What is Auto-Brewery Syndrome?
Auto-brewery syndrome is a rare condition that was first discovered in the 1940s. A person with this condition experiences alcohol intoxication by creating alcohol in their own body. Although you are not drinking alcohol, your body still produces alcohol out of regular food and drinks that contain carbohydrates by fermenting it in the intestine with yeast or bacteria that live in your body. For example, yeast can build up after you drink fruit juices or eat white bread. This can cause the person to appear intoxicated even if they have not consumed any alcoholic drinks.
Risk factors: Normal digestion occurs through the breakdown of food by normal bacteria in the colon. Digestion in auto-brewery syndrome occurs in the small intestine. The fungi found here such as Candida glabrata and Sacchromyces cerevisiaw are responsible for producing alcohol.
Symptoms: Symptoms are similar to when you are slightly drunk or when you have a hangover. These include problems with concentration, memory, and thought process, disorientation, dizziness, fatigue, aches and pains, stomach pains, bloating, gas, changes in bowel movement, discharge from nose, productive cough, sinusitis, sugar cravings, and red or flushed skin.
Although this syndrome is rare, there have been reports in several different countries. This condition will cause alcohol to appear on a breathalyzer test. It will cause you to feel intoxicated constantly or feel like you are in a fog. If you do happen to drink a small amount of alcohol, you will still feel drunk because your body is still producing the alcohol.
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