AUTO-BREWERY SYNDROME: meaning, causes, symptoms and treatment.

AUTO-BREWERY SYNDROME: meaning, causes, symptoms and treatment. post thumbnail image


Auto-brewery syndrome (ABS) also known as drunkenness disease Is a rare digestive disorder, in which a person’s intestines act like a brewer, which leads to the person experiencing alcohol intoxication, the persons body creates alcohol, this happens when an overgrowth of certain types of fungus in the gut converts carbohydrates into alcohol.

These persons do not need to drink alcohol to experience alcohol intoxication; their body produces alcohol through abnormal gut fermentation. This condition was discovered in the early 40’s; only an estimated 100 people have been diagnosed with auto-brewery syndrome. However, some researchers believe that ABS is most likely under-diagnosed.

Yeasts and other fungi feed on the sugars and starches in food, which they convert into energy. This process also creates waste in the form of carbon dioxide and ethanol — a type of alcohol. The ethanol that fungal fermentation produced will enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body. People who suffer from auto-brewery syndrome may have high blood alcohol levels after ingesting a small quantity of alcohol or even no alcohol at all because, their body makes alcohol out of regular food and drinks containing carbohydrates by fermenting it in the intestine with yeast or bacteria that live in that part of the body.


The symptoms of Auto-brewery syndrome is similar to that of a person experiencing hang over, they include:

Brain fog, fatigue, dizziness, slurred speech, mood changes, delirium, head aches, belching, nausea, vomiting, loss of coordination, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, drunk without drinking any alcohol, very drunk after only drinking a small amount of alcohol (such as two beers).




The treatments of auto-brewery syndrome includes:

  • The healthcare provider will first of all treat the presenting symptoms.
  • Diet therapyAn essential treatment of auto-brewery syndrome is diet modification requiring a high protein and low carbohydrates until symptoms subside. Sugar is fermented into alcohol, and a diet that eliminates simple and complex sugars will decrease the alcohol fermented from the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Your primary health care provider may decide to try anti-fungal medications but some patient’s respond to medication and other’s do not.


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