Auto-brewery syndrome, or gut fermentation syndrome, is a rare condition in which fungi in the gut rapidly convert carbohydrates into alcohol. Yes, your gut is acting as a brewery. But how? More on that shortly.
While people who have auto-brewery syndrome may have high blood alcohol levels after ingesting a small quantity of alcohol or even no alcohol at all so it can cause the same physical and psychological symptoms that occur when a person is intoxicated or hungover.
Well that doesn’t seem fair, does it?
Yeasts and other fungi in the gut are quite common. They feed on the sugars and starches in food that you eat and then they convert into energy. This process also creates waste in the form of carbon dioxide and ethanol — a type of alcohol.
While this can be rare, the reason for it isn’t. In part, it comes down to Candida, the most common fungal species in the gut. People know this by having athletes foot, yeast infections, jock itch, those kinds of things. It can result from frequent or long-term antibiotic use, eating high sugar or high carbohydrate diet that can alter the gut microbiome, resulting in fungal overgrowth.
Fungal overgrowth can have a significant effect on a person’s health and overall quality of life, I see it all the time. I’d say sugar and processed food cravings are the strongest precursor that I see.
If there’s a gastrointestinal disease like Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), SIBO or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, diabetes, obesity or a weakened immune system.
Symptoms that I see include brain fog, fatigue, dizziness, mood changes, headaches, belching, nausea, vomiting, loss of coordination, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating.
These symtpoms are not only for a more severe like full Auto-Brewery Syndrome, but in anyone who has an unbalanced microbiome or gut flora resulting from antibiotic use–even if you’ve taken them for a while in childhood even. This is when probiotics become your number one supplement to take. My recommended supplement to clients is my Take This Bio Boost probiotic and it’s staggering the symptoms that it eliminates. I have an upcoming EAT THIS podcast episode on probiotics and their benefits next month.