A 46-year-old man who said he never consumed alcohol but often seemed drunk actually had a rare condition called an auto-brewery syndrome, a new case study has revealed.
NBC News reported last year that the man’s family, doctors and police thought that he was a secret drinker despite his insistence that he didn’t take any alcohol.
The middle-aged man displayed “brain fog and aggressive behavior,” fell often, and was even arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
Doctors eventually diagnosed him with auto-brewery syndrome which occurs when “gut disturbances” — including antibiotic use — result in uncurbed growth of fermenting fungi or bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, NBC News reported.
The man’s gut began producing alcohol whenever he ate carbohydrates, the new case study reveal.
According to the study by doctors at the Richmond University Medical Center in New York, when carbohydrates such as pizza, pasta, bread and soda are consumed, microbes turn the sugar in the food or drink into ethanol, leading to “extreme blood alcohol levels.”
The study was published in the BMJ Open Gastroenterology journal.
In this man’s case, his problems started in 2011 after he was prescribed antibiotics for a thumb injury, NBC News said.
His symptoms went away and he eventually resumed eating a normal diet, according to the study.
This story was rewritten from WebMD.com