Giving Life to the Beer Belly

Look no further, legalized consumers of alcohol! Doctors have recently discovered that the nearest brewery may not be too far from home. In fact, it’s right inside your intestinal walls.  For those of you beginning to investigate this possibility, consider this case study on a 61 year old Texan man who ate a mere bagel for breakfast and arrived at church later that morning intoxicated well above legal limits in his state. This seemingly humorous event is in fact a serious health concern for this man who was diagnosed with a newly coined condition, auto-brewery syndrome.

If you’re skeptical of this occurrence of a body intoxicating itself, consider the man’s wife, who in concern for her husband purchased a Breathalyzer to test not just his levels of blood alcohol but also his integrity.  One morning, the man himself appeared in a hospital claiming to be “dizzy”. Doctors assumed his drunkenness and a test showed a .37 blood alcohol concentration, five times the limit for Texas residents. These doctors remained skeptical despite the patient’s claim to not having a “single drop”.  Yet their informal decision to classify the man as a “closet drinker” was not the case this time around. These effects were the consequences of the man’s gut being stripped of its naturally occurring intestinal bacteria due to an excess of consumed antibiotics. The build-up of yeast in his stomach over a course of five years was taken notice as these common symptoms of dizziness, among others, occurred. Anytime the man consumed solid food or liquid containing carbohydrates, namely foods such as bread, bagels, pasta, etc. the ingested material and the yeast formed ethanol, literally intoxicating the body. I guess the take-away from all this is…have caution in what you put in your body?

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