Hunger and starvation: how to tell them apart


Ever questioned why, even after eating, you don’t feel satisfied? or that after eating, you become more hungry? This is due to the fact that we frequently conflate “starvation” with “hunger,” Dr. Rohini Patil, a nutritionist and the creator of Nutracy Lifestyle, noted.

“The sensation of hunger is called hunger. On the other side, being starved occurs when a person no longer feels hungry and, despite eating, does not feel full. The reason you feel hungry is that your body need sustenance. According to Dr. Patil, when you are hungry, it’s because your body is unable to metabolise or keep enough food.

She went on to say that while hunger is a feeling and famine is a medical condition, there is a distinction between the two. Because they are not consuming enough food or nutrients from their surroundings, people who are starving frequently experience hunger. She continued, “Hunger can be brought on by low blood sugar levels, a bad diet, anorexia nervosa (extreme calorie restriction), or other disorders.

Are you famished?

Hunger is a real, tangible feeling. It is the need to eat or drink, but it also encompasses a wide range of other appetites and desires. “ There are several ways to feel hungry. Some people could experience hunger when they get up in the morning, while others might experience hunger before going to sleep at night. Some people could feel desires for certain items, while others might have cravings for several kinds of foods. The fact that hunger is more acute and lasts longer than other sorts of discomfort, such as weariness, sleepiness, low energy, or brain fog, can distinguish it from other types of discomfort.

The expert also mentioned that there are numerous varieties of hunger, and each variety has its own special traits. “For instance, the need for eating can be characterised as an internal void that demands to be promptly supplied with suitable quantities of food. But can also experience a thirst for water, which she said is similar to feeling empty inside and necessitates being instantly supplied with enough water.

Here are several signs of hunger:

You haven’t eaten in more than 5 to 6 hours.
Your most recent meal was a tiny bit.
Your stomach aches and makes gurgling noises.
Additionally, other conditions including sadness, anxiety, and irritability may be influenced by hunger. These ailments are frequently caused by a bad diet, insufficient sleep, or insufficient exercise.
When you are hungry, pay attention to how you are feeling. Our hunger and appetite are also reflected by our mood! Therefore, be careful not to overeat if you are experiencing a strong feeling.

Do you need to eat?

Both laypeople and medical professionals frequently refer to someone who hasn’t eaten much or anything at all for a prolonged length of time as “starving.” Since everyone’s notion of famine is unique, the term “starvation” might be deceptive. “A situation in which adequate food intake is lowered for a protracted period of time, usually weeks or months,” according to the Merck Manual, is what is meant by hunger.

“The majority of people associate starving with having only one meal each day and experiencing hunger. But that doesn’t tell the whole tale. Even with drastically restricted food consumption, the body has a number of systems to prevent starvation. When a person’s caloric intake is insufficient to meet their energy requirements, usually as a result of malnutrition, starvation can result. The difficulty to procure food in a region devastated by war or conflict can also lead to starvation. Starvation may occur in these situations on purpose or accidentally, the woman stated.

A person who is famished could display symptoms like hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). These signs include anger, disorientation, dizziness, weakness, and weariness. A person who is undernourished will also have pale complexion, dry lips, and eyes.

It’s possible to categorise starvation as a medical emergency that has to be treated right away.

The following are some causes of starvation:

lack of funds to pay bills and buy food
without having access to supermarkets or farmers markets
incapacity to obtain transportation (or the inability to use it)
inability to cook meals for oneself or family members