There are many effects of starvation. These can include:
- a swollen stomach caused by kwashiorkor,
- loss of weight,
- weakness and not being able to stand
The metabolism naturally lowers when a person is starved. This makes weight loss slower. Consistently not being able to eat enough will lead to permanent damage to the organs. This is the case for humans when they do not eat enough for about 1-2 months. A process called catabolysis will break down body tissues, using them as fuel to keep vital functions (the nervous system and the heart) working. It will first use muscles before it starts destroying fat.
Starvation was also used to inflict a death penalty. People who eat nothing usually die in a few months.