Starvation and Dehydration
There are dozens of myths concerning how long the human body can go without food and water and most are simply not true. Having the facts is critical to survival. Many factors come into play when determining how long a person can go without good. From a medical perspective when thinking about an average healthy adult, most doctors will agree that as long as the person has water, they can live as long as eight weeks without food. Some will not make it the full eight weeks and some will survive longer. Of course, those with medical conditions, the elderly and children would likely not make it close to eight weeks. Another factor is body fat. Those with extra body fat generally survive longer than their leaner counterparts. After a few days without food, a person may notice weakness, chronic diarrhea, bad decision-making, immune deficiency, confusion, irritability and decreased sex drive. When starvation is in the advanced stages, a person may start to experience convulsions, irregular heartbeat, hallucinations and muscle spasms.
Water is far more vital. In an environment with very hot temperatures, a person can start to become dehydrated in as little as an hour. The human body uses water for a variety of functions and it needs to be replaced. It is not known exactly how long a person can go without water and of course, several factors play a role, such as temperature. It is known, however, that a person trying to survive needs a viable fresh water source. Even a day or two without water can be very dangerous for a person trying to survive. Signs of mild dehydration may include no saliva, less urine and urine with a strong color and odor. Moderate dehydration may cause lesser urine, sunken and dry eyes, dry mouth and rapid heartbeat. Severe dehydration may cause irritability and lethargy, no urine and vomiting and diarrhea. Shock is the final stage.