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The man who was always drunk, but never drank alcohol: Scientists unwrap the mystery of ‘auto-brewery syndrome’

| | November 1, 2019

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

After years of inexplicably getting drunk without drinking alcohol, having mood swings and bouts of aggression, landing a DWI charge on the way to work one morning, and suffering a head injury in a drunken fall, an otherwise healthy 46-year-old North Carolina man finally got confirmation of having alcohol-fermenting yeasts overrunning his innards, getting him sloshed any time he ate carbohydrate-laden meals.

New York researchers finally confirmed that he had a rarely diagnosed condition called “auto-brewery syndrome.”

From there, the researchers started him on powerful anti-fungal medications to try to clear the boozy germs from his system. But he relapsed just weeks later after sneaking some forbidden pizza and soda. The researchers tried again, giving him an even stronger round of anti-fungal drugs, this time through a tube directly into his veins (central catheter). By February of 2018, tests indicated he was free of the fermenting fungi. He went back to eating his normal diet and passed his daily breathalyzer tests. He has stayed that way since, the researchers report.

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Though the man’s condition seems like a wild, one-off case, the New York researchers argue that auto-brewery syndrome (ABS) is likely an under-diagnosed condition.

Read full, original post: Man kept getting drunk without drinking. Docs found brewer’s yeast in his guts

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