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What do you know about auto brewery syndrome and DUIs?

On Behalf of | Sep 26, 2020 | blog

After receiving your recent DUI, you may feel confused about the breath analyzer results that Florida law enforcement showed you. Maybe you only had a sip of alcohol, or perhaps you had nothing to drink at all before driving. 

American Addition Centers explores a rare condition called “auto-brewery syndrome.” Determine whether your charge resulted from an undiagnosed condition. 

The condition

Also known as “gut fermentation syndrome,” auto-brewery syndrome triggers endogenous fermentation, which creates alcohol in the gastrointestinal system. For those with the condition, eating foods rich in carbohydrates may lead to intoxication without drinking a drop of alcohol. 

The cause

Currently, scientists know little about what causes gut fermentation syndrome in terms of lifestyle, demographic, diet and health history. A yeast called “Saccharomyces cerevisiae” is a pathogen that can lead to the condition. Normally benign, considerable amounts of the pathogen in the GI tract may lead to short bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and other conditions. 

The symptoms

Besides intoxication, auto-brewery syndrome causes several other symptoms: 

  • Dry mouth  
  • Dizziness 
  • Confusion  
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome 
  • Irritable bowel syndrome  
  • Belching  

Just like with drinking alcohol, those with the condition may experience hangovers. 

The treatment

Ways to treat the condition include switching to a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Prescribing antifungal agents is the next treatment step if a change in diet proves ineffective. Patients and doctors must exercise caution with antifungal agents, as they may cause harmful side effects. Alternate treatments include medical and surgical management to address hypomotility and GI obstruction. 

Does any of the above ring familiar for your experience? A physician can help with a diagnosis, and a legal advocate can help with your charges. 

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