Sober man discovers his stomach can 'brew beer' after being arrested for drink-driving

Sober man discovers his stomach can 'brew beer' after being arrested for drink-driving

A has man discovered he suffers from a rare condition that causes his stomach to "brew beer" after he was pulled over for drink-driving, The Sun has reported.

At the time, the man explained to the officers that he had not been drinking. However, because he refused to take a breathalyzer test, he was taken to a hospital under arrest.

There, it was discovered that he had a blood-alcohol level of 200mg/dL - the equivalent typically achieved by consuming ten alcoholic drinks.

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After the man's intoxication was confirmed, he explained to medics that for three years, he had been experiencing a number of unexplained symptoms including depression, "brain fog", memory loss and aggressive behavior.

He first noticed that something was wrong in 2011 after completing a course of antibiotics for a thumb injury.

The case was shared in BMJ Open Gastroenterology by researchers from Richmond University Medical Centre in New York who said: "The hospital personnel and police refused to believe him when he repeatedly denied alcohol ingestion."

Two beers. Credit: Pexels

While it's not known if the man was charged for drink driving or not, after the incident, his aunt researched his predicament and discovered a similar case in Ohio where he subsequently sought treatment.

There, Saccharomyces cerevisiae - also known as brewer's yeast - was discovered in the man's stool sample.

This is the fungus which is used to ferment beer, and the discovery caused doctors to speculate that the man was suffering from a rare condition known as auto-brewery syndrome (ABS), AKA gut fermentation syndrome.

These suspicions proved correct and the man was diagnosed with the condition.

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"Patients with this condition become inebriated and suffer all the medical and social implications of alcoholism," the researchers noted.

It is believed that the seemingly innocuous round of antibiotics in 2011 upset the natural microbe balance in the man's body.

A person drink-driving. Credit: Pexels

But with the right dietary changes, the man has gone on to live a symptom-free life.

The doctor who treated the man, Dr. Fahad Malik, said: "Approximately 1.5 years later, he remains asymptomatic and has resumed his previous lifestyle, including eating a normal diet while still checking his breath alcohol levels sporadically."

To put how rare gut fermentation syndrome is into context, there have only been five recorded cases over the past 30 years.