1

votes

what are the effects of having had rabbit starvation?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 14, 2011 at 11:25 PM

hi. i've been paleo since 2.5yrs ago and due to lack of researching about it, i have had rabbit starvation a few times. the first time was so bad that i lost 20lbs, couldn't stand up for long, felt very cold, one diarrhea per day, my mind melted, crying spells (the lack of fat in brain), and my heart also felt like was having a heart attack a few times. i never learned how to properly calculate fat/protein ration until recently so i actually ended up with it a couple more times... so now i'm wondering what r the health consequences of having been in rabbit starvation - immune system? gut flora? cardiovascular damage? organ damage?

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 15, 2011
at 09:48 PM

take might be, but there's still the candida issue. might also have something to do with having been a vegan for 2yrs right before my hypoglycemia started to set it :( nowadays i don't have hypoglycemia anymore and no supplements.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on November 15, 2011
at 09:01 PM

Justin: sounds like reactive hypoglycemia. You may be deficient in chromium. Consider taking 200mcg of chromium with vitamin C every other day for a few weeks. It should improve your glucose tolerance.

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:44 PM

i wasn't attempting to do PSMF. i was an uneducated person who read one sliver of info on paleo but missed an exposure of info on fat and so attempted to do it the wrong way.

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:42 PM

@ evelyn - when i used to eat carbs (grains and fruits), i had to eat 6-7 times a day. missing any would mean foul mood, aggression, dizziness, and couldn't think. that's the sign of a glucose-based metabolism - glucose burns hard but short, so there was always a great feeling right after eating but then needs more glucose soon because it burns up quickly (hence the constant eating). but with a fat-based metabolism i'm only eating twice a day (around the same amount) and when hungry there's no side effects. carbs is not essentially bad, but, for some, not essentially needed as well.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on November 15, 2011
at 07:56 PM

I don't mind bluntness. My newly developing theory about it is that the reason it doesn't seem to be happening in the circles I've been involved in is that if you can get fat from your body it doesn't happen, and most of my experience is with overweight people. But if you were already at 10% bodyfat, it's totally plausible to me.

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 15, 2011
at 06:47 PM

i would say 3lbs (1.5kg) of meat a day is a lot. and more of the same meat would not change the ratio of fat/protein that i was eating. my body would be getting an equal increase amount of fat and protein in exact proportion that was making me sick anyways.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:51 PM

Justin~ I hear you. My point was simply that if you had eaten MORE of the meat, you would likely have not gotten so sick--or at least not so soon. I thought that the situation was complicated in that you limited the amount--after more reading (and the clarification about fat calories vs % fat), I agree with you.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:50 PM

Justin~ I hear you. My point was simply that if you had eaten MORE of the meat, you would likely have not gotten so sick--or at least not so soon. I thought that the situation was complicated in that you limited the amount--after more reading (and the clarification about calories), I agree with you.

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:27 PM

@ dragonfly - what did u mean "limiting the amount"? i was eating 3lbs of meat a day. did u mean "type of food" instead of "amount"? and since i was losing almost 1lb a day of body weight, my body was evidently eating itself to provide enough metabolic energy to breath/maintain hormones/etc. so i was probably not absorbing most of it (one diarrhea a day). could be a sign the body was trying to reject absorbing any more protein into the blood stream to avoid further ammonia poisoning (part of what protein poisoning is?)

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:22 PM

15-20% fat by calories, not weight. rabbit starvation is probably due to lack of "dietary energy" - lack of both fat and carbs. think of how many ppl eat an "utra low fat med meat high carb diet" and they r fine (not great) and so it seems to me that rabbit starvation is about "nutritional energy source", or there lack of, of both fat and carb.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:22 PM

Harry: Yes for short periods of time with a fat person it is highly effective. Starting a PSMF at 10% is dangerous.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:13 PM

And he was *limiting* the amount of food. If he had eaten freely of the meat (that he indicated was 15-20% fat), then I rather doubt that he would have experienced the starvation symptoms he describes.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:01 PM

Evelyn~ It depends on his metabolism/gut health, no? Who knows how much he was burning/absorbing?

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 15, 2011
at 04:09 PM

i'm doing ok now. on the first day of after eating 3 meals of pork belly i gained 1.5lb the next morning (my mood skyrocketed), and then 1lb the next and then 0.5lb every day until i reached almost 140. the weight was mostly lean mass and felt GREAT. but at the time i was also eating fruits 3x a day (which helped weight gain). now i'm zc due to fighting off candida (now some ppl will wanna say it doesn't exist, but i got prove when it came out of me TONS and smelling yeasty) so now 126 (feels fine). i don't really know what lingering ill effects i have from it. immuno depressed possible?

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 15, 2011
at 04:01 PM

@ happy now - thx :)

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on November 15, 2011
at 10:41 AM

@justin: There's nothing inherently unhealthy about carbs. Sounds like you're just the sort who should be eating more of them.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on November 15, 2011
at 10:38 AM

1800 calories is not starvation. The Minnesota experiment involved already lean men put on an exceptionally low protein low fat diet.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on November 15, 2011
at 09:21 AM

I don't know why people keep denying that this happens, I see complaints with symptoms of it all the time on here when people try to live on just chicken breast or tuna. I doubt you have to go all the way to rabbit meat to get low enough in fat to screw yourself up. The beef probably had just enough fat to keep you out of the hospital. Glad you figured it out and added more fat.

306905a32e76b5c0764a663ea7e88426

(1072)

on November 15, 2011
at 07:19 AM

Isn't this essentially the premise of PSMF?

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:02 AM

yes, they were trying to simulate what people in Europe would have been eating in famine conditions, partially to see what happens to the body in such a situation, and partially to figure out how to how best to help people recover from such starvation. (many holocaust survivors became gravely ill after liberation because they shocked their systems with better and more food than they'd had in years)

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 15, 2011
at 04:00 AM

they ate "potatoes, rutabagas, turnips, bread and macaroni" and no animal products?

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 15, 2011
at 03:57 AM

i was trying out to see if it would make me healthier not eating carbs and since i was still not educated about fat i didn't eat that as well.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on November 15, 2011
at 01:34 AM

Oh, to actually answer your question, the worst thing would have been neuroglycopenia or starving your brain of glucose. Hard to say how much damage you would've done, but it may be wise to not get anywhere near that point again.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on November 15, 2011
at 01:03 AM

It's rare because even an extremely small amount of fat and/or carbohydrate in the diet is enough to prevent rabbit starvation. Even, say, extra-lean ground beef has SOME fat. I agree that it sounds more like you didn't eat enough calories and were lacking in other nutrients due to lack of dietary variety. Far, far more likely than actual rabbit starvation.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:44 AM

Sounds like you were more deprived of calories than you thought. It's around 1850 calories for 95% lean ground beef. Think starvation, not rabbit starvation.

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:34 AM

it meant seem rare because everytime someone mentions that s/he had it then people start denying it anyways. so, logically speaking, even multiple times hearing/reading about it would eventually translate into "never heard of it" if one is set in the conclusion. case in point, i can point out one rabbit starvation case u've heard of today ;) (i'm sorry if i sound rude, but i have the INTP personality, social pleasantry is not my strong suit but being blunt and explaining things in my own sense of logic is, sorry :P )

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:32 AM

i'm 5'9, and at the time right before onset i was 140-145lb @ 10% body fat. i went down to 124lb

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:07 AM

And were you already very low in bodyfat, justin? Yes, like Shari said, it's not so much that I don't believe you, but that I've never heard a modern claim of it.

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:05 AM

the first time was close to two months.

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:03 AM

yes lean beef is not that lean compared to rabbit and that's probably why my body held on for a little while longer then would be expected. and yes, 3lbs of lean beef every day. it was close to 2 months.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:00 AM

So all you ate is lean beef and nothing else? How long did you eat this way. Rabbit starvation is extremely rare as to be nearly non-existent. You get very sick and you die quickly. The thing is even very lean beef is not that lean compared to rabbit. I'm not saying you didn't have it but just wondering like Ambimorph if it might have been something else?

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 14, 2011
at 11:58 PM

@ FED - it was absolutely no fruits, veggies, grains, spices, etc. and also it was probably calorie 15-20% fat :(( it was a very tough time

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 14, 2011
at 11:55 PM

i realized the symptoms were very similar to being anorexic (aka simple starvation) (studied it in college). in fact, if i recall correctly, anorexic patients don't die off malnutrition as much as suicide (lack of fat in brain causing depression) and cardio arrest (among other nutrients needed, the heart is actually surrounded by a layer of fat as reliable fuel). so when my heart started to want to jump out of my chest even though i'd been lying down for hrs (those were my weeks) and hurt, i realized it's fat that i needed. ate pork belly for 3 next meals and gained 1.5lb first 24hrs.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on November 14, 2011
at 11:50 PM

Were you eating literally no fat or carbs at all? Rabbit starvation seems to set in only if you eat no fat whatsoever in combination with severe carbohydrate restriction.

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 14, 2011
at 11:50 PM

to save money and also because i at the time hadn't been exposed to literature about fat/cholesterol, i picked extremely lean beef to buy (ate 3lbs a day). and in the last few weeks, i've been ketoadapting for sure this time and it doesn't feel the same.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on November 14, 2011
at 11:38 PM

Are you sure this was rabbit starvation and not ketoadaptation? Can you give us more details about what you were eating, what you had been eating prior, and what you ate when you were "properly calculating"?

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3 Answers

6
Medium avatar

on November 15, 2011
at 01:12 AM

I was gonna call BS on this whole thing until I read this part:

i'm 5'9, and at the time right before onset i was 140-145lb @ 10% body fat. i went down to 124lb

Sounds like proper (rabbit) starvation indeed. If you were already at 10%, why would you 1)restrict carbs and 2) continue to do so as you dropped weight? Either eat carbs every day or keep your bodyfat up with a high fat intake. Cutting out carbs and fat simultaneously is only good for short periods of time for people who are fat. If you are already lean it's a really crappy suicide attempt.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on November 15, 2011
at 01:34 AM

Oh, to actually answer your question, the worst thing would have been neuroglycopenia or starving your brain of glucose. Hard to say how much damage you would've done, but it may be wise to not get anywhere near that point again.

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 15, 2011
at 03:57 AM

i was trying out to see if it would make me healthier not eating carbs and since i was still not educated about fat i didn't eat that as well.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on November 15, 2011
at 10:41 AM

@justin: There's nothing inherently unhealthy about carbs. Sounds like you're just the sort who should be eating more of them.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on November 15, 2011
at 09:01 PM

Justin: sounds like reactive hypoglycemia. You may be deficient in chromium. Consider taking 200mcg of chromium with vitamin C every other day for a few weeks. It should improve your glucose tolerance.

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:44 PM

i wasn't attempting to do PSMF. i was an uneducated person who read one sliver of info on paleo but missed an exposure of info on fat and so attempted to do it the wrong way.

306905a32e76b5c0764a663ea7e88426

(1072)

on November 15, 2011
at 07:19 AM

Isn't this essentially the premise of PSMF?

Medium avatar

(39831)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:22 PM

Harry: Yes for short periods of time with a fat person it is highly effective. Starting a PSMF at 10% is dangerous.

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 15, 2011
at 08:42 PM

@ evelyn - when i used to eat carbs (grains and fruits), i had to eat 6-7 times a day. missing any would mean foul mood, aggression, dizziness, and couldn't think. that's the sign of a glucose-based metabolism - glucose burns hard but short, so there was always a great feeling right after eating but then needs more glucose soon because it burns up quickly (hence the constant eating). but with a fat-based metabolism i'm only eating twice a day (around the same amount) and when hungry there's no side effects. carbs is not essentially bad, but, for some, not essentially needed as well.

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 15, 2011
at 09:48 PM

take might be, but there's still the candida issue. might also have something to do with having been a vegan for 2yrs right before my hypoglycemia started to set it :( nowadays i don't have hypoglycemia anymore and no supplements.

6
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:53 AM

Sounds like you were more deprived of calories than you thought.

It's around 1850 calories for 3 lbs of 95% lean ground beef.

I agree that it's more likely simple starvation, not rabbit starvation.

The experiences listed in this link might be helpful--the study subjects ate 1650 calories, not much less than you were eating, by my rough calculation.

By adding fat, you added in a bunch of calories.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota_Starvation_Experiment

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:27 PM

@ dragonfly - what did u mean "limiting the amount"? i was eating 3lbs of meat a day. did u mean "type of food" instead of "amount"? and since i was losing almost 1lb a day of body weight, my body was evidently eating itself to provide enough metabolic energy to breath/maintain hormones/etc. so i was probably not absorbing most of it (one diarrhea a day). could be a sign the body was trying to reject absorbing any more protein into the blood stream to avoid further ammonia poisoning (part of what protein poisoning is?)

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:51 PM

Justin~ I hear you. My point was simply that if you had eaten MORE of the meat, you would likely have not gotten so sick--or at least not so soon. I thought that the situation was complicated in that you limited the amount--after more reading (and the clarification about fat calories vs % fat), I agree with you.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:50 PM

Justin~ I hear you. My point was simply that if you had eaten MORE of the meat, you would likely have not gotten so sick--or at least not so soon. I thought that the situation was complicated in that you limited the amount--after more reading (and the clarification about calories), I agree with you.

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:02 AM

yes, they were trying to simulate what people in Europe would have been eating in famine conditions, partially to see what happens to the body in such a situation, and partially to figure out how to how best to help people recover from such starvation. (many holocaust survivors became gravely ill after liberation because they shocked their systems with better and more food than they'd had in years)

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 15, 2011
at 06:47 PM

i would say 3lbs (1.5kg) of meat a day is a lot. and more of the same meat would not change the ratio of fat/protein that i was eating. my body would be getting an equal increase amount of fat and protein in exact proportion that was making me sick anyways.

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 15, 2011
at 04:00 AM

they ate "potatoes, rutabagas, turnips, bread and macaroni" and no animal products?

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:22 PM

15-20% fat by calories, not weight. rabbit starvation is probably due to lack of "dietary energy" - lack of both fat and carbs. think of how many ppl eat an "utra low fat med meat high carb diet" and they r fine (not great) and so it seems to me that rabbit starvation is about "nutritional energy source", or there lack of, of both fat and carb.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:13 PM

And he was *limiting* the amount of food. If he had eaten freely of the meat (that he indicated was 15-20% fat), then I rather doubt that he would have experienced the starvation symptoms he describes.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on November 15, 2011
at 10:38 AM

1800 calories is not starvation. The Minnesota experiment involved already lean men put on an exceptionally low protein low fat diet.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:01 PM

Evelyn~ It depends on his metabolism/gut health, no? Who knows how much he was burning/absorbing?

3
B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on November 15, 2011
at 04:57 AM

hey justin, how are you doing now? do you think you have any lingering ill effects?

when you switched to eating pork belly did the weight gain feel good and have you maintained it?

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on November 15, 2011
at 04:09 PM

i'm doing ok now. on the first day of after eating 3 meals of pork belly i gained 1.5lb the next morning (my mood skyrocketed), and then 1lb the next and then 0.5lb every day until i reached almost 140. the weight was mostly lean mass and felt GREAT. but at the time i was also eating fruits 3x a day (which helped weight gain). now i'm zc due to fighting off candida (now some ppl will wanna say it doesn't exist, but i got prove when it came out of me TONS and smelling yeasty) so now 126 (feels fine). i don't really know what lingering ill effects i have from it. immuno depressed possible?

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