Serum Phosphorus (MgSO4) is one of the most common minerals in our body. It plays an essential role in all bodily processes. Without it, life would not work properly. MgSO4 is present in almost every cell of the human body and is a component of many enzymes and hormones such as thyroid hormone, growth hormone, insulin, glucagon etc… Many diseases are caused due to insufficient amounts or malfunctioning of these vital substances.
The concentration of serum phosphorous varies from person to person depending upon age, gender, physical condition and other factors. Normal ranges for men and women are:
Age Male Female 20-40 years 0.8 – 1.2 mg/dl 40-60 years 1.3 – 2.0 mg/dl 60+ years 2.1 – 3.6 mg/dl
In general, higher concentrations of serum phosphorous are found in older persons. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. These include those with renal disease, diabetes mellitus type II and certain genetic disorders.
There are two types of serum phosphorous tests available; the standard and the modified method. Standard methods use a liquid chromatography system while modified methods use a gas chromatograph system.
Serum phosphate blood test is used to detect hyper- and hypophosphatemia. It is also used to identify and monitor various other conditions such as kidney failure, poor diet or vitamin D deficiency.
Phosphate is an important mineral that the body needs in order to carry out a number of important biological functions. It is particularly important for proper bone growth, energy storage and blood sugar maintenance. As such, the phosphate levels in the blood must be carefully regulated, with high levels potentially leading to complications such as kidney stones and low levels having potentially dangerous effects on many of the body’s major organs.
Serum phosphate levels can be measured through a simple blood test. For most people, these blood tests are completely painless and do not pose any risk. However, patients with certain conditions may need to avoid this test as it may be harmful for them.
The serum phosphate blood test involves taking a small sample of blood from the patient and sending it to a lab where it will be analyzed. A typical phosphate level is considered to be anything between 2.5 and 5.5 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL).
Patients with a phosphate reading lower than 2.5 mg/dL are considered to have severely low phosphate levels and will need immediate therapy to prevent complications. These patients need to take phosphate directly, usually in the form of calcium-magnesium-vitamin D tablets. If this treatment is not initiated, it can lead to potentially dangerous conditions such as tetany and heart arrhythmia within a matter of hours.
Patients with phosphate levels between 2.6 and 2.9 mg/dL are still considered to have low phosphate levels, though not as severe. These patients may also experience symptoms like muscle cramping and spasms.
Correcting the low phosphate level is still important in these patients, though it is not as critical as in others with more severe hypophosphatemia.
Patients with phosphate levels higher than 5.5 mg/dL are considered to have high phosphate levels. While not a dangerous condition in most cases, high phosphate levels can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb important vitamins such as vitamin D and can contribute to kidney stones.
Sources & references used in this article:
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RenaGel®, a nonabsorbed calcium-and aluminum-free phosphate binder, lowers serum phosphorus and parathyroid hormone by EA Slatopolsky, SK Burke, MA Dillon – Kidney international, 1999 – Elsevier
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