When a home-brewer arrived in the emergency room blind drunk, he had a pretty hard time convincing the doctors that he hadn’t had a drop of alcohol.
The fact that he had a blood alcohol level of 0.37 percent, which is five-times the legal limit for driving in Texas, made the story even harder to swallow, reports npr.com.
But Texas doctors were stunned to discover that the man’s own body was producing the alcohol, giving a whole new definition to ‘beer belly’.
"He would get drunk out of the blue — on a Sunday morning after being at church, or really, just anytime," said Barabara Cordell, the dean of nursing at Panola College, Texas.
"His wife was so dismayed about it that she even bought a Breathalyzer."
Other medical professionals put it down to closet drinking.
Bewildered and fascinated by the bizarre case, the dean and gastroenterologist Dr Justin McCarthy decided to investigate the case further by putting the man in isolation for 24 hours. He was allowed carbohydrate rich food, but no alcohol - and he still ended up with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.12 percent.
Turns out his own stomach was brewing booze thanks to a build up of a common yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. When he ate or drank starch heavy food, the yeast in his stomach fermented the sugar into ethanol.
Although this buildup is very rare, it can happen after patients take antibiotics, reports the NPR, because killing all the bacteria in your stomach paves the way for yeast to thrive, says the case study which was published in the International Journal Of Clinical Medicine.
The home brewer is now enjoying a diet of anti-fungals and a low carb diet.