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How long can a person survive without eating?

Before anyone assumes this is about extreme, unhealthy diets, no it isn't. I'm not suggesting anyone should stop eating to answer the question.

I am genuinely curious though...Many years ago when I was expecting my daughter, I had extreme hyperemesis and couldn't keep anything down at all, even water. At one stage, even the sight or smell of food made me vomit. I was hospitalised and on a drip, but I went for four months without eating anything at all. I wasn't in a great state - bedridden, sleeping 20 or more hours per day and constant stomach pains. I did survive though and produced an 8lb baby as well. That experience made me wonder - just how long is it possible to survive without food?


  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,719 Member
    No, a drip is just for hydration. Saline, nothing else.

    And no feeding tube or liquids or anything else in 4 whole months?
  • jgnatca
    jgnatca Posts: 14,464 Member
    This question is just crying out for Dr. Google.

    "You can live 3 minutes without air, though we don't recommend trying. In a harsh environment — it's snowing, say — you have 3 hours to survive without shelter. After 3 days, you need water or you'll perish. You can make it 3 weeks without food, though we promise you that won't be fun."


    Your sugar drip was what was keeping you alive in the hospital.
  • Fuzzipeg
    Fuzzipeg Posts: 2,297 Member
    I find this a rather morbid question. I'm sorry you had such a bad reaction to pregnancy. I'm relieved you had the full care and attention of your medical professionals and both you and your child achieved such a happy outcome.

    From memory, British Sufferagets on hunger strike lasted longer than three weeks. I'm sure they went longer than three weeks before the authorities started to force feed them till they were a good weight again. I believe they also played "cat and mouse" with them too over this feeding issue.
  • jdlobb
    jdlobb Posts: 1,232 Member
    World record for longest fast is like 45 days I think.
  • Athena98501
    Athena98501 Posts: 716 Member
    an0nemus for the win.
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