Auto Brewery Syndrome: Know Symptoms, Causes And Complications

It might be possible that you become drunk without consuming alcohol, read to know about this condition.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalPublished at: Apr 14, 2022Updated at: Apr 14, 2022
Auto Brewery Syndrome: Know Symptoms, Causes And Complications

Do you know you could feel dizzy and drunk without drinking alcohol? Yes, it's true, but there is nothing to feel happy about it. There is a condition in which your gut can make its own ethanol and cause fermentation. It is quite rare disease to be honest but it can have an effect on your body in many ways. This condition is also called drunkenness disease and it can make you intoxicated in unusual ways. Auto brewery disease or gut fermentation syndrome might cause some health problems and might result to challenges in the lifestyle. Let us know about this condition and its symptoms.  

What is Auto brewery Syndrome? 

We spoke with Dr. Ankush Chowdhury, Senior Gastroenterologist from Vozart Healthcare Hospital, Bangalore to know about this condition in proper detail. He explained that this condition occurs when the body turns sugary and starchy foods into alcohol. Auto brewery syndrome could be particularly hard to locate because it might be mistaken with other conditions especially alcoholism. Auto brewery syndrome makes your blood alcohol levels 3-4 times higher than the usual that results to serious lifestyle troubles. 


This syndrome has actually come into highlight a few times in past few years because many individuals who do not even consume alcohol develop this disease. This can cause a confusing and exhausting medical situation that might get a person into serious troubles at times. In most of these cases that came into highlight, some of them were even arrested for drinking and driving. 

Also Read- Gut Health Special: Know From Doctor How To Keep Your Digestive System Healthy

Symptoms of Auto Brewery Syndrome 

Well, it is a very simple disease and that might result to many complications, however symptoms are very evident and can be experiences easily- 

  • Feeling drunk without drinking 
  • Extremely dizzy just after a small drink or alcohol consumption 
  • Red or flushed skin 
  • Dizziness 
  • Disorientation 
  • Headache pain 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Dehydration 
  • Dry mouth  
  • Burping or belching 
  • Fatigue 
  • Memory and concentration problems 
  • Changes in mood or mood swings 

What causes Auto Brewery Syndrome?

In this condition, your body makes ethanol out of carbohydrates that you consume in your diet. This happens inside the gut of intestines. The cause of it could differ with every person but it usually happens because of accumulation of too much yeast inside the gut. Yeast is a type of fungus that could affect your gut health.  

Here are following yeast functions that could affect brewery syndrome- 

  1. Candida albicans 
  2. Candida glabrata 
  3. Torulopsis glabrata 
  4. Candida krusei 
  5. Saccharomyces cerevisiae 

Who can get this drunkenness disease? 

Adults and children both can get this disease. Signs are also same but it is particularly difficult and more serious condition if it happens in children. Auto brewery syndrome is caused because of complications of another disease. It might also be result of some imbalance occurring in the body or due to infection.  

It is possible that you get this syndrome because of having another condition by birth that triggers auto brewery disease. Too much yeast in the gut can also be cause of brewery syndrome. Adults having Crohn’s disease can be affected by this problem. 

People that have some kind of liver problems might also get auto brewery syndrome. In these cases, the liver is not able to clear out the alcohol. Even a small amount of alcohol made by the gut yeast leads to symptoms of auto brewery disease. 

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In children and toddlers, this can happen, because of short bowel syndrome that has a higher chance of getting auto brewery syndrome. There was a case where a 3-year-old girl got short bowel syndrome and would get drunk after drinking fruit juice. It happened so because of high natural carbohydrates present in the fruit juice. 

Other reasons for this condition can include- 

  • Poor nutrition 
  • Antibiotics 
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases 
  • Diabetes 
  • Low immune function or system 


Complications of Auto Brewery Syndrome 

In most cases, this syndrome does not cause any major complications or disorders. But it might lead to some worsen health conditions such as- 

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome 
  • Irritable bowel syndrome 
  • Depression and anxiety 
  • Fainting 

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