Auto Brewery Syndrome : Drunk without Drinking

You won't believe this fact that a person can show symptoms of of drunk man, even without drinking. Even all of his alcohol tests will come positive. Such situation is common if one is suffering from Auto Brewery Syndrome. However this medical condition is very rare. Some people who know this medical condition try to use it as a defense against drunk-driving charges. Here we will explain more about this "Drunk without drinking" Auto Brewery Syndrome.

Auto Brewery Syndrome

Auto Brewery Syndrome is a medical condition in which fermentation of carbohydrates occur in our digestive system and creates alcohol. A person suffering from this condition can easily feel drunk after few hours of carbohydrate rich diet. Auto Brewery Syndrome is also known as Gut fermentation syndrome. There is not much documentation available about this disease.

In 2013 Journal of Scientific Research published a report about  61 year old man who had this syndrome from past 20 years. His blood alcohol level was found 0.40 without drinking. According to him this condition started after he had irritable bowel syndrome that worsened to bloating and gas. Later muscular pain, headache and mood disturbances became a part of his life.
In some extreme cases Auto-brewery syndrome can cause alcohol or methanol poisoning which may lead to death.

Social effects of Auto Brewery Syndrome


  • It reduces the working capicity of person and affects his job and personal life.
  • It can demotivate a person to a great extent.
  • The friend circle of the person is reduced is very much and most of the people feel that he/she is drunk. Such person feel alone and detached from family and friends.


Cause of Auto Brewery Syndrome

This condition occurs as a result of too much yeast trapped in digestive system. That yeast can ferment any carbohydrate into ethanol.

Treatment of Auto Brewery Syndrome


  • According to specialists this condition can be treated with help of some anti-fungal medications, such as fluconazole. Yeast is a fungus and its the root of this disease. Once the yeast is destroyed by antifungal medication, the fermentation will stop.
  • Another temporary way to get rid of intoxication is to avoid eating carbohydrates, sugar and yeast. But its nearly impossible to live without eating any carbohydrate. So if you feel drunk without drinking then you may check yourself by removing carbohydrate from your diet and then check if the drunk-symptoms are reduced. If it is so then visit a doctor and tell about it.

So if you ever meet a drunk man, and he says that he was not drinking then now you have at least one reason to believe him.
Don't ever try to use it as a defense against drunk-driving charges, as it a very rare medical condition and mostly found only in Japan. 
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