Starving oneself, also known as voluntary starvation or self-starvation, refers to the act of intentionally withholding food and nutrients from one's body. This can be done for a variety of reasons, including to lose weight, to achieve a certain aesthetic, or as a form of protest or self-punishment. However, starving oneself can have serious and potentially life-threatening consequences.
What happens if you starve yourself?
These are just a few of the immediate effects of starvation on health. It's important to remember that the human body needs a certain amount of nutrients and calories in order to function properly. Withholding food and nutrients from the body can have serious and potentially deadly consequences.
1. Weight loss
One of the most immediate effects of starvation is weight loss. When you don't consume enough calories to meet your body's energy needs, it will begin to break down stored fat and muscle tissue in order to survive. This can lead to rapid and significant weight loss, as well as a number of other physical changes.
In addition to weight loss, starvation can also cause a number of other physical symptoms. These may include fatigue, dizziness, weakness, and cold intolerance. It can also lead to a variety of physiological changes, such as an irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, and anaemia.
3. Cold intolerance
Starvation can also cause a decrease in body temperature, leading to feelings of cold intolerance.
4. Irregular heartbeat
Nutrient deficiency can lead to an irregular heartbeat and other changes in heart function.
5. Low blood pressure
Starvation can cause low blood pressure, as the body's blood volume decreases.
A lack of nutrients, particularly iron, can lead to anaemia, a condition in which the body does not have enough red blood cells to deliver oxygen to the body's tissues.
7. Mental health problems
Starvation can also have serious mental health consequences. It can cause mood changes, irritability, and an increased risk of depression and anxiety. It can also impair cognitive function, making it more difficult to think clearly and make decisions.
In extreme cases, starvation can be life-threatening. It can lead to organ damage and failure, and can ultimately result in death. It's important to remember that the human body needs a certain amount of nutrients and calories in order to function properly. Withholding food and nutrients from the body can have serious and potentially deadly consequences.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder or is engaging in self-starvation, it's important to seek help as soon as possible. There are a number of treatment options available, including therapy, medication, and nutrition counselling. With the right support, it is possible to overcome disordered eating and achieve a healthy and balanced relationship with food.