Starvation diets are dangerous and can cause serious complications. The side effects of starvation diets may be physical as well as mental. Starving may be self-inflicted or due to medical conditions like bulimia, anorexia and so on. It can also be due to circumstances beyond control like drought, famine, war, the availability of adequate finances, and so on. Regardless of the reasons for starvation, its outcome remains the same. Starvation not only leads to severe malnutrition, but can also permanently damage internal organs and cause diseases like ulcers. Here we shall discuss some of the side effects of starving.
Malnutrition is associated with starvation and caused by the lack of essential nutrients like minerals and vitamins in the body. Malnutrition results in several medical conditions, including scurvy, Anemia and Night blindness. In many developing and underdeveloped countries, children are the ones most affected by malnutrition. Women rank second on the probable list of candidates.
Dehydration is also caused by starvation. Lack of water induces dehydration, which may aggravate and lead to cracked skin and constipation. Even persons on diets are therefore advised to keep themselves hydrated and avoid the repercussions of dehydration.
3. Decrease in Resting Metabolic Rate:
Various scientific studies have concluded that starvation can reduce the basal metabolic rate as well as the resting metabolic rate. This decrease may even mark the beginnings of various health problems including metabolic disorder, obesity and so on.
4. Loss of Monthly Menstruration:
Starvation in an underweight woman would result in a stoppage of production of estrogen. As starvation continues various body processes continue to slow down along with organ failure arising from starvation. A stoppage of mensuration is also one of the aftereffects of the slowing body processes.
Fatigue is the most common and visible symptom of starvation. Starvation slows down various physiological processes due to an imbalance of essential nutrients in our body causing fatigue. Fatigue and starvation are also known to trigger an electrolyte imbalance as well as an incorrect judgement of situations due to slowing of thinking processes.
6. High Blood Pressure:
Lack of essential nutrients like vitamin D and potassium causes a spike in blood pressure levels. Hence starvation invariably raises blood pressure. A spike in blood pressure is particularly dangerous for persons with other medical conditions like heart ailments.
Starvations and dehydration together are known to cause constipation. Persons suffering from regular constipation tend to use regular laxatives for cleansing the body. This repetitive use of laxatives, also makes such persons, candidates for rectal prolapse.
8. Bone Loss:
Starvation leads to low bone density. Thus, starvation and its accompanying malnutrition are often a leading cause of osteoporosis.
9. Loss of Cognitive Abilities:
Depression and loss of cognitive abilities are common symptoms that reflect the effects of starvation on the brain.
10. Electrolyte Imbalance:
Loss of nutrients causes electrolyte imbalance due to lack of minerals like calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium, which are needed for healthy functioning of the heart.