Rare Syndrome Can Make You Drunk, Without Drinking

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Auto-brewery syndrome (ABS) is a medical condition that causes carbohydrates you consume to be fermented into alcohol in your gut
  • Antibiotic therapy, which altered the microbiome allowing for fungus to thrive, could be one triggering factor in ABS
  • Because ABS may occur more often than realized, researchers suggested that anyone who has elevated blood alcohol levels or a positive Breathalyzer but denies alcohol ingestion should be investigated for the condition
  • Strains of bacteria called K. pneumoniae that generate high amounts of alcohol were isolated from a man with ABS and were found to be higher in those with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
  • Symptoms such as changes in mood, delirium and brain fog may occur early on in ABS, even before symptoms of alcohol inebriation develop

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