Calcium Intake in Chronic Kidney Disease (Predialysis and Dialysis)

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in your body. Almost all of your calcium is found within the bones and teeth, where it is responsible for their strength and stability. Beside this, a small quantity of calcium is always in your bloodstream and has many important functions:

  • Formation of bones and teeth 
  • Coagulation of blood 
  • Contraction of muscles (including your heart) 
  • Transfer of chemical messages from the cell membrane into the cell

Why should you watch your calcium intake if you suffer from CKD?

Unfortunately good calcium sources are high in phosphate and protein. By limiting your dietary protein intake in the predialysis stages, you may also be cutting down important calcium sources. However, the intake of calcium has to be guaranteed – otherwise bones become fragile or very painful (like in osteoporosis). Please ask your doctor for the need of an additional calcium supplementation.

If your calcium intake is too low, bones may become fragile or very painful.

13_CA_Text 333

In dialysis stage you may have to take high doses of calcium-containing phosphate binders. Thus, your calcium intake may become too heavy. In these cases it is reasonable to reduce the intake of calcium.

What are the main sources of calcium in your diet?

By far the best natural sources for calcium are:

  • Milk and milk products, cheese 
  • Eggs 
  • Fish 
  • Green leafy vegetables, peas, beans, lentils, potatoes 
  • Cereals 
  • Drinking water

Recommended Intake

Content last updated
  1. NKF K/DOQI Clinical Practice Guidelines for Bone Metabolism and Disease in Chronic Kidney Disease. Am J Kidney Dis 2003; 42 (Suppl 3): S1-S202. (last visited 20.04.2010)
  2. Fouque D, Vennegoor M, ter Wee P et al.: EBPG Guideline on Nutrition. Nephrol Dial Transplant 2007; 22 (Suppl 2): ii45–ii87. (last visited 20.04.2010)