Talk about a beer gut! A Texas man has a rare disorder that results in food being fermented inside of his stomach. In other words, it turns into alcohol! In fact, the guy was so sloshed all of the time that his family all thought he was an alcoholic! On the contrary, he had something called Gut Fermentation Syndrome, or "auto-brewery syndrome" (perfect name), which meant that when he ate starches, he had a chemical reaction that turned his food into hooch.
The man's condition was only discovered when he stumbled into a hospital -- drunk -- and said he didn't feel well. He tested five times over the legal limit and doctors asked him how much he'd had to drink. He insisted he had had nothing to drink!
Tests revealed that his stomach essentially makes beer. A lot of people would love that -- think of all the money you could save -- but the reality is, it must be a nightmare. This poor dude would suddenly get "drunk" out of nowhere.
Reportedly, his wife was so fed up with his chronic drinking, and his chronic denials about it, that she bought a Breathalyzer. The guy is now on a low-carb diet so he doesn't have much in his system to turn into ale.
Gut Fermentation Syndrome is a "relatively unknown" phenomenon in medicine. However, you can only imagine that there were people who had it and no one ever believed they weren't really drinking! That must be surreal and horrible for them. Everyone thinking they're drinking, when, in fact, they have a serious health issue going untreated.
The problem is caused by an "overgrowth of yeast in the gut whereby the yeast ferments carbohydrates into ethanol."
In the last three decades, there have been only a few cases reported. And two of those were children! In one case, a 3-year-old girl became intoxicated after ingesting a carbohydrate-rich fruit drink.
Yikes. Well, this sounds super rare, but it just goes to show you, you shouldn't necessarily judge people too harshly. You never know what weird shit is actually happening with them.
Luckily, the problem can be fairly easily controlled. It's just getting people to believe that you're not actually an alcoholic that's the issue!
Have you ever heard of this?
Image via Compujeramey/Flickr