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Man Who Discovered His Food Was Turning To Alcohol Cured By Poop Transplant

by : Lucy Connolly on : 18 Aug 2020 11:22
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A man diagnosed with a rare condition that was turning his food into alcohol was only cured when he underwent a poo transplant.

The 47-year-old man, who has not been named, decided to seek medical help after noticing he was feeling drunk at random intervals throughout the day – even without consuming alcohol.

He was quickly diagnosed with auto-brewery syndrome – a rare condition that causes your body to turn sugar and carbohydrates into alcohol – and doctors prescribed him with anti-fungal medications typically effective for this condition.

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He was also advised to stick to a low-carb diet, a method usually recommended to patients with this condition since fewer carbs in your system means less sugar for the yeast to convert to alcohol. However, nothing worked and doctors were left stumped.

Almost two months of following a strict low-carb diet and four weeks of medication proved unsuccessful, with the patient continuing to experience periodic, accidental drunkenness.

In fact, it got so bad that at one point the 47-year-old got pulled over by police while driving one day and, after taking a breathalyser test, had his driving licence taken away from him after police believed him to be driving drunk.

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According to a case study published in Annals of Internal Medicine today, August 18, as per Insider, the only thing that worked was a poo transplant.

Doctors were able to transfer the fecal microbiota, the bacteria present in faeces, into the patient’s small intestine. And now, 34 months later, the man continues to be symptom-free.

The transplant was taken from the patient’s 22-year-old daughter, and according to the study’s authors it is ‘the first successful treatment of a patient with chronic gut fermentation syndrome by using fecal microbiota transplantation’.

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As noted in the case study, the man only started experiencing these symptoms in his mid-40s, so then how did it all come to light?

Well, since blood sugar levels fuel the yeast-driven booze production, certain people can be particularly susceptible to auto-brewery syndrome, including those with diabetes and cirrhosis.

The man had none of those conditions, but he had recently completed a course of antibiotics and had a gastric bypass surgery years earlier, both of which can disturb naturally-occurring gut microbes and create an imbalance, and can therefore make a person more susceptible to the rare syndrome.

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Thankfully the man in question was able to resolve his symptoms with such a transplant, which will hopefully pave the way for others suffering with the same condition.

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Food, Auto-Brewery Syndrome, Food and Drink, Health, Life, Now, Poo Transplant

Credits

Annals of Internal Medicine and 1 other
  1. Annals of Internal Medicine

    Treatment of Gut Fermentation Syndrome With Fecal Microbiota Transplantation

  2. Insider

    A 47-year-old man kept getting drunk from alcohol produced in his own gut. Doctors cured him with a poop transplant.