Some people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) need to take calcium supplements. Results of your blood tests will guide your healthcare provider’s decisions about whether or not you need extra calcium. Don't take calcium supplements without checking with your healthcare provider. Read more about chronic kidney disease (CKD).
For high phosphate levels
Calcium supplements may be used as a ‘phosphate binder’ when phosphate levels in the blood are high. Kidney disease can cause phosphate levels to rise. High phosphate levels can cause weakened bones and may also increase the risk of a heart attack and stroke.
The aim of treatment is to achieve a normal phosphate level for your age, and avoid high calcium levels (hypercalcaemia). When treating high phosphate levels (hyperphosphataemia) with calcium supplements, the total daily calcium intake from food and medication should not be more than two times the recommended daily nutrient intake for calcium.
To prevent low calcium
Calcium supplements are also used to prevent low calcium caused by kidney disease or for management of hungry bone syndrome after a parathyriodectomy (operation to remove the parathyroid glands).
Ongoing low levels of calcium can cause seizures, irregular heartbeat, severe muscle spasms and cramping, and can affect brain function.