Nurse reveals exactly what happens to your body as you die

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A hospice nurse has revealed why you shouldn’t be scared of dying by detailing everything that happens to you in the lead up to your death.

Julie McFadden, 41, is a registered nurse based in LA who has built a social media following of millions by sharing insights to help destigmatise the end-of-life process.

In a recent YouTube video titled “why you shouldn’t be afraid of dying”, the health expert – who specialises in hospice care – explained the body has built-in mechanisms that “shut off” when you’re about to die to make the process “peaceful”.

“I’m not afraid of death and here’s the science behind it, our body biologically helps us die, so here is what I’ve seen and learned as a hospice nurse over the years – our body is literally built to die,” she said.

The hospice nurse revealed that bodies began to slowly shut down in the six months leading up to death, stating a person nearing death would start “eating less, drinking less, and sleeping more”.

“Why is that happening? Because calcium levels in the body are going up and because calcium levels are going up the person is getting sleepier,” she clarified.

“Biologically, when the body knows it’s getting towards the end of life those mechanisms shut off, so the person does not usually feel hungry and does not usually feel thirsty, which is helping the body slowly shut down.”

She then explained the reason death seems so confronting to loved ones is because our perception is skewed to that of a healthy person, when in reality, the dying one is not usually suffering.

“You’re seeing what they’re going through and because we’re not in a dying body, it can feel really scary, and you think ‘that must feel bad’.

“But when someone is in that dying body, it is a different shift, because not eating, not drinking feels natural.”

Nurse McFadden added that death caused by certain diseases or injuries were different, as it could make death more uncomfortable, the dying in itself wasn’t painful.

“There are times when the disease that the person is experiencing can cause symptoms and it’s more difficult because they’re dying from a certain disease, but the actual process that the body is going through to help it die is actually helping that person,” she shared.

She went on to state that many times during her care of a dying patient she’s not had to administer pain meds because “they were perfectly comfortable”, adding that death itself was even “comforting” because when you’re about to take your last breath, your body releases endorphins.

“The body slowly goes into something called ketosis, which releases endorphins. In that person’s body those endorphins dull pain, dull nerves, and they also give that person a euphoric sense, so they feel good,” she said.

“There are many reasons why I don’t fear death… [including] biological, metabolical, and physiological things that happen in the body that truly, truly comforted me.”