Dry fasting is the latest extreme health trend, but it could literally kill you
Do something else ffs
Dry fasting is taking the world of weirdo vegan healers by storm – hailed as a cure for everything from weight loss to cancer. It's an intense kind of fasting where eating and drinking anything is banned. Vegan and so-called natural Facebook groups encourage each other to go days without drinking water, and motivate them when they complain of dizziness, dehydration and sleeplessness.
Actual doctors, rather than Facebook oddballs selling essential oils and bogus fat-blocking pills, told babe dry fasting can be lethal. A human being might be able to go days without eating (not that it's recommended) but you definitely can't go days without drinking water.
That hasn't stopped people with names like Carol from dry fasting, even when it starts to do serious damage to their health. This is from a really excellent Facebook group called 🍉🍍 From Hellville T🍊 Wellville 🍇🍋💪🏻 (the emojis are theirs):
Carol, who dry fasted last week, said she suffered from headaches and pains in her bladder and lower back. "I'm dry fasting – doing a 72 hour – I'm in hour 55. I had some headaches yesterday but nothing but hunger today except lower back pain that had a few days ago and now my bladder seems to be hurting – not sure if kidneys."
Notice Michael underneath Carol's comment, encouraging her like a dick by saying she was "doing good," and that kidney pain was nothing to worry about.
And John, who recently went 64 hours without water and then got behind the wheel of a car. "Very tired because not sleeping well," he said. "Feel like I have a fever and I am about to drop."
"Well done – amazing work 🙌 ," said a user named Colleen. "You've done so well already."
This is just part of the huge online community of dry fasters, who join Facebook groups like From Hellville To Wellville (love that name) and watch YouTube videos like this, which claim dry fasting is an "effective" way to get so shredded you can lift empty office water cooler bottles.
When we spoke to a real doctor about this, he laughed and said dry fasting was an extremely bad idea. Dr David Melk, an internal medicine expert who practices in the Bay Area, said three or four days without water can kill you. "It's utterly and completely irresponsible to say this is a good cure," he said. "Most people wouldn't make it a week without water, certainly there are people who wouldn't make it three or four days without water. So no, it's not a good idea."
When asked if he thought dry fasting for a week had any curative powers, he said: "Death cures everything, in an absolute sense. There's no evidence such silliness could ever help you… It's at the very least irresponsible, and could quite possibly endanger your life."
Don't do it!