Starvation can be caused by fasting, coma, famine, stroke, severe gastrointestinal disease, and anorexia nevrosa. The body resists starvation by body’s tissue break down and uses them as a calories source (like the furniture burning to keep the warm house). As a result, muscles and internal organs become severely damaged, and the adipose tissue (body fat) disappears.
Adults may lose up to 50% of his or her body weight, and child may lose even more. Proportional loss of weight is greatest in intestines and liver; moderate in the kidney and heart; and least in the person’s nervous system. The most visible starvation signs include protruding bones, reduced muscle size, wasting in parts where the person’s body usually stores fats. The skin tends to become cold, thin, pale, inelastic, and dry. The hairs, which become sparse and dry, fall easily. The majority of the body parts become affected.
Total starvation is fatal in a time frame of 8 to 12 weeks. Treatment of starvation consists of restoring foods intake to normal amount, which needs a considerable time amount, depending on how the person’s body is affected and how long an individual has been without food. The gastrointestinal tract shrinks during starvation and can not accommodate an appropriate diet all at once. Fluids , including broth, juice, clear soup, and milk are adviced for those people who may intake food by mouth.
After a several days of fluids, a solid diet may be started and be gradually increased to 5,000 calories or more daily. Generally, bland food is adviced, taken in small portions at frequent intervals to prevent diarrhea. An individual must gain three to four pounds a week unless a normal weight is reached. Some individuals require to be fed first through nasogastric tube. Intravenous feedings can be required if diarrhea and malabsorbtion persist.