Is Dehydration Painful At The End Of Life? PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 06 June 2011 12:24

As we approach the end of our life, it is natural to eat and drink less. When we begin to actively die, some people may swallow nothing for as long as 14 days before death occurs.


People are concerned that this natural dehydration is painful. But studies of dying patients who remain mentally alert—such as those with Lou Gehrig’s Disease or some cancers—have verified that the only discomfort is a dry mouth.

When we dehydrate, the brain recognizes this and produces an ‘endorphin’, our body’s form of morphine, to help keep us comfortable. If we artificially interfere in this natural process, with IV fluids or a feeding tube, dehydration doesn’t occur and the brain will not produce the endorphin; which means we actually cause more pain when we don’t let nature take its own course.

Eating and drinking is an important indicator of health. So it is difficult for family members to not want to do something. Although a healthy person who drinks only water will certainly starve, someone at the end of their life does not ‘starve to death’; they die of their disease and of dehydration.

The best thing a family can do for comfort is offer good mouth care: moist sponges, drops of water (although sometimes the dying person won’t let you even do that!). Pushing food or fluids into someone at this time may not only cause discomfort and vomiting but may prolong their dying and suffering.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 July 2011 13:41


0 #3 2014-04-18 01:19
Hi there, I found your site via Google at the same time ass looking for
a comparable topic, your web site got here up, it
seems to be great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

Hello there, simply changed into awre of your weblog through Google, and located
that iit is really informative. I'm going to be careful for brussels.
I will appreciate ffor those who pdoceed this in future.
Numerous other people wiill likely be benefited out of your writing.
0 #2 Ingrijire obiecte 2014-04-15 01:01
Thanks for finally writing about >Is Dehydration Painful At The End Of Life?
0 #1 Hemel-Cosmetics 2014-04-13 01:15
Good day! Thhis post couldn't be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate!
He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this post to him.
Pretty sure hee will havee a good read. Thhanks foor sharing!

Add comment

Security code