Auto-Brewery Syndrome (Internal Alcohol Production)

Zilch5

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Auto-Brewery Syndrome: Apparently, You Can Make Beer In Your Gut

This medical case may give a whole new meaning to the phrase "beer gut."

A 61-year-old man — with a history of home-brewing — stumbled into a Texas emergency room complaining of dizziness. Nurses ran a Breathalyzer test. And sure enough, the man's blood alcohol concentration was a whopping 0.37 percent, or almost five times the legal limit for driving in Texas.

There was just one hitch: The man said that he hadn't touched a drop of alcohol that day.

"He would get drunk out of the blue — on a Sunday morning after being at church, or really, just anytime," says , the dean of nursing at Panola College in Carthage, Texas. "His wife was so dismayed about it that she even bought a Breathalyzer."

Other medical professionals chalked up the man's problem to "closet drinking." But Cordell and Dr. Justin McCarthy, a gastroenterologist in Lubbock, wanted to figure out what was really going on.

So the team searched the man's belongings for liquor and then isolated him in a hospital room for 24 hours. Throughout the day, he ate carbohydrate-rich foods, and the doctors periodically checked his blood for alcohol. At one point, it rose 0.12 percent.

Eventually, McCarthy and Cordell pinpointed the culprit: an overabundance of brewer's yeast in his gut.

That's right, folks. According to Cordell and McCarthy, the man's intestinal tract was acting like his own internal brewery.


The patient had an infection with , Cordell says. So when he ate or drank a bunch of starch — a bagel, pasta or even a soda — the yeast fermented the sugars into ethanol, and he would get drunk. Essentially, he was brewing beer in his own gut. Cordell and McCarthy the case of "auto-brewery syndrome" a few months ago in the International Journal of Clinical Medicine.

When we first read the case study, we were more than a little skeptical. It sounded crazy, a phenomenon akin to spontaneous combustion. I mean, come on: Could a person's gut really generate that much ethanol?

Brewer's yeast is in a whole host of foods, including breads, wine and, of course, beer (hence, the name). The critters usually don't do any harm. They just flow right through us. Some people even take Saccharomyces as a probiotic supplement.

But it turns out that in rare cases, the yeasty beasts can indeed take up long-term residency in the gut and possibly cause problems, says , a microbiologist at Duke University.
More at the link: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/0 ... um=twitter
 

EnolaGaia

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Auto-Brewery Syndrome (ABS) had previously been linked with yeast infections in the digestive tract. ABS has now been linked to a particular type of gut bacteria. Research results further suggest ABS can damage the liver (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; NAFLD).
These Gut Bacteria Brew Their Own Booze, and May Harm Livers in People Who Don't Drink

It's common knowledge that drinking too much alcohol can lay waste to your liver. But now, researchers have spotted a strain of gut bacteria that produces its own booze in copious amounts — high enough to potentially pose a risk of liver problems in people who don't drink at all.

Although much more research is needed to confirm the results, they suggest that these boozy bacteria may contribute to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition in which fat builds up in the liver for reasons unrelated to alcohol consumption.

The researchers first stumbled upon this unusual microbe while they were studying a patient with a curious condition: The patient had so-called auto-brewery syndrome (ABS), an extremely rare condition that leaves people drunk after eating sugary food. In the week before he sought medical care, the unfortunate patient became inebriated each time he consumed a carbohydrate-rich meal and his blood-alcohol concentration had occasionally spiked to potentially lethal levels, around 0.4%. He was even suspected to be a "closet drinker" by his friends, according to the new study, published today (Sept. 19) in the journal Cell Metabolism.

ABS has been linked to yeast infections, wherein the fungus ferments alcohol in the intestines just as it brews beer in barrels; but in this case, yeast wasn't the culprit.

The researchers looked to their patient's poop for answers. They found, not yeast, but strains of alcohol-producing bacteria called Klebsiella pneumonia. This is the first time that a bacterium has been linked to ABS, study co-author Jing Yuan, a professor and director of the bacteriology laboratory at the Capital Institute of Pediatrics in Beijing, told Live Science in an email. Though the common gut bacteria poses no problem in healthy people, the microbe appeared to be producing four to six times the normal level of alcohol in the patient.

Besides becoming intoxicated, the patient also suffered from severe liver inflammation and scarring due to a buildup of fat in the organ, his doctors noted. The condition, called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, is a progressive form of NAFLD, and the researchers wondered if others with the disorder might carry the same "super-strain" of boozy bacteria. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/alcohol-producing-gut-bacteria-harm-liver.html
 

maximus otter

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Popular as a defence for those caught drink-driving. All you heed is a brief who’s a bit wide, plus an...approachable...doctor.

maximus otter
 

EnolaGaia

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Here's another case from the USA ...
A Man's Gut Made Him Extremely Drunk by Brewing Alcohol When He Ate Carbs

It began as a simple thumb injury. Then, it spiralled into a dangerous syndrome where a man's gut essentially became a brewery fermenting its own endless alcohol supply - which is not as fun as it sounds.

In a recent case study, doctors recount the strange symptoms of auto-brewery syndrome (ABS): a rarely diagnosed medical condition where simply ingesting carbohydrates can be enough to make you wildly inebriated. Even worse, nobody believes you when you say you haven't been drinking.

At least, that was the case for the unfortunate 46-year-old patient in question, an otherwise healthy man who'd only ever been a light social drinker.

His troubles began in 2011, after he completed a course of antibiotics for a thumb injury. Within one week of finishing the meds, he reported experiencing uncharacteristic personality changes, including depression, 'brain fog', aggressive behaviour, and memory loss.

He was eventually referred to a psychiatrist and given antidepressants, but it was only when the man was pulled over by police one morning in an apparent case of drunk driving that the true nature of his illness started to reveal itself.

When pulled over, he refused to take a breathalyser test and was hospitalised, with tests showing he had a blood alcohol level of 200 mg/dL, equivalent to having drunk approximately 10 alcoholic drinks, and sufficient to induce confusion, disorientation, impaired balance, and slurred speech.

"The hospital personnel and police refused to believe him when he repeatedly denied alcohol ingestion," researchers from Richmond University Medical Centre note in their case report.

After being discharged from hospital, he sought treatment at a clinic in Ohio. In medical tests, most of his readings looked normal, but his stool sample showed the presence of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (also known as brewer's yeast) and a related fungus.

S. cerevisiae has a long history in beer brewing and winemaking (in addition to baking), as it helps ferment carbohydrates and produces alcohol.

While the patient was successfully treated at the clinic, his ABS diagnosis revealed itself in subsequent flare-ups, with the most serious incident involving a fall while inebriated that resulted in intracranial bleeding.

While recovering in hospital, his blood alcohol spiked as high as 400 mg/dL – twice the concentration recorded when he was pulled over – but still "medical staff refused to believe that he did not drink alcohol despite his persistent denials", the researchers write.

Fortunately for the patient, he eventually sought treatment conducted in collaboration with the Richmond University specialists, who used a combination of anti-fungal therapies and probiotics to treat the man's gut microflora. ...
FULL STORY:
https://www.sciencealert.com/a-man-...ly-drunk-by-brewing-alcohol-when-he-ate-carbs

PUBLISHED CASE REPORT:
https://bmjopengastro.bmj.com/content/6/1/e000325
 

James_H

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Do these people fart Carbon Dioxide instead of Methane ?
I know it's a joke but to answer it seriously: I think they probably do.
 

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Girl i spoke to on a forum, said when she ate strawberrys she acted like she was drunk. I have known her for 9 years, good woman, only have contact with her on birthday now
 

INT21

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I know it's a joke but to answer it seriously: I think they probably do.
So, greenhouse hazard either way.

Anyone who suffers from the above may like to take a cigarette lighter with them next time they have a bath, and report back.
 

EnolaGaia

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Do these people fart Carbon Dioxide instead of Methane ?
If the process involved is indeed simple fermentation of glucose, the resultant gas by-product would be CO2.
 

INT21

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So, if the flame of your lighter is extinguished then it is Co2. If there is a dull red flame and a rather foul stench, methane.
 

EnolaGaia

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Here's a new twist on the ABS condition ... This woman was fermenting alcohol in her bladder rather than her gastrointestinal tract, and the resultant alcohol was never entering her bloodstream. She was repeatedly testing positive for alcohol and being rejected for liver transplantation. Finally, a doctor took her denials of alcohol usage seriously and delved deeper ...

Technically, this isn't classic ABS, because the alcohol wasn't entering her system ...
A woman's bladder 'brewed' its own alcohol, tripping drug test

Microbes in the woman's bladder were fermenting sugar into alcohol, causing her to test positive on a urine drug test

When a woman in Pennsylvania needed a life-saving liver transplant, she repeatedly ran up against one vexing problem: She kept testing positive for alcohol — which disqualified her from a transplant — even though she swore she hadn't been drinking.

Doctors would later discover that something quite strange was going on: Microbes in the woman's bladder were fermenting alcohol, according to a new report of the case.

The woman's condition is similar to a rare disorder called "auto-brewery syndrome" (ABS), in which microbes in the gastrointestinal tract convert carbohydrates into alcohol. People with ABS can get drunk just from eating carbs, Live Science previously reported. But in the woman's case, the fermentation was taking place in her bladder, which makes her condition distinct from ABS, the report said. In her case, the alcohol didn't get from the bladder into the bloodstream, so the woman didn't appear intoxicated.

The woman's condition was so rare that it didn't even have a name yet. Her doctors proposed calling it "urinary auto-brewery syndrome" or "bladder fermentation syndrome."

The 61-year-old woman went to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Presbyterian Hospital because she had cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, and needed to be placed on the liver-transplant waitlist, according to the report. She also had diabetes that was not under control, meaning her blood sugar levels were high.

Previously, the woman had visited another hospital, but she could not get on the liver-transplant waitlist there, because her urine repeatedly tested positive for alcohol. Doctors at that hospital told her she needed treatment for alcohol addiction. ...

That's when doctors noticed something curious: Urine tests for two metabolites of alcohol, ethyl glucuronide and ethyl sulfate, were negative for the woman. This was puzzling because at least one of these metabolites should be present in urine for several days after a person drinks alcohol, said study senior author Dr. Kenichi Tamama, an associate professor of pathology and medical director of UPMC's Clinical Toxicology Laboratory. "This was the first clue" that something was off, Tamama said.

The woman's blood tests for ethanol were also negative, and she did not appear intoxicated. ...

... (T)he researchers conducted a careful experiment; they took a sample of the patient's "freshly voided urine" and quickly put it on ice. Then, they incubated the sample in a test tube at body temperature (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, 37 degrees Celsius) and saw "remarkably high levels of ethanol production," the report said. This production did not occur when the sample was incubated at a lower temperature (39 F, 4 C) or if the researchers added a chemical to block fermentation.

"We concluded that the discrepant test results were best explained by yeast fermenting sugar in the bladder," the authors wrote. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/womans-bladder-ferments-alcohol.html

See Also:
https://www.sciencealert.com/doctors-report-the-first-known-case-of-a-woman-who-urinates-alcohol
 
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Mythopoeika

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Here's a new twist on the ABS condition ... This woman was fermenting alcohol in her bladder rather than her gastrointestinal tract, and the resultant alcohol was never entering her bloodstream. She was repeatedly testing positive for alcohol and being rejected for liver transplantation. Finally, a doctor took her denials of alcohol usage seriously and delved deeper ...

Technically, this isn't classic ABS, because the alcohol wasn't entering her system ...

FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/womans-bladder-ferments-alcohol.html

See Also:
https://www.sciencealert.com/doctors-report-the-first-known-case-of-a-woman-who-urinates-alcohol
Most people would notice if they've got a yeast infection.
 

EnolaGaia

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We have an older thread involving a ship's captain who attempted to evade drunk driving charges by claiming his liver was producing alcohol. He ended up dropping his challenge (and attempts to prove he exhibited auto-brewery syndrome caused by fatty liver disease or liver cancer), leaving his claim unverified.

Man Charged As Drunk Driver Claims His Liver Produces Alcohol
https://forums.forteana.org/index.p...river-claims-his-liver-produces-alcohol.4758/
 
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