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Nail biting is a common habit. When I was a child, I was indeed a nail-biter, and this I guess was the first sign that I’d battle with anxiety in my later years. My parents would often try to stop my guilty habit, but I seemed pretty determined to continue. I had no real idea why I was doing it at the time, but I would start and then would continue from one unsuspecting finger to the next. To answer the question posed in my title, read on…
Biting your nails cannot cause kidney stones. Injury can undoubtedly be caused to the skin tissue surrounding your fingers and also to your lips and tongue. There is also a risk of having a piece of your fingernail get caught in your throat which can cause a choking sensation. After biting your nails, you can even accidentally scratch yourself or others because your nails are left with sharp edges afterward. Kidney stones are not going to be one of the symptoms of biting your nails, however.
What Causes Kidney Stones?
— EMJ Nephrology (@EMJNephrology) March 30, 2016
While nail-biting plays no part in the production of kidney stones, their production has more to do with various deposits that can be found in urine.
Urine dissolves typically any particles such as calcium or oxalate, but there can be more deposits than the urine can dissolve. A liquid in this state is said to be super-saturated. The tiny undissolved particles can eventually clump together and become more substantial.
In addition to the extra quantities of calcium, it can also be the case that the urine of the patient contains fewer ingredients that generally prevent the particles from binding together. Such an environment dramatically increases the chance of developing kidney stones.
What Symptoms Might I Get With Kidney Stones?
— Daily Express (@Daily_Express) November 6, 2017
The symptoms associated with kidney stones are very variable. The one unfortunate thing to mention however is that the symptoms typically cause a great deal of pain.
The Range of Symptoms Can Include:
- Very frequent toilet visits to urinate.
- You may experience pain when urinating.
- Urine can be discolored, taking on a pink, brown or red shade of color.
- Feeling nauseous and also vomiting.
- If an infection compounds the problem, then you may experience a fever.
- The quantity of urine produced may be significantly reduced.
- Intense pains in the back, the side and below the ribs.
- Pains that tends to come in waves from mild to very severe.
- Urine may have an unpleasant odor and may look chalky (cloudy).
- Pains that move around the lower tummy area and down to the groin.
What Causes Some People To Get Kidney Stones, But Not Everyone?
There is one main answer to this question, and that is down to the amount of water that we all drink.
Most patients that seek treatment for kidney stones are recognized to be people who drink less water than people who don’t suffer from this condition.
The uric acid in urine needs plenty of water to prevent it from becoming acidic. With people who drink the recommended amount of water per day* the incidents of developing kidney stones are very low.
The development of kidney stones is significantly increased in an acidic environment, and a low daily intake of water accounts for this imbalance.
*approx. 1.2 liters per day, but more in warmer climates.
What Treatment Is Available For Kidney Stones?
Very frequently, a kidney stone will be passed through the body without external treatment. While this may sound like a great trick that nature has pulled-off, it’s typically a very agonizing experience in many cases.
When complications arise, and the sufferer is unable to pass the stone naturally, medical intervention can be administered.
The forms of treatment on offer can include rehydration of the patient by way of an intravenous (IV) tube. An anti-inflammatory drug can also be incorporated.
Medications can also be used that help the patient tolerate the pain of passing the kidney stone. If vomiting becomes a problem, then antiemetic drugs can be given to the patient.
In the case of larger kidney stones developing that cannot quickly be passed naturally, there is a shock-wave treatment available. This treatment is called lithotripsy which involves breaking down the stone using shock-waves to make the smaller fragments easier to pass through the body.
Is It Possible To Prevent Getting Kidney Stones?
I think that everyone would agree that prevention is better than the cure for any medical condition. With kidney stones in mind, it’s worth trying to prevent them rather than suffer the agony of having them.
While no preventive solutions come with a money-back guarantee, it is indeed worth considering them when they are so readily available to try.
The first method is the easiest on the short list. This suggestion is just to drink a lot more water if you usually only consume a small daily amount. Keeping urine highly diluted by drinking the recommended daily amount of water should be Number 1 on your list.
It is widely thought that drinking cranberry juice can prevent kidney stones, but the issue with cranberry juice is that it can only help reduce the chances of struvite stones and infections of the urinary tract. The downside is that cranberry juice contains additional properties that increase the chances of developing the more common oxalate kidney stones.
The next usual suspect recommended by most people is apple juice. Apple juice almost falls into the same category as cranberry juice because apple juice contains oxalate, so could potentially increase the chances of developing kidney stones rather than prevent them.
The last one to discuss is lemon juice. A drink of lemon juice (or homemade lemonade made from real lemons,) comes out tops on the prevention scoreboard. Lemon juice can, in fact, help prevent kidney stones.
If I’ve Had One Kidney Stone, Is It Likely That I’ll Get Another?
The chances are quite high that a person who has suffered from their first stone will typically have at least one more at some point in their life.
Another factor is that it is believed that kidney stones may be hereditary, so it is also possible for you to pass on the condition to your children.
With repeat occurrences of having kidney stones, the patient will very often know that they have another one as the symptoms are impossible to forget! Such patients may be able to take medication to help them pass any future stones easier than the first.
While we have established that biting fingernails does not cause kidney stones, we have also found many situations that can cause them. The fingernail link appears to merely come about by associating nails, calcium, and stones. Other than that somewhat random association, I am unsure where the idea comes from.
I am not a doctor, and I write these posts from researching the topics that I write about. If you have any medical concerns then always speak to your doctor. The Internet is a great place to get necessary information, but the Internet cannot sit down and talk to you and run tests (yet!)
So please do speak to a trained medical practitioner if you have any concerns about kidney stones or any other health concern for that matter.