Doctors Cured Booze-Producing Guts of 47-Year-Old Man With Poop Transplant
Following a course of antibiotics, a 47-year-old man felt noticeably drunk — seemingly out of nowhere — throughout the day, without drinking alcohol.
His rare condition — auto-brewery syndrome — was cured when doctors performed a poop transplant, according to a recent study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
Man with auto-brewery syndrome, drunk 'without cause'
The 47-year-old man's condition — auto-brewery syndrome — is rare, and happens when alcohol is produced inside the gut. Doctors initially attempted treatment for the man via a low-carb diet combined with antifungal medications — which usually works for this condition, reports Business Insider.
However, there was no improvement, and the patient continued to experience periodic drunkenness with no apparent cause. One case was so severe it caused the man to lose his driving license after a random police encounter.
Eventually, the doctors took what some might call desperate measures when they carried out a poop transplant, which caused complete recovery in the man.
Specifically, they transferred fecal microbiota — the living bacteria inside feces — into the patient's small intestine. After 34 months, he is still symptom-free, says the study.
Notably, the transplant was extracted from the patient's 22-year-old daughter.
Yeast overgrowth, blood sugar levels linked to auto-brewery syndrome
Researchers think an overgrowth of fungus — especially a few types of yeast — is the cause of auto-brewery syndrome, reports Business Insider.
These cases lead to patients feeling very drunk from the abundance of alcohol produced in their system, despite having not swallowed a drop. One wild example involves a man who tested at four times the legal limit of blood-alcohol content due to the illness.
Blood sugar levels are correlated to the yeast-caused production of alcohol, which makes people with cirrhosis and diabetes especially susceptible to the illness. Those who've gone through digestive tract surgery or have completed a course of antibiotics may also be susceptible, since both experiences sometimes disturb the natural balance of gut microbes.
Man with auto-brewery syndrome recently took antibiotics, had digestive tract surgery
The 47-year-old man had recently taken antibiotics, in addition to having received a gastric bypass surgical procedure years earlier — which together created his case of auto-brewery syndrome.
While strange and unusual, auto-brewery syndrome becomes pretty serious when we consider unwittingly driving under the influence, both for other motorists and the patient. But it's good to know that, well, the injection of poop from close relatives can sober people up (which in a lot of ways makes sense).