But I haven’t touched a drop, occifer!

2 minute read

This condition is not as much fun as it sounds, and as for the treatment ...

One of the world’s most implausible diseases now has one of its most unpalatable cures.

Usually when someone reels and reeks of alcohol, you can confidently chalk this up as self-inflicted.

But for an unfortunate few, these symptoms can occur even when no alcohol has been consumed for days, weeks or months.

This rare condition is known as auto-brewery syndrome, or gut fermentation syndrome, and occurs when the body produces ethanol in the gut after the eating of carbohydrate-rich meals.

And while that might sound like a cheerful and cheap night out, the condition is anything but.

The syndrome leads to elevated blood alcohol levels, a feeling of drunkenness whether you want that or not, disturbed liver function, and all the other downsides of ethanol intoxication. Not to mention difficulties one might face when confronted by an RBT.

But help may be at hand, according to Belgian researchers.

Reporting in the Annals of Internal Medicine, boffins from University Hospital Ghent described the case of a 47-year-old male who reported intermittent episodes of the syndrome over a two-month period. Attempts to treat the condition with a low-carb diet and antimycotic drugs were unsuccessful.

But what did work was a faecal microbiota transplantation.

Not only did the symptoms of ethanol intoxication immediately disappear, they had continued to stay away by the 34-month follow-up and even after the man resumed a carbohydrate-rich diet and indulged in the occasional jolly-up.

They recommend that if folks are feeling wasted for no good reason, and traditional treatments aren’t cutting it, then a poo transplant could be just the ticket.

If you see something stupid, say something stupid. Send your fermentation hot tips to penny@medicalrepublic.com.au

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