Bones are living cells made up of collagen, calcium and phosphorous. Collagen is a protein that helps with bones’ flexibility. Calcium and phosphorous make the bones hard and strong. Cells work continuously to remove and replace weak areas of bone throughout life.
The kidneys help regulate the phosphorous and calcium levels in the blood in order to keep bones healthy. When kidneys become unable to do their job, the bones begin to weaken. This can lead to joint pain and other health complications. Bones can be kept healthy through exercise and by taking prescribed phosphorus binder medications. These medications reduce the amount of phosphorous the body absorbs by binding to the undigested phosphorus and removing it through a bowel movement.
Kidney failure also affects the activation of Vitamin D, which helps the body digest minerals for the bones. If needed, patients can take an analog, or an activated form of Vitamin D. Examples of analogs that can be prescribed are Calcitriol, Zemplar, and Hectoral.