This man's 'Auto-Brewery Syndrome' causes his belly to produce its own beer

It's a whole new take on having a "beer belly."

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Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
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Shelby Brown
2 min read

A man was diagnosed with Auto-Brewery Syndrome, which causes his stomach to produce its own beer. 

Alexander Spatari

Solve this riddle: A cop pulls a man over for suspected drunk driving, and he fails the Breathalyzer test with a blood alcohol level of 0.2, which is past the legal limit. The man tells the officer he didn't drink anything. The police officer, of course, doesn't believe this excuse. It turns out though that the man was intoxicated, but he hadn't drunk anything. How is this so? 

It turns out the man has Auto-Brewery Syndrome. The unusual diagnosis means that his stomach can produce alcohol on its own, BGR reported earlier. ABS means that the ingestion of carbohydrates results in endogenous alcohol production, according to the BMJ Open Gastroenterology journal, where the man's case was detailed. 

After failing the Breathalyzer test, the man was arrested. At that point, he took no medications but complained of memory loss, depression and other mental changes after antibiotic therapy. After the arrest, he sought a second opinion. He underwent basic lab testing, which showed that his blood-alcohol level spiked after meals heavy in carbs. Cutting carbs only worked for a bit. After another "drunken" episode caused a head injury, he returned to the hospital for tests. The doctors spotted a fungal growth in his gut and administered anti-fungal therapy in tandem with a probiotic, which has helped his life and gut get back to normal.

ABS is most likely an under-diagnosed condition, according to the researchers. In the study, the team suggests a standardized carbohydrate challenge test to diagnose this condition. At this time there isn't firm diagnostic criteria to confirm the ABS diagnosis or to treat it. 

Watch this: Waste not: This rare beer was made from Berlin's reused toilet water
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