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What is a Phosphorous Test?
A Phosphorous test measures the amount of phosphate, a charged particle containing the mineral phosphorous, which is present in a patient's blood. Phosphorous is used in the body to repair bones and teeth, as well as helping the nervous system function and assisting in muscle contraction. Roughly 85% of phosphorous contained in phosphate is found in an individual's bones, with the remainder being stored in tissues throughout the body. An elevated level of phosphate in a patient could indicate an issue with the kidneys, as the kidneys control the amount of phosphate in a person's blood.
Who May Need a Phosphorous Test?
Phosphorous tests are usually performed on patients who have kidney or bone disease, and are sometimes prescribed by physicians alongside a calcium test because of the unique physiological relationship between the two minerals. This test is also prescribed as a way to diagnose issues with certain glands, such as the parathyroid gland, as well as to assess the cause for abnormal vitamin D levels in a patient.
What Should I Expect from My Phosphorous Test?
Patients who are taking a phosphorous test will want to make sure they speak with their doctor about any medications they are taking prior to the test. Some medicines can alter the results of the test, so it's vital your healthcare provider is aware of any prescribed and non-prescribed medications, as well as supplements (particularly vitamin D) you are taking. The test itself begins with a blood sample being drawn from a patient, which is then sent to a lab for analysis. Though there are common reference ranges that exist for this test, speak with your doctor about your results and how they concern you and your health specifically.