T Nation

Starvation mode

I am writing an essay about eating disorders. What are some of the things that happen to you when your body goes into starvation mode? Where can I find some of this information(on the web)?

I hear libraries are good for researchin stuff

“TestosteroneBoy” it’s time to become……“InternetBoy”! Do some research on the internet.

When I was really sick, I had a lot of the same symptoms of someone who is anorexic. I was always cold, my fingernails had a blueish hue, thinner hair, loss of coordination (probably more due to the drastic decrease in bodyweight), slight problems concentrating, and some pretty crazy bloodwork (low hemoglobin [anemia], screwed up thyroid levels [T2, TSH, etc.], odd blood cell count), general weakness [also due to anemia]-basically, all of the physical signs of low weight. As far as the actual eating disorder is concerned, you’ll obviously have to consider a lot of the more psychological issues such as body image, etc. I’m not at home right now, but I have some old copies of my bloodwork that I can post later to give you an idea of the shit I went through-it might be pretty informative.

Time to learn about real research, because asking people on the T-mag forum is not something you can cite in a good essay. Time to hop over to Pubmed and look up some articles in peer-reviewed journals. Start here: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ entrez/query.fcgi?CMD=&DB=PubMed and then head down to the library to look up titles that you could not view on the web. BTW, when you cut and past this URL into your browser, be sure to delete the space right before the entrez/query…part. Long links cause forum problems, so we hav to put a space in them or they won’t get posted. Good luck!

Another thing that I forgot to mention is that they are always concerned about bone density with anyone with eating disorders. Obviously, 90% of all cases occur in females, who are more likely to develop osteoporosis anyway. More importantly, bones can only actually gain density until around the age of 30. After that, we are essentially in maintenance/preservation mode (enhanced by calcium intake, weight bearing exercise, etc.)Since we gain all of this density in the early part of our lives, it is of particular concern that young girls with eating disorders aren’t getting the nutrients necessary to strengthen bones for the long haul. Since they are already at a deficit at a young age, the later years in life (provided they actually survive) are even more serious.

Also, severe bradycardia. My ECG showed at heart rate of 33 at one point, and I’m no marathon runner. As far as the bloodwork is concerned, most of the measure of protein in the blood-urea nitrogen, albumin, AST/SGOT- are high due to catabolism. Hematocrit was low as well. Much of the strange levels can also be attributed to dehydration. The four measures of the thyroid are Total T3, Total T4, Free T4, and TSH. Usually, these levels are low because the metabolism slows down during starvation. Now, you are on your own. Get your arse to a decent journal and/or database and read, read, read.

The major handbook for the subject of physiology in Croatian medical schools is Textbook of Medical Physiology by Arthur C. Guyton, John E. Hall. I read it sometimes when I am doing cardio. :slight_smile: There is a whole chapter dedicated to starvation in there…

I remember reading somewhere about something called starvation mode. While intaking much less calories than you need(like under 1k a day), your body will enter the starvation mode. While in this, your body has already burnt all the carbs and is burning at your fat stores. All the food that you eat, because you are in starvation mode goes directly into your fat stores, effectively making you look thin, but still have a lot of fat. If this was true, then starvation diets wouldn’t really work. Anyone heard of this?