As one of the kidneys’ many responsibilities is to keep bones healthy, by regulating the amounts of phosphorus and calcium in the body, a likely complication of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is the development of bone disease. This condition occurs when the kidneys are unable to maintain the proper phosphorus-calcium ratio in the body, due to a loss of kidney function. When this happens, there is a risk of abnormally increasing the levels of phosphorus in the blood, causing the body to take calcium from the bones, in an attempt to regulate the levels in the blood. However, when calcium is taken from the bones, the bone structure is compromised, causing gradual weakening of the bones as this process continues, untreated. Additionally, bones can be weakened if the body does not use vitamin D properly; another function of the kidney that is affected by CKD.
Like CKD, bone disease often develops without showing any initial symptoms. This makes it crucial for all those with CKD to get tested for bone disease by scheduling a blood test, a bone density scan, or, in rare instances, a bone biopsy.