Starvation - Common Causes

Common Causes

The basic cause of starvation is an imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure. In other words, the body expends more energy than it takes in as something. This imbalance can arise from one or more medical conditions and/or circumstantial situations, which can include:

Medical reasons

  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Coeliac Disease
  • Coma
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Digestive disease
  • Constant vomiting

Circumstantial causes

  • Famine – for any reason, such as political strife and war.
  • Fasting – done without proper medical supervision.
  • Poverty

Main causes of starvation: (i)The most common cause for starvation is economy; poor people cannot buy enough food stuffs and so, fail to fulfil the caloric demands of the body. (ii)Starvation may be due to food scarcity in the society. This causes decreased supply of food to the whole of the population, and thus mass starvation may occur. (iii)Starvation may be due to diseases that can cause rapid weight loss either due to the nature of the disease or the inability of the person to either eat or eat enough due to symptoms including by not limited to: fatigue, nausea or vomiting. The person may also be the host to a parasite such as an intestinal worm which may take a significant amount of the calories ingested by its host. This effect is exacerbated if the human host is already ingesting far less food than is required to meet their daily caloric intake needs. (iv)There are some clinical conditions such as recovering from surgery or burns etc., in which the person may be too fatigued or incapacitated to eat enough during their period of convalescence.

Read more about this topic:  Starvation

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