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Clinical Medicine Insights: Case Reports

Complete and Voluntary Starvation of 50 days

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Clinical Medicine Insights: Case Reports 2016:9 67-70

Case report

Published on 11 Aug 2016

DOI: 10.4137/CCRep.S39776


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Abstract

A 34-year-old obese male (96.8 kg; BMI, 30.2 kg m⁻¹) volitionally undertook a 50-day fast with the stated goal of losing body mass. During this time, only tea, coffee, water, and a daily multivitamin were consumed. Severe and linear loss of body mass is recorded during these 50 days (final 75.4 kg; BMI, 23.5 kg m⁻¹). A surprising resilience to effects of fasting on activity levels and physical function is noted. Plasma samples are suggestive of early impairment of liver function, and perturbations to cardiovascular dynamics are also noted. One month following resumption of feeding behavior, body weight was maintained (75.0 kg; BMI, 23.4 kg m⁻¹). Evidence-based decision-making with the fasting or hunger striking patient is limited by a lack of evidence. This case report suggests that total body mass, not mass lost, may be a key observation in clinical decision-making during fasting and starvation.



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