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Thread: The Queen Midas of Alcohol

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    Firbolg in the Playground

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Raleigh NC

    Default Re: The Queen Midas of Alcohol

    Quote Originally Posted by JeenLeen View Post
    Yet if the alcohol is only in the urine, that does not make for a very satisfactory drink. I haven't read the article, but any indication of the alcohol content? I'm guessing not terribly high or else the doctors would have realized something was wrong sooner.
    In all seriousness, it was pretty high. The symptoms she was admitted for were consistent with very heavy drinking over a long period of time, and she was repeatedly told to seek alcohol abuse counselling despite the fact that she was almost totally teetotal.

    So they did some testing and noted that the normal byproducts associated with the breakdown of alcohol -- ethyl glucuronide and ethyl sulfate -- were not present in her urine. Nor was there ethanol in her blood stream.

    So there's no digestive byproducts and no alcohol in the blood stream but there is alcohol in the urine. How could that be?

    They did some more testing and found that her bladder had been colonized by bacteria very similar to baker's yeast. They took a sample, reproduced the body's normal conditions and temperature in the lab and -- presto! -- alcohol.

    That's why they were seeing alcohol in the urine but NOT alcohol digestion byproducts and NOT alcohol in the bloodstream. Her bladder was manufacturing it.

    The full report is in the Annals of Internal Medicine , where it is described as "Auto-brewery syndrome." Regrettably, it is behind a paywall so I can't see if it gives the exact numbers.

    Here's the bit I can see in the annals for free
    Quote Originally Posted by Annals Of Internal Medicine
    Background: Auto-brewery syndrome is a rare medical condition in which intoxicating quantities of ethanol are produced by specific types of yeast or bacteria through endogenous fermentation in the digestive system (1).

    Objective: To alert clinicians to the possibility of a previously unrecognized auto-brewery syndrome in which ethanol is produced through endogenous fermentation in the urinary system.

    Case Report: A 61-year-old woman with cirrhosis and poorly controlled diabetes presented to our center for placement on the liver transplant waitlist. Previously, clinicians at another hospital advised her to obtain treatment for alcohol addiction instead of placing her on their center's...

    Brian P.
    Last edited by pendell; 2020-02-26 at 03:54 PM.
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