Saturday, July 13, 2024

Canadian woman diagnosed with rare syndrome where gut produces alcohol


Share post:



New Delhi, June 3: In a rare case, doctors in Canada treated a 50-year-old woman with a syndrome that makes her gut produce alcohol, and feel intoxicated without getting drunk, according to a case report published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal on Monday.

Doctors at the University of Toronto and Mount Sinai diagnosed the woman with auto-brewery syndrome — a rare condition in which gut fungi create alcohol through fermentation.

For two years the woman suffered from extreme daytime sleepiness and slurred speech and, despite not drinking alcohol, had elevated blood alcohol levels and alcohol on her breath.

However, every time doctors dismissed her case with a diagnosis of being drunk — despite saying she had not been drinking.

In the last 5 years, she had recurrent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), which required frequent courses of proton pump inhibitors ciprofloxacin and nitrofurantoin, as well as gastrointestinal reflux disease, treated with dexlansoprazole.

In the past, she would drink a glass of wine on holidays; however, in recent years, she had stopped drinking altogether because of her religious beliefs.

Along with her husband and children, she visited the emergency department seven times before the correct diagnosis could be made, displaying a lack of awareness of the syndrome among physicians.

“Auto-brewery syndrome carries substantial social, legal, and medical consequences for patients and their loved ones,” said Dr. Rahel Zewude, University of Toronto, with co-authors.

The doctors “suspect recurrent antibiotics for UTI and dexlansoprazole use led to gut dysbiosis with potential contribution of genetics” resulting in the rare syndrome.

The woman was treated with antifungal medication and low-carbohydrate diets.

Auto-brewery syndrome occurs when microorganisms capable of fermenting alcohol from carbohydrates outgrow normal gut flora.

It is rare because it requires several host factors to interact with a substantial overpopulation of fermenting microorganisms and high carbohydrate consumption.

“Comorbidities such as diabetes, liver disease, gut dysmotility disorders, and inflammatory bowel disease are associated with auto-brewery syndrome,” the study showed.



Related articles

North Korea threatens ‘unimaginably harsh price’ following Seoul-Washington nuclear deterrence pact

Seoul, July 13:  North Korea condemned the joint nuclear deterrence guidelines signed by Seoul and Washington as a...

Floods force closure of schools in central Myanmar

Yangon, July 13: Five basic education schools in Minbu town of central Myanmar's Magway region have been temporarily...

Pune police now book probationary IAS officer’s parents, 5 others in pistol threat case

Mumbai, July 13: The Pune police has registered a case against at least seven persons, including controversial probationary...

Africans have not forgotten colonial past, iconic Egyptian leader’s grandson reminds EU top diplomat

Moscow, July 13: Days after the EU's top diplomat Josep Borell admitted there is a high level of...