What may have once been a college fantasy has turned into an adult nightmare for a man diagnosed with a condition that causes him to produce a beer-like substance in his gut after consuming carbohydrates, making him drunk.
According to Newsweek, the condition, now known as “auto-brewery syndrome”, caused him to be pulled over and arrested for drunk driving, and convinced his family that he was a closet alcoholic. Findings documented in the man’s case study will be presented at the annual American College of Gastroenterology conference taking place throughout Friday, October 25 through Wednesday, October 30.
Everything was fine for the now 46-year old man until January 2011, when the otherwise healthy fellow came down with symptoms of “dizziness, brain fog and uncharacteristic aggression.”
The world's smallest brewery
For the next three years, doctors struggled to pin down the source of his troubles, and in 2014 a psychiatrist prescribed him antidepressants to combat his growing feeling of helplessness.
Things kept on, foggily, until one morning the man was pulled over by police on the way to work. Despite insisting he hadn’t been drinking, a blood alcohol test indicated he’d had about 20 alcoholic drinks, and he was hauled off to jail.
After presumably sleeping it off, the man sought further testing which finally yielded a clue — a doctor found Saccharomyces cerevisae, or brewer’s yeast, in his stool. Brewer’s yeast is what turns carbohydrates into alcohol, and it just so happened that this man was full of the stuff. Every time he ate, his blood alcohol levels would skyrocket faster than a freshman fraternity pledge’s.
Apparently, the man had worked for a construction company that repaired houses contaminated with mold. That, combined with a prolonged course of antibiotics for a thumb injury, created the perfect environment for yeast to thrive within the man.
After two different rounds of anti-fungal medication and avoiding carbs for six weeks, the man’s gut returned to normal and his body’s back on the wagon, allowing him to rebuild the life that was gradually being derailed by a body that turned into a brewery.
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