- CASE FILE
When your gut makes its own alcohol, you need help. The common term is Auto Brewery Syndrome, also known as Gut Fermentation
ABOUT THIS CASE FILE
Auto Brewery Syndrome (ABS) is an illness where an overgrowth of yeast somewhere in the intestines converts carbohydrates into ethanol (alcohol fermentation). The patient becomes drunk without drinking and experiences all of the problems associated with being drunk. They may experience unusually high blood alcohol levels while still functioning where others might be passed out. The fermentation can occur out of the blue without warning. Most patients must "sleep it off", and some patients ferment, or "flare" for several days in a row.
My husband was diagnosed with ABS in 2010. He had been experiencing bouts of stupor and slurred words for over four years after a course of antibiotics for a broken foot. We never thought of alcohol until I took him to the ER one night thinking he'd had a stroke. He was dismissed as a closet alcoholic and became very depressed. We finally found a doctor with an open mind willing to look for ABS. Once he was diagnosed with ABS, he was given a course of diflucan followed by nystatin, placed on a low carbohydrate diet and probiotics. He has been symptom free for nearly nine years.