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Starvation

From Academic Kids

This article is about extreme malnutrition. For the usage pertaining to glaciers, see starvation (glaciology).

Starvation is a severe reduction in vitamin, nutrient, and energy intake, and is the most extreme form of malnutrition. In humans, prolonged starvation (in excess of 1-2 months) causes permanent organ damage and may eventually result in death.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, more than 25,000 people die of starvation every day, more than 800 million people are chronically undernourished. On average, every five seconds a child dies from starvation.

Contents

Symptoms

Starved individuals lose substantial fat and muscle mass as the body turns to these tissues for energy. The skin's pale and dry appearance attenuates this emaciation.

Vitamin deficiency is common, often resulting in anemia, beriberi, pellagra, and scurvy. These diseases collectively may cause diarrhea, skin rashes, edema, and heart failure. Individuals are often irritable, fatigued, and lethargic as a result.

Treatment

Starvation is usually treated by slowly increasing food intake until no nutrient deficiencies remain. By this time, the diet of a recovering individual should consist of 5,000 calories and twice the Recommended Dietary Allowance of nutrients.

Capital punishment

Starvation has always been a mean to carry a death sentence, from the beginning of the civilizations till the middle ages people were immured and starved to death.

Rajmund Kolbe a Polish friar offered his life to save another inmate sentenced to death in the Auschwitz concentration camp. He was starved along with other 13 inmates. After two weeks of starvation he and other three inmates were still alive and executed with injections of carbolic acid.

Ugolino della Gherardesca, his sons and other members of his family were immured in the Muda, a tower of Pisa, and starved to death in the thirteenth century. Dante Alighieri the main Italian poet, who lived in the same ages wrote about him in his masterpiece The Divine Comedy.

See also

External links

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