If you find yourself getting charged with a DUI after getting pulled over and blowing a high blood alcohol content, but you haven’t had a drop to drink, it may come as a shock to you. There is a medical condition that has been discovered that has a higher blood alcohol concentration and it is quite possible that you suffer from it. If you find yourself in this situation, call a Georgia DUI attorney as soon as possible to build your defense.
What Is This Mystery Syndrome that Causes High Blood Alcohol Content?
Although this is a rare condition, auto brewery syndrome can cause a high blood alcohol content. This is also known as gut fermentation syndrome or endogenous ethanol fermentation. Basically, it is what could be referred to as “drunkenness disease”.
Auto brewery syndrome can make you drunk without drinking. You will have a higher than normal BAC, sometimes insanely high, with no actual explanation as to why unless you are diagnosed with it.
Keep in mind that this a very rare condition and the likelihood that you have it will be slim, but it is worth being tested for, especially without having had a drink. Make sure that if you are arrested you are requesting medical attention when you are requesting a lawyer.
What Causes Auto Brewery Syndrome?
The easiest way to explain what causes auto brewery syndrome in a body is that the gut becomes a gigantic brewery. Carbohydrates that you eat gets turned into alcohol due to the presence of yeast.
Yeast that is generally associated with auto brewery syndrome are:
- Candida albicans
- Torulopsis glabrata
- Candida kefyr
- Candida glabrata
- Candida krusei
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae aka brewer’s yeast
Anyone can end up with auto brewery syndrome. This is not something you are born with. It is something that is triggered by something else. Cases of too much yeast in the gut could be caused by something like Crohn’s Disease. Liver problems could trigger it because the alcohol produced isn’t filtered out by the damaged liver. Even small amounts in circumstances like that can exasperate the symptoms.
Children who suffer from short bowel syndrome have a higher chance of developing auto brewery syndrome at some point in their life. There was a case where a 3-year-old girl was reportedly drunk after drinking a small amount of juice and that was because of the high carbohydrate content in juices. Other causes for too much yeast are:
- Poor nutritional habits
- High usage of antibiotics
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Lowered immune system response
Remember that keeping the body balanced can be important in dealing with this disease.
Symptoms of Auto Brewery Syndrome
It is important to remember that auto brewery syndrome can make you drunk without ever touching alcohol, or it can make you extremely drunk after having a very small serving of alcohol. There are symptoms that you can watch out for with auto brewery syndrome.
- Your skin is red or flushed
- Feeling dizzy
- Pain from a headache
- Nausea or vomiting
- Becoming dehydrated
- Mouth becomes dry
- Excessive burping
- Sleepy and exhausted
- Trouble with memory or concentration
These are often the same types of symptoms one would have after a night of binge drinking and they wake up with a hangover.
Worsening health conditions can be exasperated by auto brewery syndrome. Chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, anxiety, and irritable bowel syndrome can become an even bigger problem when you suffer from auto brewery syndrome.
What Does It Take to Get A Diagnosis?
With this being a new disease, there are no tests that have been specifically formulated to diagnose it. Symptoms are not enough on their own to render a diagnosis either.
The most reliable test that a doctor can do is test a stool sample to see how much yeast lives in your gut. Another test that can be done is a glucose challenge test. The doctor will give you a glucose capsule and you will not be allowed to eat or drink anything for a little before or after the test. Once an hour or so has passed, they will check your blood alcohol content. If you suffer from auto brewery syndrome you will have a high blood alcohol content.
There are some antifungal medicines that your doctor can prescribe that help reduce the infection that exists in your gut. You may have to take them for longer than you would most antibiotics to ensure that the yeast has been obliterated.
Antifungals on their own will not be enough though. You will need to change the way you are eating and handling your nutrition while you are taking them. This will help reduce the amount of new yeast being introduced into your gut while you are waiting for it to work.
Auto brewery syndrome is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime defense for most people. It is extremely rare, which may make it hard to believe when being faced with a DUI charge. It is important that you are seeking medical care and getting a diagnosis and hiring a lawyer who can present this to the court on your behalf.
If you are charged with a DUI, hire an experienced and prominent DUI law firm in Athens, Georgia to help get you exonerated.