Starvation – Definition, Phases, Reasons, Symptoms, and More
Hunger – a severe lack of caloric energy intake necessary to prolong human life. In humans, prolonged starvation can cause permanent organ damage and eventual death. Hunger can cause factors other than the illness beyond the individual’s control. Thus, the leading cause of desire is an imbalance between energy expenditure and energy expenditure.
By definition, hunger is a process. Our bodies are not like vehicles that die fast when exhausted. When we experience prolonged low energy intake, and as long as the water is available, our body goes through different metabolic regimes. The body recognises that food is scarce and must reallocate resources to prepare for a potentially more prolonged period. A person’s body gives him time to find something to eat.
However, Hunger results from insufficient nutrient intake or an inability to metabolise or absorb nutrients. It can have numerous reasons, such as:
- Expands rapidly
Whatever the cause, hunger follows the same path and consists of three phases. The events of the first two phases occur even during relatively short periods of dieting or fasting. The third phase occurs only with prolonged starvation and can end with the person’s death.
The First Phase – Starvation
During the first phase of starvation, blood sugar levels maintain by glucose production from protein, glycogen, and fat. First, glycogen breaks down into glucose. Just enough glycogen; however, it is stored in the person’s liver for a few hours. After this period, blood sugar maintains by breaking down fats and proteins.
The Second Phase – Starvation
In the second phase, which can last several weeks, fats are the primary energy source. A person’s liver converts fatty acids into ketone bodies that can be used as energy sources. After about a week of fasting, a person’s brain begins to use ketone bodies and glucose for energy. Proteins that are not essential for survival consume first.
The Third Phase – Starvation
The third phase of starvation begins when a person’s fat stores deplete, and there is a switch to protein as the person’s primary source of energy. Muscles, the body’s largest source of protein, wear out quickly. At the end of this phase, proteins essential for cell functions break down, and cell function degenerates. In addition to weight loss, symptoms of hunger include:
- Increased susceptibility to disease.
Additional signs of starvation may include flaky skin, hair colour changes, and massive oedema in the lower extremities and abdomen, which makes the person’s stomach appear bloated. During the starvation process, the human body’s ability to absorb large amounts of food decreases.
Hunger and Death – Starvation
Therefore, Few people die directly from starvation because they usually die first from an infectious disease.
Hunger wreaks havoc on a person’s immune system, primarily due to extreme mineral and vitamin deficiencies. Some people become weak during starvation and die from diseases related to the immune system. Fat, glucose, muscle mass, and tissue are finite resources that will ultimately run out, and the person will die. The final stage of starvation generally results in one of two diseases: kwashiorkor and marasmus.
Marasmus occurs due to an extreme lack of energy, often low calories and protein. It can lead to oedema and enlargement of the liver, causing the Child’s abdomen to swell and making hungry children appear sated.
What Causes Starvation?
The immediate causes of malnutrition in a child depend on underlying factors in their family and community. These, in turn, depend on fundamental factors at the national level that works effectively. Some of the root causes of hunger are social, such as:
When people live in poverty, they lack the resources to meet their basic needs, such as food, water, and shelter.
Conflicts often uproot people from their homes and lands, leading to a slowdown or complete halt in food production. It makes already vulnerable people more vulnerable to malnutrition. Conflicts also disrupt economies and make markets unstable.
Although women produce most of the food in developing countries and are often the primary breadwinners for children, gender inequality in society leads to higher malnutrition rates among women and girls.
Reasons for Starvation are Environmental, Such as:
For people living in rural areas who depend on agriculture and livestock for their food and livelihoods, seasonal weather changes affect hunger, food prices, and availability. It leads to annual cycles of starvation, known as “hunger seasons,” which are devastating.
Like conflict, natural disasters can destroy homes, land, jobs, and markets. Until communities can rebuild, people affected by natural disasters are at increased risk of malnutrition.
Lack of Access to Drinking Water:
Unsafe or scarce water causes and aggravates malnutrition. Without access to clean water, plants cannot grow properly, and people cannot survive or stay healthy.
If any of these fundamental or underlying factors are missing or not working correctly, they are more likely to trigger immediate problems that increase the risk of malnutrition.
What is Hunger Syndrome?
The starvation syndrome can occur in people of any weight when the body doesn’t get the energy it needs for an extended period. It usually happens in people with eating illnesses. They limit their food intake, eat unevenly, and reimburse for their calories.
How do I know if my Child has Starvation Syndrome?
It is important to remember that starvation syndrome can affect people of any weight and with any eating disorder. If you think your child may be suffering from an eating disorder, we strongly recommend that you seek help from a qualified health professional. It can be your family doctor, a nutritionist, a paediatrician, or a psychologist specialising in children and eating disorders. Regardless of the diagnosis, her son could have an eating disorder if she has Hunger Syndrome.
Symptoms and Indicators – Starvation
Symptoms commonly associated with eating disorders are usually symptoms of hunger syndrome. The prominent signs are first are a slow heartbeat, low blood pressure, decreased concentration, increased irritability, to name a few. At Change Creates Change, we often find that these effects of hunger give parents a signal that their Child has an eating disorder. Hunger syndrome can affect all aspects of a person’s life. It affects our physiological, emotional, cognitive, and social functioning. When the body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs, its systems begin to shut down to support life.
Signs of Starvation Syndrome
However, physical changes can affect many organs and systems throughout the body. The most noticeable material changes are hair loss, fainting, water retention, low libido, and dry skin. Some of the less noticeable physical changes are decreased heart muscle mass, slow basal metabolism, extreme tiredness, weakness, dizziness, feeling cold, and decreased hormone levels.
People with hunger syndrome often feel “flat” or “numb.” emotional changes often manifest as depression, anxiety, irritability, or loss of interest in life. Brain function may also be affected, resulting in reduced concentration, comprehension, decreased judgment and decision-making skills, obsessive thoughts, and reduced alertness.
People living with an eating disorder, especially those who are hungry, often isolate themselves. It can happen when your child avoids social situations, such as B. eating in the cafeteria or attending family dinners. The starvation syndrome can also affect your Child’s friends and family, as sufferers may lose their sense of humour, withdraw from relationships, and neglect personal hygiene. Other possible behavior changes to watch out for include: frequent thoughts about food, strict meal planning, eating too fast or too slow, increased hunger, binge eating, hoarding, and increased use of spices or condiments.
How does Starvation Affect the Body?
Food is the body’s fuel for its vital processes affected by hunger.
Therefore, The body breaks down its tissues to use as fuel to pay for the lack of food. This process can affect muscle tissue, including the heart. Your heart rate and blood pressure drop because your heart doesn’t have enough energy to pump blood throughout your body as efficiently as usual.
Food restriction affects how the stomach digests food and empties itself. Can lead to:
- Stomach pain
- To put back
- Blood sugar fluctuations
- Bacterial infections
Long-term malnutrition can also lead to constipation because it weakens the intestinal muscles. Thus, Weakened muscles may not have the strength to push digested food through the intestines.
Another risk of starvation is pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, which causes pain, nausea, and vomiting.
Central Nervous System
Hunger can affect the brain, which uses up to a fifth of a person’s energy. When the brain is poor in power, it can lead to problems with concentration and sleep.
The endocrine system needs fat and cholesterol to make hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and thyroid hormones.
- Periods may become irregular or not occur at all.
- Bones can weaken
- Metabolic rate may decrease
- The core temperature may drop, leading to hypothermia.
Thus, Symptoms can include dry skin, brittle hair, and hair loss. In times of hunger, the body tries to warm itself by growing a layer of soft fur called lanugo.
However, Hunger affects all body systems and processes. Thus, The body needs nutrients from food to survive. Without them, it begins to break down its tissues as food. Doctors strongly advise against starvation diets. Not only are they dangerous, but they are also not permanent. The best way to lose weight is through a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise.