Starvation: How Long Can You Live Without Food?

starvation

Kindly do not waste food or water. Millions of people face starvation. The post below will tell you why you should offer food and water to those who do not have the privilege of a healthy meal.

End starvation in your own locality first, and spread the word.


Food is a basic necessity for every individual. Without water, you can survive only a few days, but without food, you can live for a week or two, depending on your body structure. Food provides energy and depriving someone of food is depriving that person for energy.
Human body can live without food for more days that it can live without water. The body breaks excess fat and converts them into energy. The brain and muscles use this energy to function at the bare minimum. Once this energy runs out, the functional capabilities of organs inside starts to decrease, ultimately failing when the energy is over.

Depriving the body of food is called starvation.

When the body is going through starvation, it releases glucagon named hormone. Glucagon stimulates the liver to produce glucose. This process is known as gluconeogenesis. The brain uses the glucose that results from this process. Here’s an article from the National Library of Medicine to prove it.


The food for muscles when the body is deprived of food comes when the breakdown of adipose tissue takes place. This breakdown of adipose tissue results in the production of fatty acids. When the body has witnessed starvation of two or three days, the fatty acids become the main source of fuel.
As the day pass, these fatty acids are utilized in making ketone bodies. Once, these ketone bodies are in the bloodstream, the brain uses them as fuel. The production of ketone bodies allows humans to stay without food for a limited period. The process is also called ketosis.


After the fatty acids run out of supply, survival depends on protein from muscles. This is also known as your body eating itself and the organs start to function with reduced efficiency. The accelerated breakdown of protein results in loss of organ function, leading to a person’s death.

Females are better equipped physically to survive starvation as compared to males. So, their body structure also decides how long you can live without food.

How Is It Possible to Survive in Starvation?

Sometimes, we tend not to believe how it’s possible to survive without food and water. One must remind themselves that fasting is a short term deprivation of food and water. The body adapts to the changes and the person does not fall sick immediately. This is also called the eat-stop approach.


Normally, it takes 8 hours for a body to function differently since you stop eating. Before that, it functions like it does every day with food and water.

Side Effects of Starvation on Your Body

Never try this, but these are the ill effects of depriving the food and water of your body.

  • Faint feeling
  • Dizziness
  • Lowering of blood pressure
  • Drop-in pulse rate
  • Weakness to a great extent
  • Dehydration
  • Thyroid problems
  • Abdominal issues
  • Potassium deficiency
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Organ failure


If you do not want to get trapped in the above-mentioned issues, please eat well and drink plenty of water. People who have faced starvation are not able to consume their normal quantity of food immediately.

What Influences Your Survival?

A critical factor that determines survival is the weight of the person. Higher the weight, better their chances. This is due to more stored energy in the form of fats, proteins, and muscles. Also, female bodies are better equipped physically than male bodies in terms of taking the hit when in starvation.


Children are exposed to higher risk when faced with starvation.


A common question: Is age a deciding factor in how long can you live without food or in starvation?

Answer is, yes.

Outcome of Starvation

Longer duration of food deprivation results in demise. Other complications are:

  • Loss of bone (osteoporosis)
  • Weak muscles
  • Shivering due to feeling cold
  • Hair Loss / Reduced hair density
  • Constipation
  • Menstrual Cycle disturbance
  • Fatigue and pale skin

A personal note from ProHealthLyf

Please do not waste food. There are millions of people who do not have food and clean drinking water. If you are privileged, kindly pass on the excess to those who are less privileged. It’s not fun to even see or read about how long you can live without food or water. Because it is not a happy outcome.

Lets take a pledge to always eat what we take and take only what we eat. Also to share food with those in need and end starvation.

Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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