doctor prior to the test if you are on these medications.
Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Phosphorus. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Phosphorus.
No specific preparation is required for this test. However, follow all the instructions given by your healthcare provider.
If the test results fall in the normal reference range generally no medical intervention is necessary.
If the test result shows high levels of phosphorus in the blood, the condition is called hyperphosphatemia. High levels of phosphorus may indicate kidney failure, liver disease, hypoparathyroidism (a condition due to low levels of parathyroid hormone), diabetic ketoacidosis (a complication of diabetes where the body produces high levels of ketones in the blood), hypocalcemia (a condition due to low levels of calcium in the blood) etc. Increased levels of phosphorus may also be seen in individuals taking phosphate or vitamin D supplements or who take medicines containing phosphates.
If the test result shows low levels of phosphorus in the blood, the condition is called hypophosphatemia. Low levels of phosphorus may indicate nutritional problems due to lack of sufficient phosphorus in diet or medical conditions such as hyperparathyroidism (a condition due to high levels of parathyroid hormone), hypercalcemia (a condition due to high levels of calcium in the blood), severe burns, hypokalemia (low levels of potassium in the blood), rickets and osteomalacia (deficiency disorder due to the lack of vitamin D). Decreased levels of phosphorus may also be seen in individuals consuming alcohol or who take medicines such as diuretics, antacids etc.
If you have higher or lower levels of phosphorus in the blood consult your doctor for further instructions. Based on the test results, your doctor may advise appropriate medical treatments, lifestyle modifications, or further diagnostic tests.
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