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akcapr

starvation

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How come when you are super starved u cannot eat food rapidly? apparently it is bad for you and those problems popped up during wwII with all those starved prisoners.

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from what I can gather, malnutrition and starvation cause the osmolarity of your body cells to change, resulting in swelling of the abdomen (like in those poor starving african children). Most likely, eating a lot of food at one time would affect the osmolarity of your body and throw something out of whack. I did a quick google search and it came up with nothing.

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Much of your digestive tract is muscle. Perhaps atrophy is a concern.

 

Also, it takes energy to digest food. One can be malnourished to the point where the energy required to process the food would result in exhaustion, especially when the body already has so little for fuel.

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You're right, it can be dangerous to introduce a lot of food right away when someone is in a state of starvation, people who treat patients with eating disorders call it 'refeeding syndrome'. It's slightly ironic that your body needs nutrition desperately yet food can trigger fatal consequences because the systems are so out of whack.

 

I think that the word for what Hyebeh was describing about osmolarity and ion ratios is 'hypophosphatemia'. It's a big problem for treating starved patients. Here is a website with a lot of good information:

http://www.ccmtutorials.com/misc/phosphate/page_07.htm

And here is one with a ton of information on refeeding as a whole:

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3624/is_200309/ai_n9255967

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