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Chronic kidney disease symptom of pain and how to improve it
Article posted in: Dialysis

A recent study, published in the January issue of BMC Nephrology, reported that up to 53% of people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) experience musculoskeletal pain for periods of 3 months or more.

Researchers from Taiwan recently published a study of 456 patients with CKD 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 CKD. However, people with stage V of CKD 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 disease.

Here are 5 Steps To Controlling Uric Acid, Phosphorus and Calcium Levels in Kidney Disease:

  1. Get tested by your nephrologist to know your current levels and work with your doctor to properly control them.
  2. 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.
  3.  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.
  4. Phosphorus levels in kidney disease 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.)
  5.  There are also foods you should avoid, to help control uric acid levels. Please see previous article, How To Slow Down Kidney Disease, for a list of foods to avoid in a kidney disease diet.

Hsu HJ,  Yen CH, Hsu KH, Wu IW et al. (2014). Factors Associated with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain in Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease.BMC Nephrology, 15:6.

Chronic kidney disease symptoms