Your kidneys are vital organs. This means that you cannot survive without them. The problems that are caused by having poor kidney function make it harder for the rest of your body to work the way it should.

Healthy kidneys help to control how much vitamins and minerals are in your blood. When your kidneys aren’t working well, you can have too much or too little of these nutrients in your blood. This can lead to problems with other parts of your body. Some problems with vitamins and minerals are very common among kidney patients.

Too much potassium

(Hyperkalemia)

Potassium is a mineral that keeps your body working properly by helping your muscles and nerves work together. It also helps to move nutrients into your cells and take waste out of your cells. People get potassium from foods and drinks. Everyone needs potassium to survive, but too much potassium can be dangerous.

Healthy kidneys remove extra potassium from the blood. People with kidney disease can have too much potassium in their blood because their kidneys cannot remove the extra potassium that the body doesn’t need. Hyperkalemia can lead to serious heart and muscle problems.

Too much phosphorus

Phosphorus is a mineral that helps your body make your bones and teeth. It also helps your body keep your heart beating normally and use the nutrients you eat. High amounts of phosphorus can be found in high-protein animal products, such as meat and milk. Healthy kidneys remove extra phosphorus from the blood. People with kidney disease can have too much phosphorus in their blood because their kidneys cannot remove it.

Having too much phosphorus in your blood can cause problems with your bones and blood vessels. Phosphorus likes to stick to calcium. When you have too much phosphorus in your blood, it sticks to the calcium in your blood and can clog your veins. When your body notices that you no longer have enough calcium in your blood, it pulls calcium from your bones. This can make your bones weak.

You can talk to your health care team to learn more about vitamin and mineral problems. You can ask your doctor what tests you should have to check your kidney health and what steps you can take to help prevent kidney disease.