Is Auto Brewery Syndrome Real? - Banyan Boca

Is Auto Brewery Syndrome Real?

It’s a bizarre story – a 61 year old man shows up in an emergency room with a blood alcohol level almost five times the legal limit, but he hasn’t had anything to drink that day.1

This is like many other auto brewery syndrome stories, where someone is drunk without drinking or gets pulled over for driving under the influence, but they haven’t had any alcohol that day. Medical professionals are uncovering strange cases called gut fermentation syndrome, aka auto brewery syndrome, across the nation.

What Is Auto Brewery Syndrome?

Auto brewery syndrome is a medical condition where alcohol’s chief intoxicator, ethanol, is created within a person’s digestive system, typically due to an overabundance of yeast. Auto brewery syndrome happens when the carbohydrates a person eats are transformed into ethanol by an excess of yeast within the digestive system. This results in intoxication, all without consumption of alcoholic beverages.

What Causes Auto Brewery Syndrome?

The auto brewery syndrome cause is typically an excess of brewer’s yeast within a person’s stomach, intestine, or digestive system. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the type of yeast associated with gut fermentation syndrome. While the syndrome doesn’t always result in intoxication, it does produce some levels of alcohol. It’s associated with Chron’s disease and short bowel syndrome.2

Treatment for Auto Brewery Syndrome

The team at our alcohol treatment center recognizes that auto brewery syndrome is a true diagnosis, so how is it treated? While the syndrome is rare, it is helpful to understand its treatment methods. In a recent case of the syndrome, antifungal medications and a low carbohydrate diet successfully treated auto brewery syndrome. 3

Treating Alcoholism

For those who struggle with alcoholism in addition to gut fermentation disorder, residential treatment for alcoholism is also crucial in treating the secondary challenge of alcohol use disorder.

At Banyan Detox Boca Raton, we offer numerous levels of alcohol rehab care. Call 888-280-4763 to learn more.


  1. NPR – Auto-Brewery Syndrome: Apparently, You Can Make Beer In Your Gut
  2. NCBI – Auto-brewery Syndrome (Gut Fermentation)
  3. SCIRP – A Case Study of Gut Fermentation Syndrome (Auto-Brewery) with Saccharomyces cerevisiae as the Causative Organism

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Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

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