A 61-year-old Texas man was checked into a hospital after coming into the emergency room with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.37 percent, according to NPR. The man said that he hadn’t had a drink that day, but his wife attested that her husband often got drunk “out of the blue — on a Sunday morning after church, or really, just anytime.”
So they locked the amateur home-brewer up for 24 hours in an isolated hospital room while they searched his belongings for hidden bottles. They fed him carbohydrate-rich foods, and then at the end of the day, the man tested at a 0.12 percent blood alcohol level.
A gastroenterologist named Dr. Justin McCarthy took on the case and determined that the man was in fact not a raging closet alcoholic, but a mobile beer distillery.
Yes, the amateur home-beer maker had contracted a rare condition called “auto-brewery syndrome.” It was caused by an infection of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a common kind of yeast. So when the man consumed carbohydrates, his food began fermenting in his gut, causing him to become intoxicated.
“No one takes potential danger from Saccharomyces cerevesiae seriously,” said Dr. Michael D. Gershon, a professor in the department of pathology and cell biology at Columbia University.
He was given a low-carb diet and plenty of anti-fungals to keep his intestines clean and sober, according to the Huffington Post.
The case study of the man with the built-in mobile distillery was published in the International Journal of Clinical Medicine.