The Phaserl


Familiarize Yourself with the Frightening Symptoms of Starvation

from Ready Nutrition:

Everybody knows what happens when you don’t eat for a long enough period of time. We’re also familiar with many of the symptoms that occur along the way, such as mental fatigue, hunger pangs, fat and muscle loss, etc. However, many of us have never experienced true hunger, and we’re not familiar with many of the strange and horrific symptoms that are caused by long-term malnutrition. But if you’re a prepper, you better familiarize yourself with these symptoms right quick.

That’s because the symptoms of starvation are often a gap in the knowledge and experience of the average prepper. We prep specifically so that we’ll never experience hunger, and unfortunately, that means that many of us don’t prepare ourselves for being hungry. We need to remember that no matter how much food we stock up on, or how much food we can grow, or how superb our hunting and foraging skills are, we may still go hungry someday. Horrible things happen to the best of us, and we need to prepare for the worst rather than just preparing to avoid the worst.

And for starvation, that means getting to know the symptoms. I guess it’s less about preparing for them, as it is about bracing for them. Being hungry and tired is bad enough. You don’t need these symptoms to catch you off guard when you’re already in a desperate mental state from the throes of hunger. Let’s begin with one of the more mild symptoms.


In 1950, a starvation study was conducted on 36 healthy male volunteers, who had to cut their caloric intake in half. Even though they weren’t completely starving (they had just over 1,500 calories a day for 8 weeks) it was enough for them to start to obsess over food. You’ve probably seen this symptom in people who are trying out a new fad diet.

The men quickly began to fantasize about eating. It was all they thought about and all they ever talked about. Restaurant menus and cook books fascinated them. Meals that normally took a few minutes to eat now took several hours as they savored every bite. They would vicariously enjoy watching other people eat, and they would even sneak food away so that they could quietly enjoy it in a ritualized fashion. They also mixed their foods in ways that would that would seem unappetizing to a well fed person. Hunger can definitely change your mental relationship with food, sometimes in very strange ways.

Depression and Anxiety

Obviously, starvation will lead to mental fatigue, but it does more than that.  You won’t just feel tired, you’ll likely experience depression, anxiety, impatience, and nervousness. Your brain will start to have trouble producing serotonin, which can wreak havoc on your emotional stability. Ultimately though, apathy will set in. Nothing will make you want to quit more than being hungry, which is when you should be fighting harder than ever to survive. Fortunately you may also experience…

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4 comments to Familiarize Yourself with the Frightening Symptoms of Starvation

  • Craig escaped from Detroit

    Short and GOOD article. The information is direct and clear. I feel like I learned some GOOD information here.

    Thanks to Organic Prepper (in Canada) and thanks to SGT for mirroring it.

  • Eric

    Very good article. Definitely good info here. This is why I think it’s always good to stock up on vitamins and supplements and minerals as well. You can take as much vitamin C as you want and you will never have too much. It’s one of the only vitamins like that. And from what I’ve heard, they are going to take them away from us, which probably means they will be made super expensive. Some things already are.

    I will just add that I also think it is a good idea to do a fast and a detox everyone once in a while. Starve yourself for 2-3 days or more. And sweat out the toxins. Cleanse your body. Especially if you have been putting a lot into it recently. I put the digestive system at the top. Especially the colon. Do a colon cleanse and take a probiotic (acidophilus bifidus) for your intestines. You want the healthy bacteria not the unhealthy bacteria. I take an 8 billion from Now Foods. Older people probably need something stronger.

    But I think doing a fast once in a while is good. You get used to starvation. And we put so much toxic crap in them all the time. Keep your holy temple pure.

  • Christine

    Eric makes a lot of good points and I want to add my personal experience, if I may. I came to this country 33 years ago, from a place where food was important but not a reason to live for. Where I come from, we’ll skip on a bad meal that doesn’t make us feel good afterwards but we won’t skip on nutrition.

    I worked in a transportation Co. in CA (Three-Way-Corporation, out of Sunnyvale, for many months) and I was dumbfounded by what I saw: my co-workers came to work at 8:00 am with a bag from BK or McD. That was breakfast. During the morning hours, they all had a hand on the phone and a hand in a big drawer full of junk. Munchies, candies, you name it. Up, down, up, down, munching and talking on the phone. In my culture of origin, breakfast held you for 4 hrs, all the way until lunch, and lunch held you until supper. I never ate between meals. It just wasn’t necessary.

    At 10:30 am, (15 mn. break) some greasy-spoon truck stopped in the parking lot and everybody went down to grab a hot-dog, a hamburger, something. And a Coke. And came back up to resume the down, up, down, up, drawer to mouth motion, non-stop.

    At lunch time, I went home. Soup or salad. From scratch. Soup was made for a few days and put in the freezer, ready to warm up. Salad seasoning was handmade in a batch and kept in the fridge. My co-workers didn’t go home. They went to “grab lunch” and came back with it. BK, McD, Jack-in-the-box, Straw Hat Pizza, you name it. Between 1:00 and 3:30pm, they went back to phone in one hand and the down, up, down, up munching motion. At 3:30 pm (break time), some sweet-tooth truck stopped in the parking lot and everyone went down to get ice-cream, a coke, some cookie, something sweet. And back to work, they resumed the down, up, down, up until 5:00 pm. They NEVER left their seat except to go to the truck or drive and order from a window nearby

    Two months of “aren’t you ever hungry?” later, a concerned co-worker asked me: “Why don’t you ever join us? You’re so aloof! People don’t like you.” I just answered: “I eat when I’m hungry. I’m never hungry: I eat regular meals. Don’t need more. I like you guys but I can’t eat that much.” The sweet, sincerely concerned (very overweight) woman had a pained look on her face. And she said something I never forgot: “You don’t understand: this is America. We don’t eat because we are hungry. We eat NOT TO FEEL HUNGRY.”

    True story.

    • Eric

      Yikes! Yeah I see a lot of that. I’ made a few new buddies some years ago. People who worked in construction and are retired now. They would eat a huge breakfast and feel sick later. Americans are such pigs. I went to a buffet with another and he piles up a huge plate of sushi, then scarfs it down and goes to the bathroom to vomit. I’m so glad I broke out of that programming when I did. I still snack a lot sometimes but I’m a lot better at it now. Broccoli for instance. Or even just real food not Mcgarbage. I saw one buddy make a huge transformation just by telling him “hey if you want to eat garbage, I have a trash can full for free.” He would complain about how hungry he is. Anyways it took some work and determination but it’s not that difficult. You are what you eat. Eat a bunch of bananas sometime instead. You need about 2000 calories a day under normal conditions supposedly but I could see it being much less if you’re not burning them. The body needs nutrients. Not food. Get some allicin C or garlic and get rid of the candida and fungus that makes you hungry all the time. Stop confusing thirst for hunger.

      But as the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.

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