Imagine getting drunk every time you eat carbs? Well that was what was happening to a 47-year-old Belgian man.
The unnamed man was afflicted with the fascinating, and very rare, gut fermentation syndrome, also known as auto-brewery syndrome. This is a rare condition in which the body produces ethanol in the gut after carbohydrate-rich meals.
For two months, the man felt drunk even though he did not drink any booze. Doctors at first prescribed a low-carb diet and antimycotic drugs, but these were not helping.
So he was given a fecal transplant. This is the transfer of stool from a healthy donor into the patient’s gut.
Fecal transplants are becoming increasingly common to replace ineffective or faulty bacteria in the body with microbes that work properly.
It is an established procedure that is also being investigated for its use in helping people infected with C. diff as well as cancer patients.
This is done either directly into the colon, or through tubes that go up a person’s nose, down the throat, and then into the gastrointestinal tract.
Other methods include freeze-drying the fecal sample into a pill-like object and having the patient swallow it.
After receiving the transplant, the patient was instantly better.