Myocardial toxicity: Starvation has direct consequences on the heart muscle, or myocardium. Starved, the body breaks down fat until these stores are depleted. Then the process of breaking down muscle fiber and ultimately organ tissues ensues to mobilize needed energy. Cardiac (heart) muscle is also impacted by this physiologic process. Abuse of Ipecac syrup, an emetic agent to stimulate vomiting, can also lead to myocardial toxicity. The combination of vomiting, malnutrition and severe dehydration results in electrolyte imbalances and cardiac arrhythmias which can be serious and even lethal.
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