I was surprised to read of a man who made himself drunk through an internal disorder. NPR reports:
This medical case may give a whole new meaning to the phrase “beer gut.”
A 61-year-old man — with a history of home-brewing — stumbled into a Texas emergency room complaining of dizziness. Nurses ran a Breathalyzer test. And sure enough, the man’s blood alcohol concentration was a whopping 0.37 percent, or almost five times the legal limit for driving in Texas.
There was just one hitch: The man said that he hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol that day.
. . .
Other medical professionals chalked up the man’s problem to “closet drinking.” But Cordell and Dr. Justin McCarthy, a gastroenterologist in Lubbock, wanted to figure out what was really going on.
So the team searched the man’s belongings for liquor and then isolated him in a hospital room for 24 hours. Throughout the day, he ate carbohydrate-rich foods, and the doctors periodically checked his blood for alcohol. At one point, it rose 0.12 percent.
Eventually, McCarthy and Cordell pinpointed the culprit: an overabundance of brewer’s yeast in his gut.
That’s right, folks. According to Cordell and McCarthy, the man’s intestinal tract was acting like his own internal brewery.
There’s more at the link, including details of how the problem occurred.
I can understand that if the man was exposed to large quantities of brewer’s yeast (which he would have been through his home-brewing activities) he could, indeed, have developed an internal reaction to it. Outlandish though the incident may sound, it’s entirely feasible.
Hmm . . . If I could figure out how to ‘graft’ this yeast infection into inmates’ stomachs in prison, I could render them capable of internally producing their own ‘pruno‘ or ‘hooch’ to become permanently drunk! I sense a business opportunity here . . .