Auto-Brewery Syndrome

We all have bacteria and yeast that live in our gut and you’ve probably read about them here! For most of us, we live in relative harmony with these tiny guests. But sometimes, either due to our immune systems malfunctioning or lifestyle changes (like when we take antibiotics), yeast that ferment ethanol start to grow in our intestines. And that leads to auto-brewery syndrome.

auto-brewery syndrome

Not A 24/7 Party

I know, it sounds like a dream right? You can brew your own alcohol! Unfortunately, people with auto-brewery syndrome live in a world where they are either drunk or hungover. This is because yeast thrive on carbohydrates and so do we. So every time people affected with this self-brewing condition eat sugars and starches, the yeast go into overdrive. Remember that barley is a main ingredient in beer. The starches in barley are broken down into sugar, which is… yeast food!

Fixing Auto-Brewery Syndrome

Is this condition fixable? Yes! First, the person would need to stop taking antibiotics in order to allow normal bacterial flora to grow. Second, a strict no-carbohydrates diet will starve the yeast. Finally, if the critters are particularly stubborn, doctors may have the patient take anti-fungals.

DO NOT Give Yourself This Problem

I didn’t think someone would ever be foolish enough to want to give themselves this problem, but turns out, someone like that does exist. While browsing the internet, I stumbled upon this Reddit post about some guy’s roommate who successfully turned his colon into a brewery. While I enjoy the Darwin awards as much as everyone else, even I gagged a bit reading about this candidate. As you can see, the post was made 5 months ago and I’m not sure if the dude is still alive.