This guy can get drunk just by eating food containing carbohydrates

TrendingBy Shuki Byrne
Condition: Nick Hess suffers from a condition known as ‘auto-brewery syndrome’
Condition: Nick Hess suffers from a condition known as ‘auto-brewery syndrome’

Alcohol prices are on the up and we're always looking for ways to budget our nights out.

Sneaky nagans, pre-sips in a friend's and the avoidance of grub before a gargle are all popular choices. 

However, one British man doesn't have any of the worries associated with getting drunk easily. 

Nick Hess suffers from a condition known as ‘auto-brewery syndrome’, which means his stomach has an overgrowth of yeast which turns any carbohydrates he eats into alcohol.

At first, he didn’t really know what was happening: "It was weird, I’d eat some carbs and all of a sudden I was goofy, vulgar", he told the BBC. 

He would get inexplicably sick, with stomach pains and headaches. 

"Every day for a year I would wake up and vomit," he says. "Sometimes it would come on over the course of a few days, sometimes it was just like ‘bam! I’m drunk’."

It got so bad his wife began searching the house for alcohol bottles, convinced her husband was a secret alcoholic. And it wasn't until his wife filmed him that he realised something was amiss. 

When you look at the gut environment of people with 'auto-brewery syndrome' you always find abnormally large numbers of yeast, most commonly a strain called Saccharomyces cerevisiae - what beer makers call “brewers yeast”.

Everyone has a little bit of yeast in their guts, and when it interacts with carbohydrates and sugar from our food, it produces tiny amounts of alcohol, the BBC said. 

While in hospital Hess was fed a meal heavy in carbs which caused his blood alcohol level to shoot up to 120 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood. 

A doctor said it was the worst case of the rare condition she had ever seen. 

Anup Kanodia analysed Hess’s stool samples and performed genetic and microbial tests to help clarify what was going on in his gut. "He had 400% more yeast in his gut than he should do," says Kanodia. "It was the highest amount of yeast I’ve ever seen in one person in my entire career."

After being diagnosed he was given anti-fungal drugs and put on a low carb diet to combat the condition.