Rabbit starvation, also known as rabbit starvation, is a type of malnutrition that is no longer widespread today. It occurred primarily among the hunting Native Americans of North America, but also among early naturalists who depended on the hunted animals as a source of food for long periods of time. In modern society, some diets that rely on high levels of protein in the diet pose a risk of developing rabbit starvation
What is rabbit hunger?
Typical symptoms of rabbit hunger are headaches, tiredness and general malaise. The cardiovascular system is often also affected by the deficiency disease. See AbbreviationFinder for abbreviations related to Rabbit Hunger.
Rabbit starvation is a disease caused by improper diet. The cause lies in a diet with only lean meat over a longer period of time. In addition, environmental factors such as cold and drought must be present as stress factors for the development of the disease. The disease was first observed in the Indians of North America, who lived mainly by hunting.
If there was not enough prey, the skinny rabbits had to suffice for food, which led to health problems. These occurred especially in the winter months, when the stress factors of cold and drought were added and further food sources were lacking due to a lack of fruit and vegetables. Today, low-carb diets, as well as paleo diets, in the absence of the nutrients necessary for the body, pose a risk for the occurrence of the disease.
The exact cause has not yet been clarified, but several possible modes of action are being considered. The only thing that is certain is that the long-term diet with lean meat leads to the symptoms. One of the possible reasons is that a large amount of the lean and therefore low-calorie meat has to be consumed to meet the calorie requirement.
The innards are also consumed for energy supply. The liver in particular has a high proportion of vitamin A. This theory states that too much vitamin A in food leads to health problems.
A second theory states that the lean meat is not sufficient to cover the calorie requirement and that the lack of calories causes physical complaints. This is probably due to the fact that an adult would have to eat eight medium-sized rabbits daily to cover the calorie requirement, even with little physical exertion.
Taking the Native Americans as an example, it can be assumed that the physical exertion of hunting consumed far more calories than the lean meat could absorb. Looking at today’s way of life, this theory seems improbable at first. However, the energy consumption of the body during mental work should not be underestimated.
The third theory states that an excess of proteins is responsible for the development of the disease. The high protein content puts a heavy strain on the kidneys, and they are no longer able to filter the urea from the blood. This accumulates in the body and leads to symptoms of poisoning. As different as the possible explanations are, they all seem conclusive.
A combination of the various modes of action may also lead to the onset of the disease. The only thing that is certain is that excessive consumption of low-calorie meat leads to the health problems described.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
Typical symptoms of rabbit hunger are headaches, tiredness and general malaise. The cardiovascular system is often also affected by the deficiency disease. Patients suffering from rabbit hunger may exhibit low blood pressure. Medicine speaks of hypotension when an adult’s blood pressure is below 100/60 mmHg. Blood pressure is usually measured using a special cuff on the upper arm.
Low blood pressure can lead to other symptoms. The characteristic symptoms include tiredness, headaches, lack of concentration and tachycardia. Patients are often pale and tremble. Dizziness and weakness are also possible, with circulatory collapse and brief loss of consciousness being possible. Doctors also refer to such a collapse of the circulatory system as syncope.
Patients with rabbit hunger may also have a reduced heart rate. This symptom is known as bradycardia. A value of 60 beats per minute is often given as a rough average for a normal heart rate. Depending on age, fitness and other factors, the individual normal value can deviate from this.
Another symptom of rabbit hunger is diarrhea, in which the stool is more liquid than usual. The intestine empties more than three times a day, causing the body to lose a lot of fluid. Indirectly, therefore, rabbit hunger can lead to dehydration. Electrolytes may also go up as a result of the diarrhea.
Diagnosis & course of disease
Diagnosis can only be made based on history of symptoms and dietary habits. If the symptoms appear, the diet should be examined more closely. Sometimes the symptoms also occur if the diet consists not exclusively but mainly of lean meat. If the proportion of proteins in the daily diet varies from person to person, they can no longer be optimally utilized by the body and health problems arise.
If the physical warning signs are observed, the disease is usually not fatal and heals without further long-term effects. For example, there are no known cases of the Indians in which the disease would not have subsided if the diet was changed accordingly. Due to the rarity of occurrence of the disease in modern cultures, reliable studies on the course of the disease are lacking.
However, it can also be assumed here that the disease will not show any long-term consequences if the diet is changed accordingly. Long-term effects can only be assumed if the symptoms are ignored and the unhealthy diet is continued. If the symptoms are ignored for a long period of time, the disease can lead to protein poisoning and be fatal.
Nowadays, rabbit hunger is one of the rare diseases, so that complications are kept within limits. However, if the complaint occurs and lasts longer, irreversible damage to the organism can occur. In most cases, those affected suffer from relatively severe headaches and diarrhea. Circulatory problems continue to appear and those affected complain about low blood pressure.
They may also lose consciousness and complain of tiredness. As a rule, this cannot be compensated for with sleep. Likewise, the low pulse can also lead to a loss of consciousness. The general resilience of the patient decreases significantly and there is a general malaise.
As a rule, rabbit hunger can be combated relatively well and quickly with the help of a change in diet. There are no particular complications and the symptoms disappear again. Complications can arise if rabbits are hungry for a long period of time and organs may have been damaged as a result. Life expectancy may be restricted and reduced.
When should you go to the doctor?
People who have a long-term diet of very lean meat and whose main diet includes rabbits should see a doctor for regular check-ups. Rabbit hunger indicates malnutrition, which can be diagnosed quickly with targeted tests, even if no specific symptoms are present. If you experience digestive problems such as diarrhea or stomach pains, you should consult a doctor. If you have recurring headaches, persistent tiredness despite getting enough sleep at night, or low blood pressure, you should see a doctor.
If the person concerned suffers from general malaise, exhaustion or reduced performance, a doctor must be consulted to clarify the cause. If you have a permanent feeling of hunger, severe changes in weight and a continuous feeling of cold, you need a doctor. Without adequate medical care, the affected person can suffer permanent damage to the organism. The undersupply leads to organ damage and in severe cases to loss of consciousness.
In acute cases, an emergency service must be alerted. Until he arrives, the people present must apply first aid measures to ensure the survival of the person concerned. A drop in the usual level of performance, reduced drive or an increased need for sleep are signs of existing irregularities. A doctor’s visit is necessary for irritability, feeling sick and cravings for fatty foods.
Treatment & Therapy
Treatment usually consists of changing your diet. Eating high-calorie foods is recommended to treat the disease. If the diet is changed accordingly in good time, the symptoms usually disappear within a short time. On the other hand, long-term effects are to be feared if the symptoms are not taken seriously and not treated accordingly.
Outlook & Forecast
The prognosis for rabbit hunger is usually good. As soon as the patient is willing to cooperate, a change in diet is made. Some time later, the first changes in the symptoms that have arisen are already apparent. Under optimal conditions, a significant reduction in irregularities is observed within a week. With a permanent change in food intake, recovery occurs.
Rabbit hunger is based on malnutrition. Medical treatment is not always necessary for this reason. The supply of food can be changed and optimized independently. The natural needs of the human organism should be taken into account. If the measures taken are not sufficient, the support of a doctor or nutritionist should be sought. A consultation with a doctor who shows the need for certain vitamins, nutrients and trace elements is often sufficient.
If the person concerned is not willing to optimize the intake of his food, he is threatened with long-term consequences. This worsens the otherwise very favorable prognosis. The late effects have a negative impact on general well-being and quality of life. In addition, a circulatory collapse or loss of consciousness can lead to further secondary diseases. The focus is on the functionality of the heart and it can be damaged. In particularly severe cases, the patient is threatened with sudden death.
The best and easiest way of prevention is to avoid the causes. A balanced diet that takes into account the nutrients your body needs is the best way to prevent rabbit hunger. Warning signals from the body should also be taken seriously. If a craving for fatty or sweet foods occurs when eating lean meat, this should be interpreted as the first warning signal and the diet should be changed before further, more serious symptoms appear.
In most cases, there are no special or direct measures and options for aftercare available to those affected by rabbit hunger. As a rule, the measures are not really necessary, since the disease rarely occurs even today and therefore does not need to be treated. However, with rabbit hunger in general, early diagnosis and treatment of the disease always has a very positive effect on its further course.
In this way, complications or a further deterioration of the symptoms can be prevented. In most cases, rabbit hunger is treated with proper dietary changes. The doctor can create a comprehensive nutrition plan for the person concerned, which must be adhered to in any case. In the case of children, it is above all the parents who have to implement this plan correctly and also control the child when eating.
As a rule, rabbit hunger can be completely treated in this way, so that there are no special complications. If the disease has occurred over a longer period of time, the internal organs may need to be examined and checked. It is also often necessary to take various supplements, whereby care must be taken to ensure correct dosage and regular intake.
You can do that yourself
Based on where rabbit hunger comes from, the best form of self-treatment is a diet change that provides adequate calories and fat. All that is necessary for this is that the person concerned eats a more or less balanced diet, whereby the proportion of fat should be temporarily increased in order to regulate the metabolism and to satisfy the craving for fat.
There are also numerous remedies against the symptoms that can appear in the course of a rabbit’s hunger. It is advisable to reduce movements to a minimum, since the body has hardly any energy left due to malnutrition. Bed rest helps against dizziness. Due to the diarrhea, which occurs particularly frequently, a larger amount of drinking is recommended. Those affected should also note that their heart rate and blood pressure may have dropped significantly. Jerky standing up and similar movements should therefore be avoided to protect against a collapse.
The change in diet usually only has to last a day or two for the body to recover. However, the diet should not become malnutrition again afterwards, but care should be taken to ensure an adequate intake of fats and carbohydrates in the future.