How do you get drunk without drinking? Eat plenty of carbs!
A 61-year-old man from Texas did just that. Even though he had a home brewery, he had not drunk a drop of beer. He came into the emergency room, completely hammered and yet claimed he had not drunk any booze at all.
Nurses ran a breathalyzer test on the man immediately. The patient blew 0.37 blood alcohol content, which is almost five times the legal limit for driving in the state of Texas. The medical staff immediately assumed the man was a closet drinker. However, further testing proved otherwise.
Barbara Cordell, the dean of nursing at Panola College stated:
He would get drunk out of the blue. On a Sunday morning after being at church or really, just anytime. His wife was so dismayed about the situation that she bought a breathalyzer.
Dr. Justin McCarthy teamed up with Cordell in an attempt to locate the cause of the man’s intoxication issues. They placed the man into an isolated hospital room for 24 hours. The patient was fed carbohydrate-rich foods. He was tested once more, using a breathalyzer and displayed an alcohol concentration of 0.12 percent.
Cordell investigated further and found the man’s belly was brewing the booze, using a buildup of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a common yeast. Each time he ate or drank anything that was heavy on starch content, like bagels, pasta and even soda, his belly would produce the yeast that fermented the sugars and turned it into ethanol.
NPR has reported that this rare occurrence happens in certain cases after the patient consumes antibiotics. The antibiotics kill the bacteria located in the stomach that will open the possibility for a suitable environment for yeast to grow and thrive. Another element into the unique case is that he operated the brewery in his home. The live yeast lying around his home could have been another factor in the man’s drunkenness.
Yeast buildup in a stomach can cause plenty of other problems, reports a microbiologist at Duke University.
Researchers have shown unequivocally that Saccharomyces can grow in the intestinal tract. But it’s still unclear whether it’s associated with any disease.
Obviously, it is associated with the drunkenness of one man in particular.
The case was documented in the International Journal of Clinical Medicine.
The drunken man? He was given anti-fungal medications and was placed on a diet that revolved around low-carbohydrate foods.