"If you don't eat, you don't...

…shit, if you don’t shit, you die."

This is a quote I was told by a friend. I told him that if you didn’t eat you would still have to shit, though you’d eventually die of starvation, not whatever it is you’d die form if you didn’t shit, as this was an adaptation fo something I’d told him, “If you don;t shit, you die”.

My question is, do you need to shit if you don’t eat? And what would happen to your body if you didn’t shit? Which in my understanding would be impossible without some kind of artificial imposition, like stitches where the dun don’t shine :stuck_out_tongue: Please en-‘lighten’ me :slight_smile: Man that works in too many ways :slight_smile:

Damn, where the “sun” don’t shine, everyone knows a dun doesn’t shine.

Shitting isn’t what is making you live; not shitting might, in extreme cases, kill you, but it’s eating that enables you to live - you get your life-giving energy from food.

A large proportion of fecal matter is composed of gut bacteria, but those bacteria have to have something to live on; a fair bit of it is also made up of discarded bits of you (defunct blood cells, for example) - because of this, I think in practice, you’d die of starvation before you got to the point where no new fecal matter was being produced.

There are low-residue diets that will reduce the amount and frequency, but you don’t want to do this - our digestive systems are adapted to having everything moving through in bulk, regularly.

I don’t know what would happen if some sort of blockage was placed in the normal exit of your body but I do remember from biology class that the ‘E’ in MRS GREN(D) stood for excretion and so was a requirement for life to exist, something that doesn’t excrete isn’t alive in other words. So, I would imagine that if something that was alive stopped excreting it would cause death by some means or other.

Cheers, Mangetout your answer was basically what I suspected, that the body would have enough to feed on to create waste without eating, only for so long of course.

Not to by nitpicky, but I think that excretion is usually associated with the kidneys - which relieves the blood of urea, and perhaps the lungs, as well, when CO2 is transferred from the blood to the lungs (and then expired).

Come to think of it, perspiring is also a form of excretion.

And please, don’t speak like a guttersnipe with terms such as shit and crap. Instead, show a little style; talk like a doctor and use the Latin term for it: Poodinky.

The other letters stand for movement, respiration, sensitivity, growth, reproduction, and nutrition; don’t know what the D stands for.

But I don’t think this memory hook means you die if you stop excreting. I think the list simply includes criteria common to living beings, some sort of defining “life.” It doesn’t mean a living being, which normally excretes, dies from not excreting merely because of this. After all, you don’t die from not reproducing either.

Defecation doesn’t just get rid of undigested food. It also rids your body of things like dead blood cells and other random waste not excreted through your kidneys. So even without a food intake there’d be a backup, although what the effects would be, I don’t know. I suspect that, unless you were receiving nutrients intravenously or something, the lack of food would get you first.

The ‘D’ stands for die or death. I put it in brackets because I think there was some confusion inside the teacher’s brain as to whether the ability to die was a necessity for something to be alive. Good point about reproduction, I didn’t think of that, the Mrs Gren(d) thing just popped into my head when I saw this question and I thought I would share. :slight_smile:

“Oh my Og, Doctor, the patient has stopped excreting”
“Quickly, Nurse, give him some artificial excrement”

No, can’t quite see it.

FWIW - my biology profs mnemonic for life was simply GRIM - growth, reproduction, irritability and metabolism.

Not nearly as thorough as yours mittu., but this was a class of Americans (i.e., stupid :), so he had to keep it simple.

I can’t see someone living too long if they stopped excreting all fluids and solids including excrement, urine and sweat. So if a patient did suddenly stop excreting it would be a serious issue and the doctors would need to find some way to artificially remove the products normally lost by excretion.

I’m not sure what you mean by this, nobody suggested giving the patient excrement if they stopped excreting on their own, obviously that’s a silly idea, but the doctors would need to assist the patient in excreting by, for example, using a catheter.

If the patient stops breathing, they give artificial respiration.

so, if the patient stops excreting …

By that logic they would get an artificial/induced bowel movement.

but i see where you were going with it… heh

[QUOTE=mza662My question is, do you need to shit if you don’t eat? [/QUOTE]

Cecil wrote a relevant column on whether it would be possible to create a diet that would enable one to refrein from crapping at all. (unfortunately, it must be one of the older columns not yet archived 'cause I can’t find it) Anyway, he basically concluded what Mangetout did, that some fecal matter is composed of things like broken down blood cells which wouldn’t be affected by diet.

Haven’t any of you people ever fasted? Several times in my misspent youth I went two or three days without eating (for various reasons), and I can tell you from first hand experience that if you don’t eat, you don’t shit. Somewhere after the first full day without food, you just don’t have to go anymore. (Just so you know, I eventually ate again and therefore didn’t die.)

In Bound for Glory, David Carradine as Woody Guthrie says the same line, and gets thrown out of the car of the refined couple who picked him up hitchhiking. The scene is cleverly edited: he gets in and delivers the line, but just before he says the last word, the scene cuts to an exterior of the car screeching to a halt. The next shot, he’s walking down the road again.

David Blaine once spen 44 days without food in a public stunt/art/whatever.

He did have water available to him.

I dont remember the details exactly but after a couple days he dident shit and even after he started eating again he dident shit for several days. He said something to the effect that his body held on to it.