Exactly as it sounds, science has found that some people’s bodies may lead them to appear (medically speaking) as if they’re extremely intoxicated at any given time, even without having a single drink.
As one article describes, “[Auto-brewery syndrome,] also known as gut-fermentation syndrome, this rare medical condition can occur when abnormal amounts of gastrointestinal yeast convert common food carbohydrates into ethanol. The process is believed to take place in the small bowel, and is vastly different from the normal gut fermentation in the large bowel that gives our bodies energy.”
So what actually happens when you have this syndrome?
Typically, the yeast grows steadily throughout the day and people can begin to feel woozy toward the end of the day, when levels are at their highest. In a recent case of auto-brewery syndrome in New York, one woman “exhibited no signs of the levels until she reached a blood alcohol level of between 0.30 and 0.40,” which is considered extremely life-threatening.
It was only when she reached these extreme BAC-levels that she began to feel slightly “wobbly on her feet.” It’s when these high levels are reached that the typical dangers associated with classic drunkenness can set in.
Luckily, incorporating certain diet changes like eliminating carbs and sugars and taking anti-fungal medications can make a huge difference in managing auto-brewery syndrome.