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Antibiotics Make Man's Intestine Turn Carbohydrates Into Alcohol



A 46-year-old man developed a rare but very real condition known as auto-brewing syndrome (ABS), colloquially referred to as "drunkenness" after completing a round of antibiotics, according to a recent report.

A U.S. resident who is not otherwise identified in a case published in BMJ Open Gastroenterology is a "previously active, healthy, 46-year-old man with no significant medical or psychiatric history." But starting in 2011, and continuing six years later, the man who told doctors he was just a casual social drinker began to experience depression, "brain fog" and "aggressive behavior."

These changes, which are reported to be uncharacteristic of the man, occurred after completing a series of antibiotics for thumb injury, according to a report by doctors at the University of Richmond Medical Center.

He sought treatment from a psychiatrist who gave him antidepressants.

But one morning, the man was arrested for allegedly driving while intoxicated. When he was pulled out, he refused a breath test and was hospitalized. The blood alcohol level was 200 mg / dL, which may occur after consuming 1

0 or more alcoholic beverages.

Although he insisted he did not consume alcohol, "hospital staff and police refused to believe him when he repeatedly denied alcohol ingestion," the report said.

After his arrest, the man sought treatment at an Ohio clinic. revealed the presence of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a type of yeast commonly used in wine making, roasting and brewing. To say clearly whether or not he had ABS, his doctors provided him with carbohydrate-rich foods and then monitored his blood levels with alcohol. Eight o'clock His levels rose to 57 mg / dL, they wrote. (ABS occurs when the body converts high-sugar foods or carbohydrates into alcohol, causing intoxication, according to Healthline.)

The man was treated for a condition at the clinic in Ohio and his symptoms have improved, but a few weeks later, he reported having ABS "flames" – one of which led to a fall that caused bleeding in his brain. As a result, he was hospitalized.

"Here, too, the medical staff refused to believe that he did not drink alcohol despite his constant refusals," the researchers wrote in the report.

Ultimately, the man was affiliated with physicians at Richmond University Medical Center. After a series of tests, antifungal and other treatments improved the symptoms of human ABS – except for once eating pizza and drinking soda, which led to "severe recurrence of ABS," they wrote.

Eventually, the man's symptoms dissipated and he was even allowed to gradually introduce carbohydrates into his diet. Now, almost two years after treatment, he "remains asymptomatic and resumes his previous lifestyle, including eating a normal diet while still sporadically checking his alcohol levels in breath,"

the antibiotics the man takes for treating a thumb injury may have caused his case with ABS.

"For years, no one believed him," Dr. Fahad Malik, one of the authors of the report and chief medical officer at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told New Scientist. "Police, doctors, nurses and even his family told him that he was not telling the truth that he should be a drinker in the closet."

The news comes after doctors detailed the September case of a Chinese man's ABS case. The amount of alcohol-producing bacteria in his gut potentially caused him to develop a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease that "severely" damaged his liver.


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