Prolonged starvation--a dangerous procedure?

Br Med J. 1970 Aug 22;3(5720):432-5. doi: 10.1136/bmj.3.5720.432.

Abstract

Experience with 18 obese patients who have undergone prolonged (60 days) therapeutic starvation shows that in general this is a safe procedure, but there are significant associated hazards, particularly a breakdown in electrolyte homoeostasis. The need for close biochemical control of such patients is stressed.

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen
  • Acetoacetates / urine
  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Weight
  • Fasting / adverse effects*
  • Fasting / mortality
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitrogen / urine
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Potassium / urine
  • Sodium / urine
  • Starvation / metabolism*
  • Urine
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance

Substances

  • Acetoacetates
  • Sodium
  • Nitrogen
  • Potassium