After having a full carbohydrates rich diet, we all tend to feel a little sleepy or drowsy. But for some the post meal drowsiness transforms into complete drunkenness. They tend to get drunk without even consuming a drop of alcohol. This is disorder is known ‘Auto Brewery Syndrome’ or ‘Gut Fermentation Disorder’ and most commonly the ‘Drunkenness Disease’.
This is a rare disorder which was discovered in the 1980’s and people diagnosed with this disorder experience alcohol intoxication by producing alcohol in their own body. The people diagnosed with this disorder do not actually consume alcohol but alcohol is produced in their body through abnormal gut fermentation.
Every body ferments the food we consume, and produces a little amount of alcohol but this alcohol is not in the level to produce intoxication and the liver immediately detoxes it. But for people with this disorder the alcohol level is too high for the liver to be able to detox it and hence the patients feel intoxication of high levels. In these people the fermentation takes place in the small intestine. The bacteria such as Candida glabrata and Sacchromyces cerevisiaw are found responsible for the alcohol production in their body.
Symptoms of this disorder:
Symptoms of this disorder differ from those of people who are known to consume alcohol. The symptoms these people experience are far from pleasant, which are:
Problems with concentration, memory, and thought processes
Fatigue – feeling very tired
Aches and pains
Changes in bowel movements
Discharge from the nose, a productive cough, and sinusitis
This disorder can lead to several other severe disorders like:
chronic fatigue syndrome
irritable bowel syndrome
depression and anxiety
Causes of the disorder:
This disorder is caused because the body produces or brews the alcohol inside the body without any actual consumption. This is done in the intestines or the gut. The carbs a person eats are fermented by the excess of yeast present in the body.
Who is at risk to get this disorder?
Auto brewery disorder is usually a complication of another disorder, infection or imbalance in the body. A person can not be born with this disorder while they can be born with a disorder that might trigger auto brewery disorder. In adults, Crohn’s disease causes excess yeast in the gut which might lead to auto brewery syndrome. Toddlers and children with short bowel syndrome are at a high risk of getting this disorder.
Other reasons to have high yeast in the body include:
inflammatory bowel disease
low immune system
There are several unpleasant conditions that will occur along with the symptoms of the disorder. The family and the society might pose a problem to the patient.
While denial is very much common in an alcoholic, the people around the patient might not believe the patient when he/she says that they are not closet drinkers or that they do not have a drinking problem.
The main treatments for the condition are changes to diet to reduce intake of simple sugars, refined carbohydrates, yeast products, and moldy foods, and medications to reduce the fungi and bacteria thought to be responsible in the gut.