The potential brewery in your body

The potential brewery in your body

Some people view the explanation as an all-too-convenient excuse. And just try telling this to your boss after you slur words and act tipsy in a staff meeting.

“I don’t drink, boss. My gut, however, is a brewery.”

Yup, tell it to HR.

It is, however, a real condition. And it’s called auto-brewery syndrome, or ABS. While ABS is rarely diagnosed, stories of individuals with the disorder occasionally make headlines. Take the case of a wife who was so suspicious that her husband was a secret drinker that she set up a hidden camera to catch him in the act. All she saw was her spouse playing video games all day.

A Belgian man was recently acquitted of DUI after three doctors who examined him testified that they had medically confirmed his internal brewery.

As outlandish as ABS seems, researchers have previously discovered a straightforward biological explanation. The problem is that these individuals have fungus in their gut that ferments carbohydrates, converting them into ethanol.

Some people with ABS tend to be less affected by their self-brewed alcohol and might appear sober. However, many others exhibit the telltale signs of inebriation that can lead to the same mishaps and misunderstandings as a person who is drinking heavily. They get awful hangovers. If untreated, they can even die of alcohol poisoning.

The syndrome is more common in those diagnosed with diabetes, a bowel obstruction, or liver dysfunction. Doctors usually suggest patients cut dietary carbs and take an antifungal agent.

ABS won’t get you out of a jam absent clear medical evidence. So, better bring your doctor and a stack of test results to that meeting with HR.

Related Episodes