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Man's Body Was Creating Alcohol

Posted by Steve Karimi | Nov 08, 2019 | 0 Comments

Several years ago, a North Carolina man was stopped for suspected drunk driving. He told police he had not been drinking, and he refused to take a roadside breathalyzer test. He was then taken to the hospital where doctors found his blood-alcohol level to be two and a half times the legal limit, indicating that he could have had up to ten drinks in one hour. The man kept insisting he had not been drinking, but no one believed him.

Rare Medical Condition

After his drunk driving arrest, the man began testing his own breath with a breathalyzer. His blood alcohol levels continued to be amazingly high, despite the fact that he was not drinking any alcohol. His aunt had heard about someone else who had had a similar experience in Ohio, and she encouraged him to seek medical help. He went through a battery of tests and was found to have gut fermentation syndrome, which is caused by a certain strain of yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) growing in his gut. This strain of yeast is commonly used in beer brewing, winemaking, and baking.

With his body producing this strain of yeast, it was essentially converting any carbohydrates he ate into alcohol. In addition to the high blood alcohol levels, the man was also experiencing depression, memory loss, and gait changes. He was told to eliminate carbohydrates from his diet, and for awhile his symptoms disappeared. Then they flared up again for no reason. He was referred to Richmond University for help.


Researchers at Richmond University finally determined that a course of antibiotics the man had taken years ago for an infection in his thumb wiped out all the “good” bacteria in his gut, making way for the alcohol-producing yeast to flourish in his system. He was given a series of antifungals and probiotics to normalize the bacteria in his system, and he has been symptom-free for over a year now.

Myth or Real Condition

Gut fermentation syndrome was once believed to be a myth, but researchers have found it is a true medical condition. It is so rare that there have only been a few documented cases in recent years, but in 2015, a woman in New York had her DUI dismissed when she proved that she had the condition.

Seattle DUI Defense Attorney

Although it's most likely you do not suffer from gut fermentation syndrome, there are other reasons you can have a DUI dismissed. If you have been charged with a DUI, you need an experienced attorney who will examine every aspect of your case and mount a credible defense. Call the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today at 206-621-8777 or fill out a contact form.

About the Author

Steve Karimi

Steve Karimi attended Pepperdine University School of Law. After graduation he worked as a prosecutor in Seattle where he gained valuable insight to the criminal justice system. Attorney Karimi uses his experiences as a prosecutor everyday only now he fights for the justice of those accused.


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