What would happen if...

Discussion in 'Research' started by Morgoth, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Morgoth

    Morgoth Apprentice

    23
    0
    1
    Hello. Wow, it's been a while since I posted here.

    Basically, there's a continent in my story which is heavily cursed, affecting it's inhabitants, it's weather, it's animals, the land - nearly everything. I've come up with a number of diseases with very painful symptoms that the inhabitants of this land are prone to. One of them, which I haven't named, causes the afflicted to feel as though they are starving. As the disease worsens they start to smell food that isn't there, and if none is available they will try to eat anything they can.

    Now, in the story I'm writing at the moment a band of friends journey to this land and their leader gains a position of power among a clan of the natives. One of the friends happens to develop this disease and despite efforts to cure him, he gradually gets worse. The leader, supposedly the friends companion, refuses to let him be put out of his misery and gives the order that the friend is given as much food as he wants.

    So what would happen if someone kept eating nonstop? Those with the disease will always feel starving no matter what, and so the man will be left to gorge himself constantly. So I'm wondering what the end result of this would be. I imagine he'd get sick a lot but I'm sure there'd be more drastic consequences than that.
     
  2. Kit

    Kit Scribal Lord

    603
    97
    28
    I adopt and foster rescue cats, and some of them- after having lived on the brink of starvation for too long- have serious food issues. They will literally bolt food frenetically until they puke, and then go back and eat some more. I have to carefully ration their food, and isolate them from the other pets during mealtimes.

    I imagine the same would happen to a human who just kept eating and eating- eventually they'd just start vomiting it back up. Now you have an upset stomach and burning throat, which would make further eating painful and nausea-inducing- I could see getting into a cycle where you continue eating but can't keep anything down. Eventually, your body would start starving to death.

    Ironic, huh?
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  3. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Valar Lord

    3,213
    817
    113
    In myth if not reality, it was a form of torture to force-feed someone until food filled their stomach and throat up to their mouths. If the food was dry it could well rehydrate inside someone and kill them very painfully by tearing or splitting stomachs or choking throats and at the least it could dehydrate the person.
    I'm diabetic so given the right conditions [i.e. very wrong foods, fats and sugars] too much could quickly put me in to a coma that if left untreated could lead to internal organ failure, blindness and even death. So even if there where no "wounds" it could well leave someone extremely ill.
    If they have a compulsion to eat anything [to put thing into their mouths and swallow] then all manner of things could go wrong and they start eating glass, pottery, metal, stones etc...
     
  4. Jess A

    Jess A Shadow Lord

    846
    121
    43
    Read Sara Douglass' Wayfarer Redemption. Pretty sure she has a similar demonic curse/disease and they even eat rocks in their gluttony. It's really dark.
     
  5. WyrdMystic

    WyrdMystic Grandmaster

    410
    33
    28
    Choking would be the most immediate hazard, aslo tearing anywhere from the throat to the stomach or beyond. Burst blood vessels, ulcers, piles. Depression, heart attacks, allergic reactions and poisoning are also possibilities.
     
  6. Alexandra

    Alexandra Lore Master

    166
    37
    28
    My question is why would this awful place still be inhabited? In Earth's history even primitive peoples migrated when the needs arose.
     
  7. WyrdMystic

    WyrdMystic Grandmaster

    410
    33
    28
    Then again we stayed put when the plague swept through.....
     
  8. Alexandra

    Alexandra Lore Master

    166
    37
    28
    The plague swept through Europe quickly; for instance in 1347 the plague hit Messina in Sicily, a year later it was in London. The continent Morgoth has described seems permanent.
     
  9. WyrdMystic

    WyrdMystic Grandmaster

    410
    33
    28
    Although, what isn't written about so much is the plague kept re-occuring every now and then up to the 19th century. It's not a stretch to see that as a curse and for some it would of been a permanent fear.

    Also, when the plague hit Britain - they didn't try and run, they tried to barricade themselves IN.

    I'll admit though, it was a poor example. The way I see it, if you believe, really believe, that you're cursed and there's no way out, some will run, some will stay and suffer.

    Also, a good curse never lets you leave :)
     
  10. wordwalker

    wordwalker Dark Lord

    1,474
    396
    83
    Unless you're Rumplestiltskin --but that's a whole different curse. :nerd:
     
  11. Mtsky112

    Mtsky112 Acolyte

    8
    3
    3
    A common issue with eating uncontrollable is that your body will try to itself. Meaning, the sick person will vomit. The individual may choke and asphyxiate or suffer an aspiration pneumonia. This is a very real way to die from this affliction.
     
  12. SeverinR

    SeverinR Valar Lord

    3,509
    497
    83
    I would say even as they were throwing up, they would have food trying to go in.
    Choking or asperating(breathing in food or food particles) would be very likely.
    Pneumonia would happen if they didn't choke to death first.
    I think it is possible to rupture the stomach also, by fighting the urge to puke, while shoveling more food in, the stomach would spasm, the food either comes out the mouth, forced into the lungs, or it bursts with food and digestive juices spilling onto the vital organs, peritentitis would result with very painful death happening relatively fast. Basically the same as a ruptured appendix multiplied by 20.
    Appendix rupture is very painful, can't imagine the pain of the stomach doing it. I am one of the dumb luck people, mine ruptured and encapsulated, never knew what the pain was for almost 10 yrs, when I had my gall bladder taken out they checked and found scar tissue where the appendix was suppose to be.
     
  13. Morgoth

    Morgoth Apprentice

    23
    0
    1
    Well, I have a few options to choose from now so that's great. Thanks very much for your replies people.

    As for why the inhabitants of this land don't leave...they were forced to settle here after a number of other kingdoms turned against them because, despite it's reputation, their only other option was to stay and be wiped out. They've learned to adapt to it quite well after having lived there for hundreds of years, though outsiders are still ignorant of its perils...leading to this particular character becoming ill.
     
  14. Breezybealle

    Breezybealle Apprentice

    23
    3
    3
    Depending on how long this is going on, I would assume that the person would also begin to gain a tremendous amount of weight. With that alone comes several more health problems... heartburn/acid reflux (vomiting nothing but pure acid), aepnea (throat closes and you can't breathe)...
     
  15. Artemadoris

    Artemadoris Apprentice

    13
    2
    3
    This reminds me of the camp horror movie, Slither in which victims become so hungry they eat raw human flesh. The reality of compulsive binge eating is as frightening as any horror movie and constitutes a severe and debilitating illness (research Prader-Willi Syndrome). In some severe cases–even though the individual has vomited–the compulsion to eat is so strong they will continue to eat. some of the illnesses/injuries associated with this malady can range from esophageal fissures to extreme elevations in blood sugar. When I visualize your scenario, I see the progression of disease a little slower; if the sufferer is enabled by an endless supply of food, you could show a subtle deterioration; e.g., extreme weight gain, depression, bloody vomit–I think of a kobi beef cow that is tied down and fed constantly.
     
  16. Nameback

    Nameback Lore Master

    140
    66
    28
    People with Prader-Willi Syndrome (which sounds very similar to your disease, except that it is genetic and life-long instead of contracted later in life) are capable of eating themselves to death due to esophageal or stomach rupture. It has been recorded as happening.

    Also, if someone eats to the point of vomiting on a regular basis, the excessive vomiting will weaken the esophagus and eventually lead to rupture and death (without modern surgery). Bulimics are at risk for this due to their frequent vomiting.

    Someone with the disease you describe, who did not have a restriction on his food intake, would likely eat himself to death in a fairly short timeframe.
     
Loading...

Share This Page