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Man Gets Drunk On His Own ‘Internal Brewery’

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A 46 year-old man in the US continually suffered from dizzy spells, disorientation, and “uncharacteristic aggression.” He was prescribed antidepressants, but the symptoms persisted.

The unnamed man was later pulled over by police in and arrested for driving under the influence with a blood alcohol level of the equivalent of 20 drinks. He insisted that he hadn’t been tippling. The authorities suspected he was hiding a drinking habit from his family.

After a series of tests, significant amounts of a fungus that is used as brewer’s yeast was discovered in his gastrointestinal tract. After two series of anti fungal medication treatments and a strict diet which eliminated carbohydrates for about six weeks, the man’s digestion returned to normal. Antibiotics used to treat an infection in 2011 was found to be the original culprit.

The case, a rare instance of "auto-brewery syndrome,” was subsequently written up in the medical journal BMJ Open Gastroenterology.


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