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Hazards of Sodium Phosphate in Your Diet

author image Joseph Pritchard
Joseph Pritchard graduated from Our Lady of Fatima Medical School with a medical degree. He has spent almost a decade studying humanity. Dr. Pritchard writes as a San Francisco biology expert for a prominent website and thoroughly enjoys sharing the knowledge he has accumulated.
Hazards of Sodium Phosphate in Your Diet
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Sodium phosphate is an additive contained in food and beverages, such as sodas, and is also used as a means of purging the large intestine before a colonoscopy. It has been associated with side effects such as diarrhea, but its consumption might also expose you to other hazards such as organ damage. The FDA warns that you should never take more than one dose within 24 hours of over-the-counter sodium phosphate drugs can cause severe health risks, even possible death. Always consult your doctor before taking sodium phosphate to become more aware of the risks involved.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Gastrointestinal problems are common adverse reactions to sodium phosphate, including gassiness, nausea, stomach upset, cramps and vomiting. Abdominal pain and a bloated feeling are also common with its intake, MedlinePlus explains. Severe diarrhea is an adverse reaction associated with taking too much. Seek immediate medical attention if gastrointestinal problems persist or if they are severe.

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Allergic Reaction

Sometimes sodium phosphate causes severe allergic reactions characterized by hives or skin rashes that appear all over your body, as well as itching and breathing difficulties. Allergic reactions also can cause your chest and throat to feel tight. Blood sometimes appears in your stool. Your facial area will also swell when you experience an allergic reaction. During a severe allergic reaction, your arms and legs sometimes also swell. Confusion, arrhythmia and headaches are also symptoms associated with severe allergic reactions. Seizures and potential loss of consciousness are also typical symptoms of a severe allergic reaction.

Kidney Damage

Sodium phosphate has been associated with severe kidney damage, sometimes requiring dialysis, according to a 2009 article in PubMed Health. Kidney damage is associated with dehydration and constipation. Dizziness and decreased urination also can indicate kidney damage, but a biopsy offers more conclusive proof of kidney damage. Consuming it more frequently than once every seven days might elevate your risk of developing kidney damage, according to MedlinePlus.

Calcification and Impaired Ability to Use Minerals

The phosphate in sodium phosphate can cause calcification of your organs, the University of Maryland Medical Center notes. Phosphate sometimes causes your soft tissue to calcify as well. When your organs and soft tissue become calcified, your ability to utilize minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc becomes impaired. These minerals are vital to the proper function of your body. Being unable to properly utilize them will lead to further problems and complications.

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