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What is auto-brewery syndrome?

As a motorist, you are probably aware of the repercussions you could face if you decide to drink alcohol before getting behind the wheel. What you may not realize, however, is that there are a number of conditions and situations that may affect the results of the breath test authorities typically use to assess your level of impairment. While some who are arrested for drunk driving have had the charges dropped after demonstrating their breath test results were affected by electronic interference, bodily functions or certain medications, another explanation that has become increasingly common is known as auto-brewery syndrome.

How it works

Auto-brewery syndrome is a rare condition that can lead sufferers to produce alcohol within their bodies. If you have the condition, your body may not process carbohydrate-rich foods and fruits in a typical manner. Instead, such foods end up fermenting in the gut, which in turn produces alcohol and can lead an individual to exhibit symptoms of drunkenness even if he or she has not actually consumed any alcohol. Some suffers claim they feel dizzy and light-headed as a result of the syndrome, and others claim that it has the capacity to negatively affect memory and cause hangovers just as alcohol can do if ingested orally.

Some people may be more susceptible than others

Though there is not an abundance of information and research available about auto-brewery syndrome, some sufferers have found that the condition becomes less of an issue when they switch to low-carbohydrate, high-protein and vegetable diets. It is also believed that certain health conditions, such as Celiac disease, may enhance your chances of suffering from the syndrome. Stress, a lack of adequate sleep and the use of particular antibiotics may, too, enhance your chances of producing alcohol within your gut.

A lack of information and research

While the amount of information and research regarding auto-brewery syndrome is limited, one leading researcher is calling for more attention to be given to the matter. The medical specialist, who U.S. News and World Report states has diagnosed about 25 people with auto-brewery syndrome since 2013, believes that having more scientific evidence about the condition available would help separate those who truly have the syndrome from those who may try and use it as an excuse for drinking and driving.

If you have been charged with drinking and driving and believe your breath test results were inaccurate because of auto-brewery syndrome or a different reason, consider contacting an attorney.

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