Rare condition linked to false drunkenness

On Behalf of | Feb 25, 2020 | dui defense |

Many people who hear reports about others arrested for driving under the influence might assume that these things only happen if a person has actually been drinking or using drugs, even if they were not over the legal limit for intoxication by alcohol. That, however, does not always have to be the case. There may be many reasons that a person behaves in a way that may appear as impairment but is not in actuality. One of those is a rare medical condition called auto brewery syndrome.

As explained by Healthline, in this condition, a person’s body literally brews its own alcohol even when they have not consumed any alcoholic beverages. The person may exhibit traditional signs of intoxication as well as depressed or otherwise changed moods and memory loss.

A report last autumn in USA Today gave details of how one man in his mid-40s struggled for some time to get people to believe that he had not been drinking. He was even arrested for a drunk driving offense and recorded a blood alcohol content of 0.20% at the time of his arrest. Eventually, it was discovered that the man had auto brewery syndrome or gut fermentation syndrome.

The man had been given a course of antibiotics which are known to change the body’s internal flora. This allowed a fungus to develop in his system which turned complex or simple carbohydrates into alcohol. He had to undergo an extensive anti-fungal treatment and additional treatments to prevent the future development of the fungus before he could re-introduce starchy or sweet foods into his diet.