What are the harms of biting nails?

Biting nails have often been related to lack of confidence. But does it limit to only that? Could it also reflect deficiency of any sorts? It is believed that nail biting is your body cannibalising itself when you have a calcium deficiency.

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Biting nails have often been related to lack of confidence. But does it limit to only that? Could it also reflect deficiency of any sorts? It is believed that nail biting is your body cannibalising itself when you have a calcium deficiency.

The condition (called onychophagia) is one of several (joined by hair pulling or trichotillomania and skin picking) which are a sub-group of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. One of the characteristics of this sub-group is that they become habit patterns. The behaviors can be associated with tension and, to the extent that they are, can serve a tension reduction purpose. However, once established as a habit, they may not really be associated with tension. It is important to treat these conditions with medication and therapy. Medications commonly employed are the serotoninergic agents, such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Luvox, Lexapro and also Anafranil. Some clinicians also imply a type of B-vitamin. In addition, to augment the serotonin medications, agents such as Ripperda, Zyprexa, Geodon and Abilify can be useful, particularly in intractable cases. Therapy consists of Cognitive-Behavioral treatment and involves Habit Reversal Training along with Exposure and Response Prevention. Medication alone will help but not likely solve the problem.

 

Risks of Biting Nails

  1. End up ingesting Disease-Causing Bacteria: Nails are an ideal location for bacteria to thrive, and that includes potentially pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli (which would love to call the underside of your nail tips home).
    These Indian Products Have Been Banned by USFDA!
    As you bite your nails, those bacteria easily transfer into your mouth and the rest of your body, where they may lead to infections.
  2. Paronychia: Paronychia is a skin infection that occurs around your nails. As you chew your nails, bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms can enter through tiny tears or abrasions, leading to swelling, redness, and pus around your nail. This painful condition may have to be drained surgically. Bacterial infections caused by nail biting are actually one of the most common nail problems, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD)
    Here is how you can take care of your skin!
  3. WartsWarts are small bumps on the skin or mucous membranes caused by the human papillomavirus or HPV. These warts can easily spread to your mouth and lips as you bite your nails.
  4. Dental Problems: Nail biting can interfere with proper dental occlusion, or the manner in which your upper and lower teeth come together when you close your mouth. Your teeth may shift out of their proper position, become misshapen, wear down prematurely, and become weakened if you bite your nails over time.
  5. Impaired Quality of Life: A study published this year found that people who chronically bite their nails report significantly higher quality of life impairment than those who do not. The level of impairment rises with time spent on nail biting, the number of involved fingernails and those who report visible nail abnormalities. Tension when trying to resist nail biting, suffering due to nail biting or nail-eating behavior also negatively influenced quality of life.

    (Source: Mercola)

Infections caused to skin because of Nail Biting
Infections caused to skin because of Nail Biting

Ill Effects of Microbiological Bacteria in Water

Presence of microbiological contaminants are a health concern at certain levels of exposure. If water is inadequately treated, microbiological contaminants in that water may cause disease. Disease symptoms may include diarrhoea, cramps, nausea, and possibly jaundice, and any associated headaches and fatigue.


Symptoms of Food Poisoning and Common Food Contaminants

The Health Department, Government of Australia has listed common causes of food poisoning and the symptoms.


 

Food poisoning

Everybody at one time or another has had the experience of eating food and some time later becoming sick. This is called food poisoning. The symptoms may include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • stomach pains
  • diarrhoea
  • feeling weak
  • fever or chills/sweating
  • headache

Puke

 

Food poisoning can be caused by eating food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, chemicals or poisonous metals such as lead or cadmium. Most food poisoning, however, is caused by bacteria and because of this, only bacteria will be discussed in this section.

Food which has become contaminated with harmful bacteria does not always taste bad. Most of the time it looks, smells and tastes like it normally does.

Read also: Food items that you may consume to improve life expectancy!

Some food poisoning diseases are more common than others. For example, disease caused by Staphylococcus aureus occurs a lot more often than disease caused by Clostridium botulinum.

Some foods cause food poisoning more than others and need to be cooked properly and/or kept in the refrigerator. These include chicken, meat, seafood, eggs, cooked rice, ham, salami, milk and all dairy foods. It is important chicken is cooked properly to the bone and then kept in the fridge for no more than 2 days. If reheating chicken, or left-overs, make sure it is steaming hot and only reheat it once.

Read also: Importance of microbiology in food

It is important to remember that the same food handling practices are used to prevent all food poisoning diseases. Washing your hands with soap and then drying them on a paper towel or with a clean cloth is the best way to stop the spread of bad bacteria.

bact

The common bacteria that cause food poisoning are –

1. Staphylococcus

These bacteria are found on the skin, in sores, infected eyes and in the nose, throat, saliva and bowel of humans. There may be many of these bacteria in the yellow mucus (slimy substance) which comes from the nose or is coughed up when a person has a cold or a lung infection.

2. Salmonella

There are hundreds of different types of salmonella bacteria but not all are harmful to humans. They are found mainly in the intestines, bowels and faeces of humans and other animals. It is the salmonella bacteria themselves which can cause salmonella food poisoning.

People can get salmonella food poisoning from:

  • poor food-handling practices in the home or in food outlets
  • seafood caught in polluted water or eggs with dirty shells
  • meat or poultry which has been contaminated by poor food handling before it gets to the food outlet, such as at the abattoir

3. Clostridium

These bacteria are found in the soil and in the intestines of animals, including cattle, poultry, fish and humans. Food poisoning caused by clostridium bacteria is important to know about because these bacteria are common in the environment.

People can get clostridium food poisoning from poor food handling practices in the home, in the factory or in a food outlet, especially relating to cooking and storage/refrigeration temperatures.

bact grow
Bacteria grows with time, under different environmental conditions.

4. Campylobacter

These bacteria are found in many animals including dogs, cats, cattle and poultry. The sources of infection from these bacteria are usually contaminated food and water.

People can get campylobacter from:

  • ingestion of contaminated food or water (especially undercooked chicken & creek or river water)
  • contact with infected animals (especially puppies or kittens with diarrhoea)
  • poor food handling (especially by using the same chopping boards, knives and plates for raw and cooked chicken)

Ways food can become contaminated through incorrect food handling

Food can become contaminated with disease-causing bacteria anywhere the food is handled or stored. These places include:

  • in a factory where it is processed ready for sale
  • in a truck in which it is taken from the factory to the shop
  • in a shop
  • in a food outlet such as a school canteen or takeaway shop
  • between the shop and home
  • in a home

The way you clean and sanitize the dishes also matters.

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Protecting food from contamination

Correct food handling practice and food storage helps prevent bacteria from contaminating and multiplying on foods. The following action needs to be taken to prevent bacterial contamination:

  • Protect food from contamination – handle food properly
  • Prevent bacteria from multiplying
  • Destroy germs on/in food

Watch this video to learn how to protect food and have it last long!

This article is hosted on the website of Department of Health, Government of Australia.

Haldiram Snacks Rejected by US FDA


The US FDA has reportedly rejected multiple snack items coming over from India. The concern was risen soon after the ban on Maggi Noodles from Nestle in India, with concerns over high level of lead and MSG content. The number of food items banned in this period has been highest against food products coming from India.

Read More About: Starbucks and Other Food Items Banned by FSSAIHaldiram Snacks

FDA first found pesticides in Haldiram’s products in September 2014 and has since refused imports of the company’s products 86 times. Among the products rejected have been Haldiram brand cookies, biscuits and wafers. (source: Food Safety News)

During the first five months of this year, FDA reportedly has rejected more snack imports from India than from any other country. The main reasons given were high pesticide levels, mold and Salmonella bacteria.

Read About: Food Contamination and Science of Microbiology in Food
Video: How safe is your food?

Haldiram spokesperson said

“A pesticide that is permitted in India may not be allowed there. And even if it is, they may not allow it in the same concentration as it is here,”

It is time we focussed our food manufacturing standards, and take them to the international levels of quality and safety. After all, our food represents our country, and our quality standards.

Read More: Delhi Restaurants Require License Now

The science of microbiology in food


The science of microbiology in food

Microscopic organisms in food could be a single cell, multiple cell or have no cells at all. Microorganisms play an important role in our surroundings as all humans, plants and animals contain these organisms. Since microorganisms can survive extreme temperatures they can contaminate foods products and can become harmful if they multiply in large numbers and enter the human body through foods. They are responsible for foodborne diseases like typhoid, amoebiasis, botulism, cholera, dysentery etc. Testing of foods so that microbiological organisms are well within the permissible levels is required as per regulations.

(source: Food Safety Helpline)