Starvation is a severe deficiency in caloric energy intake. It is the most extreme form of malnutrition. In humans, prolonged starvation can cause permanent organ damage and eventually, death. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hunger is the single gravest threat to the world's public health. The basic cause of starvation is an imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure. In other words, the body expends more energy than it takes in. This imbalance can arise from one or more medical conditions and/or circumstantial situations. This review attempts to summarize the literature available on the various causes of starvation which may include any disease process or may occur by a voluntary act of shunning of food. The article discusses the body's response to starvation, which may be short-term starvation or prolonged starvation. The article also focuses on whether diabetes is a cause or an effect of starvation.
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