Auto-brewery syndrome or gut fermentation syndrome is an uncommon condition that has a significant effect on the daily lives of those who have it. The disease causes symptoms of alcohol intoxication after an individual eats or drinks food or beverages containing carbohydrates. Age and sex are not factors for developing the condition -- men, women, and children can all get auto-brewery syndrome.
During normal digestion, the gut breaks down foods with fermentation, aided by bacteria that reside in the colon. In people with auto-brewery syndrome, the fermentation occurs in the small intestine instead, causing increased levels of ethanol. Although the liver usually detoxifies the small amounts of alcohol left behind from the yeast fermentation process, those with the condition create too much alcohol for the liver to process and the individual becomes intoxicated.
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