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Is calcium use as a therapeutic in kidney failure?

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RemSupreme 2 Jul 2010

You can try Calcitriol which is the generic for Rocaltrol.Calcitrol is mostly used in the treatment of chronic kidney failure.Calcitriol is the scientific name for active vitamin DThe biochemistry of vitamin D is very different from other vitamins because vitamin D is actually a hormone.To understand how calcitriol is helpful thereapeutically,its necessary to understand some backround info of Vitamin D,its metabolic oppisite"parathyroid hormone" and the calcium and phospherous balance within the body.In early kidney failure,the kidney isn't able to activate vitamin D efficientaly nor is it able to adequately excrete phosphorus.As a result active vitamin d levels drop(which results in a drop of blood calcium)and blood phosphate levels start to climb.The drop in calcium is seen by the parathyroid gland,PTH is released,and hopefully the situation can be normalized.But the kidney may not have enough capacity to activate vitamin D no matter how much parathyroid hormone is circulating. More and more parathyroid hormone is desperately secreted to get some vitamin D activated and to get the excess phosphorus dumped. The kidney simply cannot respond. Soon there is so much circulating phosphate that it begins to combine with the blood calcium and calcium phosphate crystals begin to form in the body’s soft tissues (which, of course, further lowers blood calcium levels). This removal of calcium from the circulation causes the bones to release all available calcium in an attempt to maintain a normal blood calcium level. The bones becomes soft and bendable (this is classically most notable in the jaws leading to the condition in advanced kidney failure called “rubber jaw.”) The bone crystals in the soft tissues generate an inflammatory response. None of the tissues involved can function normally. A metabolic disaster has occurred.HOW THE MEDICATION IS USED.By giving active vitamin D in pill or liquid form, the above disaster can hopefully be averted or reversed. (It is more easily averted than reversed). It has been established that parathyroid hormone is an important toxin in kidney failure and we want to reduce its secretion. This is best done with minute (measured in units 1000 times smaller than the usual dosages) quantities of vitamin D. These quantities are enough to shut off parathyroid hormone secretion but are not high enough to lead to elevated phosphorus levels.

If calcitriol is started early in kidney failure, parathyroid levels may be kept low enough that calcium/phosphorus imbalance never becomes an issue. If it is started later in failure, it is helpful but may not be able to provide as good a response.

Recently a survey of the owners and veterinarians of nearly 2000 pets in chronic renal failure has been formulated. These animals all received calcitriol. Approximately 80% of the owners reported that their pets were brighter and more social and had better appetites on calictriol. It was also felt that these animals had a substantially longer life span than patients not receiving calcitriol

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