Phosphorus Deficiency: Know The Causes, Symptoms and Health Problems

Nutrient deficiency can cause serious health issues if not treated on time. Know everything about phosphorous deficiency in this article.

Chanchal Sengar
Written by: Chanchal SengarPublished at: Feb 20, 2020Updated at: Feb 20, 2020
Phosphorus Deficiency: Know The Causes, Symptoms and Health Problems

Phosphorous is one of the essential minerals for keeping health. Just like calcium, phosphorus is equally essential for bone health. Its deficiency though is uncommon as our body requires it in small amounts which we generally get from our regular diet but in the cases of extremely low levels of this mineral, phosphorous deficiency occurs. This could arise due to genetic conditions like diabetes, lifestyle reasons like alcoholism, malnutrition, etc. This may not seem like a problem but long-term deficiency can have serious impacts on the body. Let us give you an overview of what phosphorous deficiency is, its causes, symptoms, health complications and all the other necessary information. 

Symptoms of Phsophosrous Deficiency

As 85% of phosphorus is found in bones, its deficiency would impact bone health and most of the symptoms would be bone-related such as pain and fragile bones. Other potential symptoms are:

phosphorus deficiency symptoms

  • Joint stiffness
  • Weak bones
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Numbness
  • Irritability
  • Fluctuations in body weight
  • Irregular breathing
  • Oral problems such as bleeding gums and toothache
  • Children with inadequate phosphorus in their bodies tend to have slower growth and oral problems.

Common Causes Of Phosphorous Deficiency

Here are some of the possible reasons of phosphorous deficiency:

Inherited disorders

In most cases, phosphorus deficiency is due to genetic problems that hamper the body’s ability to absorb and store this mineral. In such cases, the body dispels phosphorous through urination.

Also Read: Tooth Ache and Bleeding Gums? This Could Be A Sign Of Phosphorus Deficiency


Even though the chances are rare, it might be possible that you are not eating a nutritious diet. When there is a scarcity of minerals, the body compensates through reabsorption of minerals which can lead to hypophosphatemia.

Eating disorders

Sometimes people who are dealing with eating disorders may suffer from mineral deficiency just like a phosphorous deficiency. These treatments may be high in calories but low in minerals which could give rise to the deficiency.


In diabetes conditions, the body doesn’t produce sufficient insulin which could increase the acid content in the body. This may lead to phosphorus deficiency.



Alcoholism or excessive alcohol consumption can lead to malnutrition which further causes mineral deficiencies including phosphorous deficiency. 

Also Read: Vitamin F and Its Importance For Your Healthy Living

Health complications of long-term phosphorus deficiency

If low phosphorous level persists for longer durations, this could cause life-threatening health complications like:


When your body is dealing with vitamin D deficiency, it may also cause phosphorous deficiency. Aching pain in the lower back, legs, hips, pelvis and ribs. Both children and adults can suffer from this condition.


This condition also arises when vitamin D deficiency leads to phosphorous deficiency in the body. The symptoms of rickets are weak muscles, spinal pain, delay in growth, skeletal deformities, etc.

Also Read: Side-Effects Of Eating Too Many Dates

foods rich in phosphorous

Foods rich in phosphorus

If you see any of the above-mentioned symptoms of phosphorus deficiency, eating a phosphorus-rich diet can help. Ask your nutritionist to prepare a diet chart for you. Meanwhile, here are some phosphorus-rich foods that yous should start eating now:

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Chicken liver
  • Organ Meats
  • Nuts and legumes
  • Whole Grains
  • Quinoa
  • Soy

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