Official: Nail Biting Linked to Heart Disease

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The Surprising Connection Between Nail Biting and Heart Health

We all have bad habits, but did you know that one of them could be seriously affecting your heart? Researchers at WITS College have discovered a shocking link between nail biting and an increased risk of heart disease. In fact, they even suggest that the life expectancy of habitual nail biters may be comparable to that of heavy smokers.

Understanding the Mechanism: Bacterial Endocarditis

So, how does nail biting lead to heart issues? It all comes down to a condition called Bacterial Endocarditis. This is an infection that affects the inner lining of the heart, known as the endocardium, as well as the heart valves. Bacteria enter the bloodstream through nail biting or dental procedures and make their way to the damaged heart tissue or valves. Over time, this can cause extensive damage to the heart, eventually leading to heart failure.

Not Just Nail Biting: Other Risk Factors for Bacterial Endocarditis

While nail biting certainly poses a risk, it’s important to note that there are other ways to contract Bacterial Endocarditis. Surgical procedures, dental treatments, and even teeth whitening can increase the chances of bacteria entering the bloodstream. Medical procedures such as colonoscopy, cryoscopy, and sigmoidoscopy also carry a risk of infection.

Recognizing the Symptoms and Seeking Medical Help

Flu-like symptoms, fever, chills, and shaking may be early indicators that you have contracted Bacterial Endocarditis. If you experience these symptoms, it’s crucial to consult your doctor immediately. They will conduct further tests, including blood tests and echocardiography (ultrasound), to confirm the presence of the infection.

Treatment and Potential Long-Term Effects

The standard treatment for Bacterial Endocarditis involves a hospital stay for a few days, during which intravenous antibiotics are administered. In less severe cases, some patients are able to complete their treatment at home. However, more complicated infections may require heart surgery.

Even with treatment, Bacterial Endocarditis can cause long-term damage. The infection may weaken the heart, leading to improper pumping, blood clots, or damage to the heart muscle itself. Ignoring treatment and not seeking medical help for Bacterial Endocarditis could be life-threatening.

Conclusion: Protecting Your Heart and Well-Being

Next time you catch yourself biting your nails, remember the potential risks involved. Taking care of your heart is essential for a healthy life. Alongside regular dental check-ups and proper hygiene, quitting this habit can greatly reduce your chances of developing heart disease.

Stay informed, stay healthy!

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