It is common knowledge that we can live without water for 3 days, and not eating at all can last 7-14 days. But the question of how long humans can not eat is much more than that.
The 382-day hunger strike mentioned in the title is not your eye. In the last century, Angus Barbieri, a 27-year-old Scottish man, completed the feat under the guidance of a doctor, setting the world record for the longest fasting time.
Angus Barbieri’s first meal in 382 days
On the morning of July 11, 1966, a boiled egg, a slice of butter bread and a cup of black coffee had been his first meal in more than a year. At the time, he described himself as going to forget the taste of food.
Why does this man think so, refuse all the world’s cuisine, choose fasting? It’s not because I’m too fat.
Before that, Babieri weighed 412 pounds and was severely obese. But after 382 days of fasting, his weight also changed from 412 pounds to 162 pounds, enough to lose 250 pounds.
The original weight has seriously affected his daily life and health. So, desperate for change, Mr. Barbieri went to the hospital and told his doctor, William Stewart, what he had to do. He wanted to try a complete fast and let his weight drop quickly.
Despite this cruelty, hunger therapy was an important means of fighting obesity in the middle of the last century. Of course, the doctor thought he might not be able to hold on, but he readily agreed to Babieri’s decision and gave medical support and condition monitoring. Because, at that time, scientists were also studying what would happen to humans during long-term fasting.
After entering the fasting period, Babieri stopped eating any more calories, drinking only water and regularly supplementing various dietary supplements such as vitamins and minerals. However, he is also allowed to drink coffee, tea or bubble water and other almost calorie-free liquids. In order to keep Babieri in good condition, he also had to undergo frequent tests of blood, urine and faeces, and he often spent the night in hospitals between his home and the hospital.
From past experience, a complete 40-day fasting is almost a limit to humans. Even if physiological indicators are closely monitored, patients are still vulnerable to crisis and the risk of sudden death is high. The doctor also advised him to fast for a short period, not for a long time.
But to his surprise, Mr. Babieri not only persisted, but even called for greater efforts to extend his fasting. Because when fasting went from a few days to a few weeks, he suddenly felt hungry, as if he had lost the desire to eat. And apart from feeling a little tired, there was no strong discomfort in his body. This gave him the confidence to move on to his ideal weight of 164 pounds (in terms of his height).
In fact, Babieri fasting most of the time spent at home, and there are no medical staff 24 hours “watching”. But his regular medical visits to the results of various examinations did confirm that he had not secretly eaten. And in order to keep him focused on losing weight, his family’s fast food restaurant, which specializes in fried food, was shut down.
During the first four months of fasting, his blood sugar levels dropped slowly and began to remain at a very low level after the fourth month. The normal blood sugar level of the average person is about 70-110 mg/100 ml. The average blood sugar level tested multiple times by Babieri is only 30 mg/100ml, making it difficult to support the daily life that is being recognized. But his body didn’t have problems until the end of the fasting, conscious and free to move.
With regard to urine tests, he is checked every 24 hours. After the 100th day of fasting, the excretion of cations and inorganic phosphochloric acid in Babieri increased significantly and continuously. Until then, these numbers were low. Doctors speculate that these sustained growths are likely to come from skeletal muscles that dissolve too much soft tissue.
Because there was no food to eat, Babieri naturally had no faeces, but had to check with the fate. On average, 37-38 days before doctors can collect his feces once. However, in the final months of fasting, he also occasionally drinks sugar and milk in drinks such as tea and coffee, as reflected in the monitoring reports.
Day after day, 382 days passed, his weight also changed from 412 pounds, into his dream weight – 164 pounds. In more than a year of hunger strike, the Scottish man shocked the world by losing three-fifths of his own. In addition to dropping the scales quickly, the hunger strike for 382 days also broke the Guinness World Record. Looking back at my old clothes, one pair of trousers can fit two of them now.
All the records of his fasting were detailed by his doctor in a 1973 case report. In addition, it took only five days for Babieri’s blood sugar to return to normal and stable levels. After five years, his weight has rebounded by just 14 pounds, which is ideal.
At the time, many media outlets first reported on his feat. But at the end of many reports, the public will be warmly reminded that this is “dangerous behavior, do not imitate.” At the end of the report, though, doctors concluded with “as things stand, hunger therapy is perfectly successful.” However, it is still dangerous to lose weight by going on a complete hunger strike and is not worthy of praise and imitation. For some patients with metabolic diseases, blind full fasting is more likely to be life-threatening.
In fact, the most common case of fasting is not necessarily used to lose weight. Fasting in religious ceremonies and politically motivated hunger strikes are common and have a long history. But even the most classic of Mahatma Gandhi’s 17 hunger strikes, the longest of which lasted only 21 days.
How long can a person not eat? He’s 382 days in a 412-pound weight.
Moreover, under current standards of medical ethics review, the risk-taking human experiment is likely to fail to advance through the review. Because the opposite example, it is too many.
In the analysis of the report documenting Babieri, doctors have already mentioned a number of extreme conditions that have occurred in other fasting weight-loss trials. For example, during the fasting period, two patients died of heart failure in weeks 3 and 8, one died of small intestine obstruction on the 13th day of fasting, one from lactic acid ostic acidosis, and one from kidney failure.
In another fatal condition, there is also a feeding period after the end of the fasting. A young, healthy woman who completed a painful and arduous 210-day fasting session has failed in her recovery. On the 8th day of her re-exposure to food, she died of a heart rate disorder. So it is extremely rare for Babieri to survive 382 days and not have a major problem in his body, and a second Babieri may never be found again.
Indeed, after the fasting saga in Babieri, there were also those who were hearted about the “world record for hunger strike”. For example, a British man, Dennis Galer Goodwin, ended a 385-day hunger strike in 1973. But Guinness does not acknowledge the record. With the exception of being forced to feed him multiple times during the hunger strike, Guinness is more motivated by public health concerns. The hunger strike was a health hazard, so Guinness soon announced that it would no longer include the world record associated with fasting, and they feared it would lead ordinary people to imitate it.
However, even if the world record of 382 days are set there, some people still like to challenge the hunger strike XX days, to the eye of the people. American magician David Blaine, for example, locked himself in a transparent glass box in mid-air and completed a 44-day hunger strike. But his “hunger strike” has also been questioned and is seen as full of suspicion of cheating.
As a result, it really stimulated an old Chinese man named Chen Jianmin, who also locked himself in a glass house and went on hunger strike for 7749 days to verify his “Chinese medicine theory”. Of course, he did not undergo physiological indicators during the hunger strike, nor was he able to monitor soundly, more like a hype.
Finally, it needs to be stressed again, and Babieri completed the total fasting under the close supervision of the doctor. Without medical supervision, even short-term fasting can be dangerous. And in modern times, even fighters who go on hunger strike invite doctors to monitor body indicators and replenish the vitamins and minerals needed for life in a timely manner. In addition to reducing the risk of a hunger strike, this will also help protesters reach longer hunger strikes.
Moreover, not every patient can meet a reliable doctor. Linda Hazzard, a demonic drug doctor who promotes fasting, for example, starved many innocent lives to death. If Babieri is the most successful example of fasting to lose weight, then the following is the biggest negative example of fasting in history, enough to discourage people who want to go on hunger strike to lose weight.
At the beginning of the last century, the idea of therapeutic fasting became popular as one of the natural therapies. Many people believe that fasting can be used to treat or prevent certain adverse symptoms in the body. Linda Hazzard is one of the fasting experts.
Even without a proper medical degree, she faked her education, published two books on fasting, and had a group of followers. She believes that the root cause of all diseases is food, only fasting can remove the body’s “toxins”, has the odd effect of treating all diseases.
Her daily treatment is to supervise her patient’s diet. The patients consumed almost no energy except for a small serving of vegetable soup every few days. And to help speed up detox, they are also forced to have long enemas and brutal massages every day.
That year, Hazzard created a nursing home called Wilderness Heights in the small town of Oralla, Washington. But locals call it the “Hungry Heights” because the half-starved patients there are thinner than the Jews held in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Sometimes they are so hungry that they stumble and run to nearby towns to beg for food.
It is estimated that about 40 people died under fasting treatment in Hazzard. At the time of their deaths, these patients were generally only 50-60 pounds in weight, and they were no longer human.
One of the rescued girls, Dorothy, was weighing less than 60 pounds while her sister Claire died from fasting
But in 1912, Hazzard was convicted of manslaughter and served two years on parole. The following year, with the forgiveness of the governor of Washington, she made a comeback.
But Mr Hazzard didn’t live much longer. In 1938, she fell ill. It was a small illness and a medicine, but she chose fasting therapy. However, fasting and getting her back to health hasaccelerated her death. The most painful way of death ultimately fell to her own.