A man who claimed to have never drunk alcohol but always gets drunk has been discovered to suffer from a rare condition called auto-brewery syndrome.
According to a report by Web MD, the 46-year-old man’s intestine began producing alcohol whenever he ate carbohydrates.
For years, his family, doctors, and police thought he was a closet drinker, despite his insistence that he didn’t drink any alcohol.
The man displayed “brain fog and aggressive behaviour,” fell often, and was even arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
He was eventually diagnosed with auto-brewery syndrome, which occurs when “gut disturbances,” including antibiotic use results in uncurbed growth of fermenting fungi or bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.
When carbs such as pizza, pasta, bread, and soda are consumed, these microbes turn the sugar in that food or drink into ethanol, leading to “extreme blood alcohol levels,” according to the study by doctors at the Richmond University Medical Center in New York that appears in the journal BMJ Open Gastroenterology.
His trouble started in 2011 after he was prescribed antibiotics for a thumb injury.
After years of struggle, the man was treated with antifungals and began taking probiotics, which promote the growth of good bacteria in the digestive system. His symptoms went away and he eventually resumed eating a normal diet, according to the study.
Auto-brewery syndrome occurs when your body turns sugary and starchy foods (carbohydrates) into alcohol. Auto brewery syndrome can be difficult to diagnose. It may also be mistaken for other conditions.
This syndrome can lead to chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, depression and anxiety if not treated.