"These patients have the exact same implications of alcoholism: the smell, the breath, drowsiness, gait changes," Malik, the study's lead author, told CNN. "They will present as someone who's intoxicated by alcohol, but the only difference here is that these patients can be treated by antifungal medications."
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The researchers say they think antibiotics the man took years earlier altered his gut microbiome and allowed the yeast and another fungus to grow. Antifungal therapies and probiotics were prescribed to help normalize the bacteria in the man’s gut.
"Approximately 1.5 years later, he remains asymptomatic and has resumed his previous lifestyle, including eating a normal diet while still checking his breath alcohol levels sporadically," the study states.
The South Carolina man isn't the first case of auto-brewery syndrome. Police dropped DUI charges against New York woman in 2016 after doctors were able to prove her body, too, is a brewery.
"This is a condition that is treatable with dietary modifications, appropriate antifungal therapy, and possibly probiotics," the researchers wrote.