Man's beer gut is actually just a brewery that produces beer

Man's beer gut is actually just a brewery that produces beer

VicesSeptember 19, 2013

Finally, a believable excuse for that beer belly we've been cultivating: Auto-Brewery Syndrome. It's a rare condition in which your own body produces alcohol that makes you drunk, but we'll explain that later. First, it's story time.

A 61 year-old Texan man stumbled into the ER, complaining of dizziness, acting like a drunk fool. Nurses sat him down, and gave him a Breathalyzer test. His BAC was a big, fat 0.37, almost five times the legal limit; he was sloshed.

But, the man claimed he hadn't had a drop of alcohol that day. In fact, he said regularly showed signs of drunkenness on days where he hadn't even thought about alcohol, something that his wife and friends corroborated. What was he, the Virgin Mary of drinking?

Doctors had no idea what was happening; how could someone get drunk without drinking? So, they ran some tests. They stuck him in a room for 24 hours, feeding him nothing by carbohydrates (mmm, pizza bagels). At the end of the day, the man's BAC was 0.12 and he was feeling a little like this:

http://www.howlatthemoon.com/dueling_piano_bar/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/deny.gif

Turns out the man had the weirdest disease on the planet: Auto-Brewery Syndrome. And it's either the best excuse we've ever heard for being drunk and fat, or the world's most useful talent.

Here's what happens: Under certain conditions, an overabundance of Brewer's yeast can build up in the GI tract and generate an infection.  Brewer's yeast will ferment any carbohydrate that comes near it, hence why the stuffed him with bready goodness. But, with Auto-Brewery Syndrome, the yeast fails to break down carbohydrates correctly, and ends up producing weird byproducts like ethanol alcohol. The alcohol gets into the bloodstream and makes you feel like you just drank a handle of Apple McCormick's before prom. So basically, you're your own brewery, whipping up your very own artisanal microbrews in your beer gut and getting drunk on the fruits of your labor. Yeah, this is definitely the only disease we've ever wanted to get.

Usually, Auto-Brewery Syndrome is the result of antibiotic overuse or an immune-suppressing disease that allows yeast to thrive. Damn it, we don't have either, but we'll be gorging on pizza until we get this thing.